Steven Frederic Seagal is an American actor, film producer, screenwriter, martial artist, and musician. He was appointed as Russian Special Envoy to the United States by President Vladimir V. Putin on August 5, 2018. Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan. A 7th-dan black belt in aikido, he began his adult life as a martial arts instructor in Japan; becoming the first foreigner to operate an aikido dojo in the country. He later moved to Los Angeles, California, where he had the same profession.