WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) will host a staff briefing on The Iran Project’s latest report, “Strategic Options for Iran: Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy.” Ambassadors William Luers, Thomas Pickering and Frank Wisner will discuss diplomatic solutions to Iran’s threat to global security in light of ineffective U.S. sanctions. The full report can be read here.

WHAT:       Briefing on "Strategic Options for Iran: Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy"

WHO:        Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA)
                 Ambassador William Luers
                 Ambassador Thomas Pickering
                 Ambassador Frank Wisner
WHEN:      Wednesday, June 5th, at 11:00a.m. EST

WHERE:    Cannon 441

NOTE:       RSVP to Amber Macdonald at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Biographies and Additional Information

Ambassador William H. Luers served as U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1983-1986) and Venezuela (1978-1982) and held numerous posts in Italy, Germany, the Soviet Union, and in the Department of State, where he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe (1977-1978) and for the Inter-American Affairs (1975-1977). He is now an Adjunct Professor at SIPA, Columbia University and directs The Iran Project. He was formerly President of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) for ten years.

Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering holds the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the U.S. Foreign Service. In a diplomatic career spanning five decades, he was U.S. ambassador to Israel, the Russian Federation, India, El Salvador, Nigeria, and Jordan. From 1989 to 1992, he was Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, and he then served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. Earlier in his career, he was Special Assistant to Secretaries of State William P. Rogers and Henry Kissinger. He also served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserves.

Frank G. Wisner is an International Affairs Advisor at Patton Boggs, LLP, A career diplomat with the personal rank of Career Ambassador, he previously served as Ambassador to India from 1994-1997. Additionally, he held the positions of Ambassador to Zambia (1979-82), Egypt (1986-91), and the Philippines (1991-1992). Mr. Wisner has served in a number of positions in the U.S. government, including Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (1993-94), Undersecretary of State for International Security Affairs (1992-93), Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs (1932-86), and Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State (1977). During the course of his career, Frank Wisner served in the Middle East and South and East Asia.

The Iran Project seeks to improve official contacts between the United States and Iranian governments. The Iran Project was started in 2002 by the United Nations Association of the USA and Rockefeller Brother’s Fund, and became an independent project under the auspices of the non-profit organization Foundation for a Civil Society in 2009.  For nearly a decade The Iran Project’s methodology has aimed to reduce misunderstandings between Iran and the U.S. by establishing ongoing informal dialogues with Iranian counterparts, and to inform senior U.S. Government officials and members of Congress on the content of our talks.