PSA Advisory Board

Madeleine AlbrightSecretary of State 1997-2001Samuel BergerNational Security Advisor 1997-2001William CohenSecretary of Defense 1997-2001Paula DobrianskyUndersecretary of State 2001-09Slade GortonSenator (R-WA) 1981-87, 1989-2001Lee HamiltonCongressman (D-IN) 1965-99 Gary HartSenator (D-CO) 1975-87Rita HauserChair, International Peace Institute 1992-presentCarla HillsUS Trade Representative 1989-93 Nancy Kassebaum BakerSenator (R-KS) 1978-97Thomas KeanGovernor, New Jersey 1982-90, 9/11 Commission ChairJohn LehmanSecretary of the Navy 1981-87Robert McFarlaneNational Security Advisor 1983-85Donald McHenryAmbassador to UN 1979-81 Sam NunnSenator (D-GA) 1972-96Leon PanettaSecretary of Defense 2011-2013William PerrySecretary of Defense 1994-97Thomas PickeringUndersecretary of State 1997-2000George ShultzSecretary of State 1982 - 1989Frances TownsendHomeland Security Advisor 2004-08Frank WisnerUndersecretary of State 1992-93

In The Spotlight

Quote of the Week: "Democracy needs the trust of the people. But that can only occur if our elected leaders can trust one another. That is not only good politics, it just happens to be good for the country."

- Leon E. Panetta, former Secretary of Defense

PRESS RELEASE: PSA Welcomes New Scoville Peace Fellow, Sara Monteabaro Washington, DC - Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) is pleased to announce the addition of Sara Monteabaro as a Spring 2015 Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow. She will provide research and programmatic support to PSA's new bipartisan policy initiatives, original Advisory Board content, and a wide range of congressional staff programming. (April 1, 2015)

PRESS RELEASE: Former Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta Joins PSA Advisory Board Washington, DC - Today, Partnership for a Secure America welcomed Leon E. Panetta as the newest member of the organization's distinguished Advisory Board. Panetta served in the Obama administration as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2009 to 2011 and as Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013. (March 20, 2015)
How to Negotiate Anything: Lessons Learned From the Capitol Leaders Program Roll Call newspaper caught up with PSA's Andy Semmel to talk about our recent PSA/Harvard congressional negotiation training program. Check out what we've been up to!
Spring 2015 CPP Retreat MAY 16-17 - PSA Congressional Partnership Program participants will join an all-star group of foreign policy and national security experts for a weekend of thought provoking discussions and bipartisan team-building. Speakers include:David Sanger, Amb. James Jeffrey, and Adam Isacson

Spring 2015 CPP Dinner with Amb. Said Tayeb Jawad MAY 27 - PSA will host former Afghan Ambassador to the U.S. Said Tayeb Jawad for an off-the-record dinner with the Spring 2015 class of the Congressional Partnership Program.

Spring 2015 CPP Dinner with Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson JUNE 8 - PSA will host U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, for an off-the-record dinner with the Spring 2015 class of the Congressional Partnership Program.

Spring 2015 CPP Dinner with Dr. Richard Solomon JUNE 22 - PSA will host Dr. Richard Solomon, former President of the United States Institute of Peace, for an off-the-record dinner with the Spring 2015 class of the Congressional Partnership Program.

PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series - topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention The PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series - topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention is an educational program designed to provide congressional staff opportunities to engage with leading experts and fellow Capitol Hill staffers in bipartisan forums.

Understanding the Dynamics of Conflict in Yemen MAY 11 -PSA and USIP hosted an off-the-record roundtable discussion on the recent conflict in Yemen, its impact on the surrounding region, and possible implications for U.S. policy in the Middle East. The discussion was led by Dr. Elie Abouaoun (USIP), Amb. (ret.) Barbara Bodine (Georgetown University,) and Dr. Graeme Bannerman (Middle East Institute).

APR 20: Politics of a Nuclear Deal: Former U.S. & Iranian Officials Debate APR 20 - An Iran Forum Series Event: Iran and the world's six major powers now face a June 30 deadline for converting a blueprint into a final nuclear deal. A unique panel of former U.S. and Iranian officials will assess the status of the talks and the political dynamics that will determine the fate of any agreement in Washington and Tehran. Join us for the discussion on April 20 at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

New Dynamics in the U.S.-Afghanistan Relationship MAR 30 -PSA and USIP hosted an off-the-record roundtable discussion of the current situation in Afghanistan and the status of U.S.-Afghan relations. The discussion was led by Nancy Lindborg, President of USIP, and Ambassador James Dobbins, former State Department Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Nigeria: Elections, Boko Haram & the Future of US Relations FEB 19 - PSA and USIP hosted an off-the-record congressional staff discussion with Amb. Johnny Carson and Susan Stigant focusing on U.S.-Nigerian relations in the face of recent political, economic, and security developments in Nigeria.

Defining U.S. Goals & Policy on Pakistan in 2015 JAN 15 - Pakistan experts Stephen Cohen (Brookings), Shuja Nawaz (formerly Atlantic Council), and Moeed Yusuf (United States Institute of Peace) joined Capitol Hill staff to explore current issues surrounding the U.S.-Pakistan relationship.

Briefing: The Role of Women in Counterterrorism SEPT 17 - CAPITOL HILL PUBLIC EVENT Women play an important, but not as recognized role in counterterrorism worldwide. This briefing shed light on their roles in preventing terrorism and discussed the ideas of what The United States and international community can do to further integrate women in counterterrorism programs.

This briefing was organized by two participants in PSA's Congressional Partnership Program. Information on the CPP found at

CPP Alumni Dinner with Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad (ret.) APRIL 8 - Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan and the United Nations, joined PSA to reflect on his experiences at the highest levels of government and discuss current international challenges facing policymakers. This was a closed event for CPP alumni.

On the Ground in Egypt & UAE MAR 9 - PSA's Dr. Graeme Bannerman, PSA Board member and former Senate Foreign Relations Committee Staff Director, shared insight and information from his recent travels to Egypt and UAE.

Calamity in Greece & the Eurozone FEB 18 - PSA's Ambassador Tom Miller, PSA Board member and former U.S. Ambassador to Greece, discussed implications of Greece's recent election and economic challenges in southern Europe. This was a closed event for CPP alumni.

Off-the-Record with Michael Morell, Acting CIA Director (ret.) FEB 9 - Michael Morell, former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency joined alumni of PSA's Congressional Partnership Program (CPP) for a discussion on America's critical national security and foreign policy challenges ahead.

To learn more about the CPP, visit

Crossing Cultures - CPP Alumni Share Insights with Young MENA Leaders NOV 21 - Alumni of PSA's Congressional Partnership Program joined young leaders from the Middle East and North Africa to exchange ideas on media, politics, and government. Thanks for the great opportunity UN Alliance of Civilizations!
CPP Alumni Dinner with Former Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH) PSA, ANGA, Venable, Carnegie Logo

NOV 18 - Former U.S. Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Jean Schmidt (R-OH) joined PSA's Congressional Partnership Program alumni for a bipartisan dinner to discuss current international challenges facing U.S. policymakers and opportunities for improving cross-party engagement on critical foreign policy and national security issues.

The Iran Forum Series As international negotiators attempt to find diplomatic solutions to disputes over Iran's nuclear program, an unprecedented coalition of eight Washington think tanks hosted a series of public and Capitol Hill educational briefings on the challenges facing these men and women at the table with Iran. The coalition included the U.S. Institute of Peace, RAND, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Arms Control Association, the Center for a New American Security, the Stimson Center, the Partnership for a Secure America, the Ploughshares Fund, and staff from the Brookings Institution and the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies.

Click here for videos of all three public meetings.
PSA/Harvard Congressional Staff Negotiation Training The Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) and Harvard Law School?s Program on Negotiation (PON) have teamed up to create a first-of-its-kind intensive five-week negotiation program for foreign policy and national security staff on Capitol Hill. This initiative, titled The Capitol Leaders Negotiation Program, is designed to equip congressional staff with a foundation of knowledge on negotiation and consensus-building strategies that will help participants develop cross-party solutions to seemingly intractable issues.

Climbing the Capitol: STEPs in Foreign Affairs and National Security Partnership for a Secure America presents - Climbing the Capitol: STEPs in Foreign Affairs and National Security. Inspired by our noteworthy Congressional Partnership Program, Climbing the Capitol's goal is to reach out to another important group of next generation leaders - college kids. Our STEP Scholars (Scholarship Towards Effective Policies) graduate from the certificate program equipped with consensus-building skills and professional networks, the foundation for impactful future careers.

The Latest from the PSA Blog

Advice to new grads from three PSA Advisory Board members


mortarboard pic

(Image credit: Jason Bache/Flickr)

It’s graduation season, and PSA Advisory Board members Nancy Kassebaum Baker, Madeleine Albright, and Thomas Pickering have all had the opportunity to speak to new graduates across the country over the past few weeks. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new grad or not – we can all learn something from their advice.


Nancy Kassebaum Baker?–?Seek balance and community

As she spoke to the 2015 recipients of graduate degrees at Kansas State University, former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker (R-KS) recalled the role that her education played?as she built her career.

Sen. Baker .. Read Article

The Foreign Service is too white. Wed know were top diplomats.

Thomas Pickering is a PSA Advisory Board member and a?retired United States ambassador. Among his many diplomatic appointments, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1989 to 1992.?

Edward Joseph Perkins is a former American diplomat who served as U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, South Africa, and the United Nations. He was later the director of the United States State Department’s Diplomatic Corps.

This article originally appeared in The Washington Post.?

The Foreign Service is too white. We?d know ? we?re top diplomats.

When we began our careers in the 1970s, the Foreign Service was an exclusive club: overwhelmingly white, male and Ivy League-educated, filled with stuffed shirts in striped pants attending swanky cocktail parties.

For decades, you could quite literally count the number of African Americans in the Foreign Service on one hand. Clifton R. Wharton Sr. (whose son, Clifton Jr., later served as deputy secretary of state) became the first black Foreign Service officer in 1924.?By 1949, only four more African Americans had joined. Even in 1976, only 4 percent of Foreign Service officers were black.?More than a decade after the Civil Rights Act, America was still presenting a face to the world that looked more like a restrictive country club than our multiracial country.

Read Article

The Way Forward for Congress
Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University; Distinguished Scholar, IU School of Global and International Studies; and Professor of Practice, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.?This article originally appeared at

?The Way Forward for Congress

There have been encouraging signs on Capitol Hill of late that Congress?s long slide into irrelevance may be slowing.

Agreements on Medicare reimbursements and on Iran, No Child Left Behind, Pacific trade and other issues in various committees led last month to a chorus of relieved approval both in Washington and in the press. Just as important, the amendment process ? at least in the Senate ? is once again functioning as it?s supposed to.

But let?s not go overboard. Major challenges lie immediately ahead, chief among them how Congress handles the budget. If Congress finds that it likes feeling productive, then I?ve got some suggestions for turning these first, tentative steps into full-blown progress.

First, it needs to remember that our founders placed Congress first in the constitutional firmament. It has been far too timid. As has been noted, ?Congress today is a reactive .. Read Article

The Latest From PSA

INTERVIEW: Gov. Tom Kean discusses politics with CL Tampa BayPSA Advisory Board member Governor Tom Kean sat down with CL Tampa Bay to discuss bipartisanship, gridlock, and more.

Amb. Pickering argues for more diversity in the Foreign ServicePSA Advisory Board member Ambassador Thomas Pickering argues that U.S. diplomacy could benefit from greater diversity in the Foreign Service.

LISTEN: Amb. Dobriansky discusses Russia's relationship with the WestPSA Advisory Board member Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky joined the World Affairs Council of San Antonio to discuss "Putinism" and Russia's relationship with the West.

Lee Hamilton: The Way Forward for CongressPSA Advisory Board member Lee Hamilton commends Congress for recent steps forward and offers suggestions to sustain the legislative progress.

Madeleine Albright: The Moral Imperatives of Food SecurityPSA Advisory Board member Madeleine Albright argues that food security is defined as much by morals and politics as it is by markets and international agreements.