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!

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.

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.

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.

Congressional Working Series on Future U.S. Afghanistan Policy OCT Series - As the last days of campaign season heated up outside the Beltway, PSA and USIP convened influential Capitol Hill foreign policy/national security staffers - Republicans, Democrats, House, Senate - over three weeks to dig deep on the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan in pursuit of bipartisan solutions.

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

Middle East Continues to Dominate U.S. Foreign Policy, but Our Strategy in Region Remains Largely Unclear

Lee Hamilton is director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University and current Advisory Board Co-Chair to the Partnership for a Secure America. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. The article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.

Middle East Continues to Dominate U.S. Foreign Policy, but Our Strategy in Region Remains Largely Unclear

Like every U.S. president of the last half-century, I find it nearly impossible to avoid focusing most of my foreign policy attention on the continuingly chaotic and confusing region of the world that is the Middle East.

I have now spent five decades working on foreign policy in government, and I’m still struggling to make sense of the Middle East. It’s an extremely turbulent area, where tensions flare up regularly. Its economic growth has been tepid at best, and its overall governance is feeble. The region is currently flooded with refugees. And city after city is fraught with danger, destruction and devastation.

Today, it has become even more difficult to sort out the competing players, conflicting visions and challenges in the Middle East. And it’s almost impossible for the world’s leaders to agree on much of anything that might improve the region’s current instability, the culmination of decades of terrible governance, economic stagnation and brutal dictatorial crackdowns on individual .. Read Article

The Deal Involves Expanding the ‘Maritime Silk Road’

Jamie Metzl is a Co-Chairman of the PSA Board of Directors and?Nonresident Senior Fellow for Technology and National Security at the Atlantic Council.

The Deal Involves Expanding the ‘Maritime Silk Road’

Xi Jinping?s just completed visit to Pakistan is a big deal for China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and the United States. China has pledged $46 billion to develop the port, road, and pipeline infrastructure linking the Pakistani port at Gwadar to Western China?s Xinjiang province, to construct badly needed power plants, and to upgrade Pakistan?s submarines, presumable to carry nuclear weapons. In return, Pakistan is giving China essentially full access to the Gwadar port.

Everyone should wish for economic development in Pakistan, and it would be great if at least a significant portion of the Chinese aid and loans goes toward activities, like badly-needed infrastructure and energy-generating capacity, that benefits the ordinary Pakistani people. US aid to Pakistan over past decades has spectacularly failed in this regard.

If the Gwadar project continues as planned, China will have an Indian Ocean access that will allow it to receive Persian Gulf oil and gas less expensively and without needing its ships to pass through the Malacca Strait, a narrow passage that could easily be controlled by the US Navy in times of potential conflict. This is a huge strategic gain for Beijing. China will also hope for Pakistan?s efforts to crack down on .. Read Article

Wirth and Hart: Don’t sabotage Iran nuke deal

Gary Hart is a PSA Advisory Board member and former senator, Timothy E. Wirth is a former senator.?The original article appeared in The Denver Post.

Wirth and Hart: Don’t sabotage Iran nuke deal

“There is agreement on nothing until there is agreement on everything” is a bedrock principle of the pending nuclear negotiations with Iran. “Everything” means everything having to do with controlling Iran’s nuclear program, not everything having to do with the total U.S.-Iran relationship.

Though not yet an agreement, the “framework” has many breakthrough principles, including:

? Uranium enrichment only at the plant in Natanz, Iran, and no enrichment at the Fordow underground facility;

? Prohibition of the Arak heavy water research reactor from producing weapons-grade plutonium or reprocessing to recover plutonium from spent fuel;

? A reduction and then a limit on Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium to 300 kilograms for 15 years;

?A two-thirds reduction in installed centrifuges for 10 years; and

? A range of limitations and inspections that will be in force over a 10-25 year period and some permanent inspections of the program.

But, for this to be an agreement clearly in the interest of U.S. national security, important issues have yet to be resolved, including inspections, enforcement and the .. Read Article

The Latest From PSA

VIDEO: Jamie Metzl on China's proposed "Maritime Silk Road" through PakistanInterview with PSA Board of Directors Co-Chairman Jamie Metzl on China's newly proposed $46B investment in Pakistan.

VIDEO: Ambassador Thomas Pickering on US-Cuban RelationsPSA Advisory Board member and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering discusses his take on the normalization of relations with Cuba.

Ambassador Carla Hills' argument in favor of the TTIP and TPP trade agreementsPSA Advisory Board member and former Ambassador Carla Hills discusses US trade agreement expansion.

Madeleine Albright on international negotiationPSA Advisory Board member and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on tools for success in international negotiations.

Madeleine Albright on the Asian Infrastructure Investment BankPSA Advisory Board member and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the US deciding not to seek membership to the AIIB.