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

Lee Hamilton: For the media, traditional values still matter most

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 Kokomo Tribune.

Lee Hamilton: For the media, traditional values still matter most

I have been involved in politics and policymaking for more than 50 years, and as you can imagine I hold strong feelings about reporters and the media. They?re not what you might think, however.
Far from considering journalists to be irritating pains in the neck ? though I?ve known a few who qualified ? I believe them to be indispensable to our democracy. Our system rests on citizens? ability to make discriminating judgments about policies and politicians. Without the news, information and analysis that the media provides, this would be impossible.
We depend on journalists and the outlets they work for to be our surrogates in holding government accountable; they can serve as a formidable institutional check on the government?s abuse of power.
So I am uneasy about some of the directions I see journalism taking these days. I admire the role that the press has played throughout our history, and fervently hope that it can right itself to play such a .. Read Article

The means of coercing Iran

Robert McFarlane is a PSA Advisory Board member and served as President Reagan?s national security adviser. The original article appeared in The Washington Times.

The means of coercing Iran

How would the prospects for stability in the Middle East be affected if Iran were to succeed in its effort to become a nuclear power? In what ways might we expect Iran to behave differently?

The behavior of the Soviet Union in the late 1970s is instructive on this point. Despite signing the 1972 SALT I Agreement with the United States, which put restraints on strategic nuclear forces, the USSR soon began to violate several of its tenets and to establish an advantage in ICBM warheads. Before long it had established a comfortable margin of superiority over the United States. Then, secure against any plausible threat, it became more willing to take risks to expand its influence in various parts of the world. We recall well those years from ?75 to ?80 in which the Kremlin?s support for so-called wars of national liberation enabled them to exert a prevailing influence in country after country ? Angola, then Ethiopia, South Yemen, Mozambique, Afghanistan (following an invasion by more than 100,000 troops), and ultimately, Nicaragua. Not until the early ?80s, as the United States restored its will to oppose Soviet expansion, did the Kremlin change course.

For .. Read Article

The Iran Deal and Its Consequences

George Shultz is a PSA Advisory Board member and former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger is a former Secretary of State. The original article appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

The Iran Deal and Its Consequences

The announced framework for an agreement on Iran?s nuclear program has the potential to generate a seminal national debate. Advocates exult over the nuclear constraints it would impose on Iran. Critics question the verifiability of these constraints and their longer-term impact on regional and world stability. The historic significance of the agreement and indeed its sustainability depend on whether these emotions, valid by themselves, can be reconciled.

Debate regarding technical details of the deal has thus far inhibited the soul-searching necessary regarding its deeper implications. For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests?and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability, albeit short of its full capacity in the first 10 years.

Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot on President Obama?s preference to cut Congress out of the Iran nuclear deal, and the implications .. Read Article

The Latest From PSA

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.

VIDEO: Jamie Metzl talks Chinese factory sectorInterview with PSA Board of Directors Co-Chairman Jamie Metzl on the 11-month low of China's factory sector.