Senior Fellow, New America NYC, Director, Iran Initiative
Suzanne DiMaggio is a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Iran Initiative at the New America Foundation, where she focuses on the organization’s growing body of national security work throughout the Middle East and Asia and new initiatives on regional and global governance. Based at New America NYC, she leads a program on the future of U.S.-Iran relations that looks at Iran in the context of the broader region and emphasizes ties to the Gulf states, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other major players.
Ms. DiMaggio most recently served as the Vice President of Global Policy Programs at the Asia Society, where she set the strategic direction for moving the Society’s work in the policy arena from a public program-focused forum to a global think tank aimed at tackling the most critical challenges facing the United States and Asia. Prior to joining Asia Society in 2007, she was the Vice President of Policy Studies at the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), where she directed programs that advanced multilateral approaches to global problem solving and advocated in support of constructive US international engagement. Before joining UNA-USA in 1998, she was a Program Officer at the United Nations University (UNU), first based in Tokyo and then at UN headquarters in NYC.
An expert dialogue practitioner, she has been directing Track II diplomatic initiatives with partners in the Middle East and Asia on regional security, terrorism, nonproliferation, economic development, and environmental governance. She has a special interest in the role of unofficial policy dialogue with countries that the United States has limited official relations, especially Iran, Myanmar, and North Korea.
Since 2002, she has been a leader in facilitating US-Iran policy dialogues, which have served as one of the few bridges for sustained, face-to-face discussions between Americans and Iranians. She has authored a chapter on US-Iran track II diplomacy in The Iran Primer: Power, Politics and US Policy [http://iranprimer.usip.org/resource/track-ii-diplomacy], a publication from the US Institute of Peace. She is one of 35 experts who signed the influential report, Strategic Options for Iran: Balancing Pressure with Diplomacy, which was released by The Iran Project in April 2013.
In 2009, she launched a Task Force that included a Track II component aimed at generating policy options to advance the normalization of US-Myanmar relations and catalyze collaboration in support Myanmar’s historic transition. In June 2013, she co-authored the report, Sustaining Myanmar’s Transition: Ten Critical Challenges. The report takes stock of progress/challenges in Myanmar’s transition process and offers recommendations aimed at strengthening US-Myanmar relations.
She holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. from The City College of New York (CUNY). Ms. DiMaggio resides in NYC’s Greenwich Village with her husband, jazz bassist and composer Ben Allison, and daughter.