The U.S., Iran, and Security in the Persian Gulf
American Academy of Diplomacy
Free and open to the public.
The Weiser Diplomacy Center is partnering with the American Academy of Diplomacy to bring seasoned U.S. diplomats to Ford School and discuss the U.S., Iran and Security in Persian Gulf. We invite all students and community to join us in conversation with Ambassador Deborah McCarthy, program chair and moderator, with Ambassador Gerald Feierstein, Ambassador John Limbert, and Ambassador Ronald Neumann.
Ambassador Deborah A. McCarthy is an international security strategist with over 30 years of experience in Europe, the Western Hemisphere and the U.S. She is currently a consultant with the Transnational Strategy Group in Washington D.C. Just prior, she was the Executive Director of the Diversity and Leadership Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She moderates the American Academy of Diplomacy podcast series “The General and the Ambassador” (https://www.generalambassadorpodcast.org). Before joining the private sector, Ms. McCarthy was a member of the U.S. Foreign Service. From 2013 to 2016, she was the U.S. Ambassador to Lithuania. Previously, she was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs. Ms. McCarthy also served as Deputy Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in Greece and the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua. In Washington, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Narcotics and Law Enforcement, Senior Advisor for Counter Terrorism and Special Coordinator for Venezuela. Other posting include: Consul General in Montreal, Economic Counselor U.S. Embassy Paris, Financial Economist U.S. Embassy Rome and assignments in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Ambassador John W. Limbert is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iran in the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. He is a veteran U.S. diplomat and a former official at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where he was held captive during the Iran hostage crisis. Limbert was appointed Distinguished Professor of International Affairs at the U.S. Naval Academy in August 2006 after retiring from the Foreign Service with 33 years of service and the rank of Minister-Counselor. His last postings before retirement were as Dean of the Foreign Service Institute’s School of Language Studies and, on temporary assignment, as Chief of Mission in Khartoum, Sudan. Ambassador Limbert was president of the American Foreign Service Association (2003-2005) and Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (2000-2003). While serving as Ambassador, he was one of the first civilian officials to enter Baghdad in April 2003, with the Organization for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. There he was responsible for cultural affairs, including restoring the looted Iraqi Museum. In March-May of 2004 he returned to Iraq, leading a team in support of the U.S. mission there. Ambassador Limbert holds the Department of State’s highest award – the Distinguished Service Award – and other department awards, including the Award for Valor, which he received after fourteen months as a hostage in Iran.
Jerry Feierstein retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in May 2016 after a 41-year career. At the time of his retirement, Feierstein held the personal rank of Career Minister. Feierstein currently serves as the Senior Vice President of the Middle East Institute. Over the course of his career, he served in nine overseas postings, including three tours of duty in Pakistan, as well as tours in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Tunisia. In 2010, President Obama appointed Feierstein U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, where he served until 2013. From 2013 until his retirement, Feierstein was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs. In addition to his career-long focus on the Near East and South Asia, Feierstein also played a prominent role in developing and implementing State Department policies and programs to counter violent extremism. As Deputy Coordinator and Principal Deputy Coordinator in the State Department’s Counter-Terrorism bureau, Feierstein led the development of initiatives to build regional networks to confront extremist groups as well as to counter terrorist financing and promote counter-terrorism messaging. He continued to focus on defeating terrorist groups through his subsequent tours as Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan and as Ambassador to Yemen.
President, American Academy of Diplomacy
Formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ronald E. Neumann served three times as Ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain and finally to Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. Before Afghanistan, Mr. Neumann, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served in Baghdad from February 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority and then as Embassy Baghdad’s liaison with the Multinational Command, where he was deeply involved in coordinating the political part of military actions. Prior to working in Iraq, he was Ambassador in Manama, Bahrain (2001-2004), Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near East Affairs (1997-2000) with responsibility for North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Ambassador to Algeria (1994 to 1997). He was Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran and Iraq; 1991 to 1994). Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and in Sanaa in Yemen, Principal Officer in Tabriz, Iran and Economic/Commercial Officer in Dakar, Senegal. His previous Washington assignments include service as Jordan Desk officer, Staff Assistant in the Middle East (NEA) Bureau, and Political Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs.
About the lecture series:
This event forms part of the series in celebration of the launch of the Weiser Diplomacy Center (WDC), housed in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. WDC is a hub for practical training and policy dialogue on diplomacy and foreign affairs. WDC trains students for careers in international service, provides a meeting point for academics and practitioners, and serves as a bridge between U-M and the foreign policy community. WDC engages Professors of Practice and regular visiting practitioners and aims to be one of the country’s leading loci for the study of foreign affairs.
Hosted as part of the Ford School's Conversations Across Difference Initiative.