William Luers is a Non-Resident Fellow, an adjunct professor at Columbia University, and Director of The Iran Project. Up to June, 2009, Ambassador Luers served as president of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), a job which he held for ten years. In 1986 Ambassador Luers was named president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City and remained in the position until 1999.
Prior to his 1986 move to New York to head The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Luers had a 31-year career in the Foreign Service. He served as US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia (1983-1986) and Venezuela (1978-1982) and held numerous posts in Italy, Germany, the Soviet Union, and in the Department of State, where he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe (1977-1978) and for Inter-American Affairs (1975-1977).
Born in Springfield, Illinois, Luers received a B.A. from Hamilton College and a M.A. from Columbia University following four years as an officer in the United States Navy. He did graduate work in Philosophy at Northwestern University and holds honorary doctorate degrees from Hamilton College and Marlboro College.
He has spoken widely on foreign affairs, diplomacy, the UN, and the arts. His articles on foreign affairs have been published widely for the past 30 years since he left the Foreign Service. He speaks Russian, Spanish and Italian.
Luers is married to Wendy Woods Luers, founder and president of The Foundation for Civil Society. He has four children, two stepchildren and ten grandchildren. Wendy and he have homes in Washington Depot, CT and New York City