High Standards and High Stakes: Defining Terms of an Acceptable Iran Nuclear Deal

July 17, 2014
11:45 am -

Event Description

Speaker Biographies

Senator Mark Kirk served five terms in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2010 and is a veteran of the United States Navy. He serves on four Senate Committees: Appropriations, Banking, HELP (Health, Education, Labor & Pensions), and Aging and is the Ranking Republican on the Appropriations Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Senator Kirk is a leader on national security issues, including efforts to address Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, countering terrorism, and working with our allies to combat common enemies. With Senator Robert Menendez, he co-authored the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which includes parameters of an acceptable nuclear deal with Iran and sanctions-in-waiting provisions if an acceptable deal isn’t concluded by January 2015. The Senator was recently published in The Daily Herald on human rights abuses against members of the Baha’i faith in Iran and is an outspoken critic of the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses.

Senator Dan Coats has dedicated much of his life to serving Indiana and the nation in a variety of roles. After graduating from Wheaton College, Coats went on to serve in the U.S. Army. Following his military service, Coats attended the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he received his J.D. and was associate editor of the Indiana Law Review. He went on to work for a life insurance company in Fort Wayne before joining the office of then-Congressman Dan Quayle as a district representative. From 1981 to 1999, Coats served in the United States Congress, first in the House of Representatives and then in the Senate. During his time in Congress, Coats served on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence where he worked on ways to strengthen our national defense and security. Honoring a term-limits pledge, Coats stepped down from his Senate seat in 1999. In 2001, he was named Ambassador to Germany, arriving in the country only a few days before the tragic events of 9/11. After his time as Ambassador, he worked at a law firm and continued to be active in public service. Concerned about the direction of our country, Coats returned to the U.S. Senate in 2011 to help restore fiscal responsibility and ensure that future generations inherit a safe and prosperous America. In the 113th Congress, Coats serves on four Senate committees: Appropriations; Select Intelligence (SSCI); Commerce, Science and Transportation; and the Joint Economic Committee (JEC).

Congressman Eliot Engel is the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He also serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee including the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Energy and Power. He is the founder and Co-Chair of the House Oil and National Security Caucus, which is seeking clean, energy efficient alternatives to America’s over-reliance on oil. He is also a member of the Democratic Task Force on Health and serves on Commission on Human Rights. Congressman Engel is the author of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, which successfully sparked international pressure on Syria to withdraw from Lebanon, and sponsored a key resolution recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. He is the leader in the House of Representatives on U.S. policy toward Latin American and the Caribbean. In addition, he has written important laws relating to Albania and Kosova, Cyprus, Irish affairs, and is co-author of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, which addresses the child slave labor in the cocoa fields of Africa.Congressman Engel was born in the Bronx on February 18, 1947. He grew up in a city housing project and attended New York City public schools. In 1969, he graduated from Hunter-Lehman College with a B.A. in History and received a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling in 1973 from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York. In 1987, he received a law degree from New York Law School. For twelve years prior to his election to Congress, Mr. Engel served in the New York State Assembly (1977-1988), where he chaired the Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, as well as the Subcommittee on Mitchell-Lama Housing. Prior to that, he was a teacher and guidance counselor in the New York City public school system.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen represents Florida’s 27th Congressional District.  She is Chairman emeritus of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) and now Chairman of the HFAC Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. In this role, she continues to voice her strong support for the state of Israel and human rights, including her opposition to Castro’s dictatorial regime in Cuba. She has also led on pressing foreign policy issues including the fight against Islamist extremism, and support of free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.  She also serves as a member of the House Committee on Rules. Born in Havana in 1952, Ros-Lehtinen and her family were forced to flee from the oppressive Cuban communist regime of Fidel Castro to the United States. In 1982, she was elected to the Florida State House of Representatives and the Florida Senate in 1986, becoming the first Hispanic woman to serve in either body. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1989–the first Hispanic woman to serve in Congress–following a special election to fill the seat held by the late Claude Pepper. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from Miami-Dade Community College in 1972, Bachelors and Masters Degree in Education from Florida International University in 1975 and 1985 respectively, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Miami in 2004.

Congressman Brad Sherman, born and raised in southern California, represents California’s San Fernando Valley, and has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997. Congressman Sherman is serving his ninth term in Congress, and currently resides in Sherman Oaks, CA. Congressman Sherman is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and serves as the senior Democrat on the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.  He is also a senior member of the Financial Services Committee. During his tenure in Congress, Sherman has developed a reputation as a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget, federal aid to education, the interests of working families, strong environmental standards, the protection of Social Security and Medicare, and policies to expand U.S. exports. According to USA Today and The Washington Post, Congressman Sherman led the effort to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for unlimited bailouts to Wall Street giants. In 2009, he took an important role in crafting legislation that ended bailouts putting taxpayers on the hook for risky Wall Street behavior, by successfully defeating the Treasury Department’s proposal for permanent, unlimited TARP. Sherman received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.  Sherman was also an accounting tutor during his time at UCLA.  Later he received his law degree from Harvard, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Stephen G. Rademaker is senior advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Foreign Policy Project. He served as an Assistant Secretary of State from 2002 through 2006, heading at various times three bureaus of the State Department, including the Bureau of Arms Control and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. He directed the Proliferation Security Initiative, as well as nonproliferation policy toward Iran and North Korea, and led strategic dialogues with Russia, China, India and Pakistan. He also headed U.S. delegations to the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as well as many other international conferences. Mr. Rademaker concluded his career on Capitol Hill in 2007, serving as senior counsel and policy director for national security affairs for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN). In this role, he helped manage all aspects of the legislative process relating to foreign policy, defense, intelligence and national security. He earlier served as chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Homeland Security of the U.S. House of Representatives and as deputy staff director and chief counsel of the House Committee on International Relations. During President George H. W. Bush’s administration, Mr. Rademaker served as general counsel of the Peace Corps, associate counsel to the President in the Office of White House Counsel, and as deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council. After leaving government in 2007, he continued to serve as the U.S. representative on the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, and was subsequently appointed by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to the U.S. Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism. Mr. Rademaker received the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit from the government of Poland in 2009. He has a bachelor’s, a Juris Doctor and a master’s in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia.

Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  He focuses on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and intelligence. Mr. Gerecht is the author of The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East (Hoover Institution Press, 2011), Know Thine Enemy: A Spy’s Journey into Revolutionary Iran (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1997) and The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy (AEI Press, 2004). He is a contributing editor for The Weekly Standard and has been a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, as well as a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other publications. He was previously a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the director of the Middle East Initiative at the Project for the New American Century. Earlier, he served as a Middle Eastern specialist at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.

Dr. Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. His areas of specialization are Iran, political reform in the Middle East, and Islamist movements and parties. Prior to joining the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Takeyh was senior advisor on Iran at the Department of State. He is the author of The Guardians of the Revolution: Iran’s Approach to the World (Oxford University Press, 2009) and Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic (Henry Holt, 2006). Dr. Takeyh has testified frequently in front various congressional committees and appears regularly on radio and television and has been published, including articles in Foreign AffairsForeign PolicyThe New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles TimesFinancial TimesInternational Herald Tribune, among others.


Iran Iran Nuclear