Suzanne DiMaggio was a director and senior fellow at New America, where she focused on U.S. foreign policy, the Middle East, and Asia. She has been leading Track 1.5 and Track 2 diplomatic initiatives on regional security, terrorism, nonproliferation, and governance for nearly 20 years. She has a special interest in the role of policy dialogue with countries that the United States has limited or no official relations, especially Iran and North Korea.
Based at New America NYC, she directed the U.S.-Iran Initiative, which was carried out through a combination of policy dialogue, research, and a series of public events and private roundtables, with the aim of generating analyses and recommendations in support of improving relations between the two countries. The project’s centerpiece was a long-running dialogue that she established in 2002, which brings together influential and knowledgeable Americans and Iranians to explore possible grounds for constructive engagement and develop mutually acceptable strategies for addressing a range of issues, including Iran’s nuclear program, regional security, and U.S.-Iran relations.
DiMaggio directed a U.S.-DPRK dialogue that has included several visits to North Korea, most recently in February 2017. As part of that process, she facilitated the first official discussions between the Trump administration and North Korean government representatives in Oslo in May 2017.
In 2009, she launched and directed a task force and an accompanying U.S.-Myanmar dialogue aimed at generating policy options to advance the normalization of bilateral relations. In 2016, she initiated a U.S.-China dialogue focused on great power interests in Myanmar and Southeast Asia more broadly. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations' Advisory Committee for Securing a Peaceful Transition in Myanmar.
Before joining New America, DiMaggio was the vice president of global policy programs at the Asia Society (2007-2014), 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 addressing the most critical challenges facing the United States and Asia. She was the vice president of policy programs at the United Nations Association of the USA (1998-2007), where she directed programs that advanced multilateral approaches to global problem solving and advocated in support of constructive U.S. international engagement. Before joining UNA-USA, she was a program officer at the United Nations University (1993-1998), a research institute that links the UN system with international academic and policy communities. First based in Tokyo, Japan, and later at UN headquarters in New York, her work at UNU focused on international security issues and development.
She holds a B.A. from New York University and an M.A. from The City College of New York (CUNY). She is a frequent commentator in the news media and her op-eds have appeared in national and international press outlets. DiMaggio resides in NYC’s Greenwich Village with her husband, jazz bassist and composer Ben Allison, and daughter.