William H. Luers
William H. Luers was elected in 1999 president of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), a center for innovative programs to engage Americans in issues of global concern. UNA-USA’s educational and humanitarian campaigns, along with its policy and advocacy programs, allow people to make a global impact at the local level and encourage strong United States leadership in the UN. Prior to joining UNA-USA in February 1999, Ambassador Luers served for 13 years as president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
Prior to his move to New York in 1986, 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). Luers has been a visiting lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, at George Washington University in Washington, DC, and at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He was also the director’s visitor at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study in 1982-1983.
Born in Springfield, Illinois, Luers received his B.A. from Hamilton College and his M.A. from Columbia University following four years 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.
An active member of the Council on Foreign Relations and other public policy organizations, Luers serves on a number of corporate and nonprofit boards, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The National Museum of Natural History, The Trust for Mutual Understanding, and the Rubin Art Museum. He is also chairman of the Advisory Board of The Center for Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California and of The Harriman Institute at Columbia University. He speaks on foreign affairs, diplomacy, the UN, and the arts, and has been widely published on foreign policy issues. 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 and two stepchildren.