Preserving and Building on the Iran Nuclear Deal

June 13, 2017 - 10:00 am

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th ST NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

Preserving and Building on the Iran Nuclear Deal 

Panel I: What Rouhani's Re-Election Portends for the JCPOA
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

A conversation with:
Amir Handjani
Board Member and Senior Fellow
Atlantic Council
Suzanne Maloney 
Deputy Director, Foreign Policy
Brookings Institution
Reza Marashi
Research Director
National Iranian American Council

Introduced and Moderated by:

Ladane Nasseri
Senior Iran Correspondent
Bloomberg News

Panel II: How to Preserve and Bolster the JCPOA's Nonproliferation Aspects
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

A Conversation with: 

Kelsey Davenport
Director, Nonproliferation Program
Arms Control Association

Ambassador Laura Holgate
Senior Fellow
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Ambassador Thomas Pickering
Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Department of State

Introduced and Moderated by:

Barbara Slavin
Acting Director, Future of Iran Initiative
Atlantic Council

Panel III: Should Iran Sanctions Be Increased or Reduced?
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

A conversation with: 

Matthew F. Calabria
Graduate Student, Elliot School of International Affairs
George Washington University

Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson
Graduate, Masters, Elliot School of International Affairs
George Washington University

Elizabeth Rosenberg
Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics, and Security Program
Center for a New American Security

Introduced and Moderated by: 

Christopher Kojm
Professor of International Affairs, Elliot School of International Affairs
George Washington University 
With President Hassan Rouhani now re-elected, Iran has reaffirmed its commitment to the nuclear agreement. The Trump Administration has also renewed the necessary waivers of nuclear-related sanctions, but is reviewing overall Iran policy and has indicated its desire to try to isolate Iran for its intervention in regional conflicts. 

On Twitter? Follow @AtlanticCouncil and use #ACIran

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record. 


Matthew F. Calabria will soon graduate from the Elliott School of International Affairs' Master of Arts in International Affairs program at the George Washington University. He also studied at the U.S. Naval War College and received the Brookings Institution's Certificate of Public Leadership. The views expressed are his own.

Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson recently received her Master's Degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.  While at George Washington, she worked for Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) before being appointed to the Obama White House as the advisor and assistant to the Director for the Office of Management and Budget. The views expressed are her own. 

Kelsey Davenport is the Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, where she provides research and analysis on the nuclear and missile programs in Iran, North Korea, India, and Pakistan and on nuclear security issues. Kelsey also reports on developments in these areas for Arms Control Today. Kelsey joined the Arms Control Association in August 2011 as the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow. Previously, Kelsey worked for a think tank in Jerusalem researching regional security issues and track II diplomatic negotiations. She holds a masters degree in peace studies from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and a BA in international studies and political science from Butler University. She is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the Board of Directors for the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship.

Amir Handjani is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. He is currently president of PG International Commodity Trading Services, a leading importer of agro-commodities such as corn, wheat, sugar, feed grain and vegetable oil. Amir is also a Director of RAK Petroleum Public Company Limited, an exploration and production company listed on the Oslo exchange, and serves as a senior advisor to Karv Communications, a crisis communications and public relations firm in New York. A Truman National Security fellow, Amir focuses on Iran-US relations, the Iran nuclear deal, the Persian Gulf, and Middle East security more broadly. He has published extensively in Reuters, Bloomberg View, The Hill, The National Interest and Al Jazeera. He began his legal career as United States Department of Justice Honors Law Graduate, where he served as an associate chief council in the Department of Justice. Amir is fluent in English, Farsi and Turkish. He is a graduate of Boston College and Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts."

Ambassador Laura S. H. Holgate is a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University and served as US Representative to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency from July 11, 2016 to January 20, 2017. In this role, Ambassador Holgate advanced President Barack Obama’s commitment to design and implement global approaches to reduce global threats and seize global opportunities in the areas of nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear security, verification of the Iran Deal, nuclear testing, counterterrorism, anti-corruption, drug policy, export control and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.  She also promoted gender balance in the staff and programming of the Vienna-based international organizations. Ambassador Holgate was previously the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction on the National Security Council. She was also the US Sherpa to the Nuclear Security Summits and co-led the effort to advance the President’s Global Health Security Agenda.

Christopher A. Kojm re-joined the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Fall 2014 as Visiting Professor of the Practice of International Affairs after serving as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 2009 to 2014.  He was previously the Elliott School’s director of the mid-career MIPP program from 2008 to 2009 as well as the director of the US Foreign Policy Summer Program from 2007 to 2008.  He also taught at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School (2004-07) and at Georgetown University (2005). In government, Chris served as a staffer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee from 1984-98 under Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, as a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1998-2003), and as deputy director of the 9/11 Commission (2003-04).  He was also president of the 9/11 Public Discourse Project, the Commission’s follow-on public education organization (2004-05).  He also served as a Senior Advisor to the Iraq Study Group (2006). He received a master’s degree in Public Affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School in 1979.

Reza Marashi joined the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) in 2010 as the organization’s first Research Director.  He came to NIAC after serving in the Office of Iranian Affairs at the US Department of State.  Prior to his tenure at the State Department, he was an analyst at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) covering China-Middle East issues, and a Tehran-based private strategic consultant on Iranian political and economic risk. Marashi is frequently consulted by Western governments on Iran-related matters.  His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic, among other publications. He has been a guest contributor to CNN, NPR, the BBC, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, among other broadcast outlets.  Follow Reza on Twitter: @rezamarashi

Suzanne Maloney is deputy director of the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution and a senior fellow in the Brookings Center for Middle East Policy and Energy Security and Climate Initiative, where her research focuses on Iran and Persian Gulf energy. She is the editor of Markaz, a blog on politics in and policy toward the Middle East published by the Brookings Institution. Her books include the 2008 monograph "Iran's Long Reach" (United States Institute of Peace, 2008) as well as "Iran's Political Economy since the Revolution," published in August 2015 by Cambridge University Press. Her Brookings Essay, "Iran Surprises Itself And The World," was released in September 2013, and she has also published articles in a variety of academic and policy journals. Maloney previously served as an external advisor to senior State Department officials on long-term issues related to Iran. Before joining Brookings, she served on the secretary of State's policy planning staff, as Middle East advisor for ExxonMobil Corporation, and director of the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on U.S. policy toward Iran, chaired by the late former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. She holds a doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Ladane Nasseri is the senior Iran correspondent for Bloomberg News and leads the Iran team’s news coverage. Based in Tehran from 2005 until 2011, Ladane has covered the country under three successive Iranian presidents and throughout an era of sanctions, nuclear negotiations and post-sanctions recovery. Working out of Bloomberg’s Middle East headquarters in Dubai, Ladane focuses on Iranian politics, economy and society reporting on a range of topics such as entrepreneurship, environmental challenges, domestic developments and foreign policy. She travels regularly back to Iran for reporting assignments and to interview top officials. Ladane has been a participant or moderator at Iran-related events such as the Europe-Iran Forum that aims to foster closer ties between European and Iranian business leaders in addition to other forums, which have brought together Iranian entrepreneurs and influencers from across the globe. Prior to reporting for Bloomberg, Ladane was a contributor to Newsweek, Liberation, the Daily Telegraph, La Presse and WNYC-New York Public Radio. Ladane has a Masters in international relations from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Ambassador Thomas Pickering served more than four decades as a U.S. diplomat. He last served as under secretary of state for political affairs, the third highest post in the U.S. State Department. Pickering also served as ambassador to the United Nations, the Russian Federation, India, Israel, and Jordan, and holds the personal rank of Career Ambassador.

Elizabeth Rosenberg is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Energy, Economics and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. In this capacity, she publishes and speaks on the national security and foreign policy implications of energy market shifts and the use of sanctions and economic statecraft. She has testified before Congress on energy and financial issues and been quoted widely by leading media outlets in the United States and Europe. From May 2009 through September 2013, she served as a Senior Advisor at the US Department of the Treasury, to the Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, and then to the Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. In these senior roles she helped to develop and implement financial and energy sanctions. Key initiatives she helped to oversee include the tightening of global sanctions on Iran, the launching of new, comprehensive sanctions against Libya and Syria and modification of Burma sanctions in step with normalization of diplomatic relations. She also helped to formulate anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing policy and oversee financial regulatory enforcement activities.  From 2005 to 2009 she was an energy policy correspondent at Argus Media in Washington D.C., analyzing US and Middle Eastern energy policy, regulation and trading. She received an MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University and a BA in Politics and Religion from Oberlin College.

Barbara Slavin is the Acting Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and Washington correspondent for, a website devoted to news from and about the Middle East. The author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation (2007), she is a regular commentator on US foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN. A career journalist, Slavin previously served as assistant managing editor for world and national security of the Washington Times, senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY, Cairo correspondent for the Economist, and as an editor at the New York Times Week in Review.