Suzanne DiMaggio is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East and Asia. She is one of the foremost experts and practitioners of diplomatic dialogues with countries that have limited or no official relations with the United States, especially Iran and North Korea. For nearly two decades, she has led these track 1.5 and track 2 conversations to help policymakers identify pathways for diplomatic progress on a range of issues, including regional security, nonproliferation, terrorism, and governance.
DiMaggio directs the U.S.-Iran Initiative, which is carried out through a combination of policy dialogue, research, and a series of private roundtables and public events, with the aim of exploring possible grounds for constructive engagement and generating diplomatic solutions to the issues that divide the two countries. The project’s centerpiece is a long-running dialogue that she established in 2002, which helped to provide the foundations for the secret talks between Iran and the Obama administration that led to the 2015 nuclear agreement.
She is currently directing a U.S.-DPRK dialogue that has included several visits to North Korea. 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, DiMaggio 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 Carnegie, DiMaggio was a senior fellow at New America (2014-2018), where she directed several high-level policy dialogues, including with Iran, North Korea, and China. She was the vice president of Global Policy Programs at the Asia Society (2007-2014), where she set the strategic direction for moving the Asia 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 United States of America (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.
DiMaggio is an associate senior fellow in the Disarmament, Arms Control, and Nonproliferation Program at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). She holds a BA from New York University and an MA from 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. She resides in NYC’s Greenwich Village with her husband, jazz bassist and composer Ben Allison, and daughter.