William Luers is an adjunct professor at Columbia University as well as the Director of The Iran Project, where he has worked with a dozen former senior US Government officials for nearly 16 years to promote a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff with Iran.  

From 1999 Ambassador Luers served as president of the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA), a position which he held for ten years.

In 1986 Ambassador Luers was named president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City and remained in the position until 1999.

Prior to his 1986 move to New York to head The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 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).

During his time in the US Foreign Service Luers also was a visiting lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, 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 a B.A. from Hamilton College and a 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.

He has spoken widely on foreign affairs, diplomacy, the UN, and the arts, and his articles have been 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, two stepchildren and ten grandchildren.