William 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 in 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).
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. He speaks on foreign affairs, diplomacy, the UN, and the arts, and has been widely published on foreign policy issues.