The Alaska World Affairs Council Presents
Victor D. Comras
“Flawed Diplomacy: The United Nations & the War on Terrorism”
Friday, 1st April, 2011 – Hilton Hotel
Doors open at 11:30 a.m. – Program begins at 12:00 p.m.
RSVP by Wednesday, 30th March
to the Alaska World Affairs Council
by telephone 276-8038 or
by email to AlaskaWorldAffairs.org .
Lunch Program $20 for Members – $25 for Non-Members – $10 for Coffee Only
Mr. Comras is a leading expert on international sanctions and the global effort to combat terrorism. A seasoned career diplomat of the United States, he was chosen by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to serve as one of five international monitors overseeing the implementation of Security Council measures against terrorism (al Qaeda) and terrorism financing. During its short two-and-a-half year tenure, this controversial group pinpointed many of the most serious problems and deficiencies in the international application of counterterrorism measures. Comras frequently testifies before Congress on these issues and is a regular commentator on radio and television.
Mr. Comras served at the U.S. State Department (the U.S. foreign ministry) for 35 years until his retirement in 2001 with the permanent rank of Minister-Counselor. From 1992 to 2001, Mr. Comras held senior positions at the State Department dealing with strategic trade regulation and bilateral and international economic and financial issues. From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Comras was the chief U.S. architect of the international economic sanctions against Yugoslavia and directed U.S. efforts to ensure the effective international implementation and enforcement of these sanctions. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Mr. Comras as U.S. envoy to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. After serving in Macedonia, from1997 to 1998, Mr. Comras served as senior advisor to Undersecretary Eizenstat in the negotiations related to restitution for World War II (Holocaust) survivors and he helped negotiate major related agreements with several countries. Between 1999 and 2001, Mr. Comras served as Director for Canadian Affairs at the State Department, and subsequently as a Special Advisor to the Secretary of State, during which time, Secretary Albright appointed Mr. Comras to lead the development and implementation of the multilateral economic (mainly financial) sanctions imposed against Serbia in 1999; and Secretary Powell charged him to lead the U.S. initiative to re-energize economic sanctions against Iraq.
Mr. Comras’ other diplomatic assignments have included postings in South Africa, France, and Canada; and he has represented the United States before the European Union, the United Nations, the Council of Europe and COCOM. Mr. Comras began his legal career at the State Department as an attorney-advisor to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
Mr. Comras received his LLM from Harvard University in 1975 and his J.D. (with honors) from the University of Florida Law Center in 1966, where he was on the Law Review. Mr. Comras earned his B.S. from Georgetown University in 1964.