Ms. Verstandig is Chair of the Aspen Institute's Middle East Programs and Senior Vice President at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. At Aspen she oversees the Secretariat for the recently launched Partners for New Beginning (PNB) which constitutes a group of distinguished American leaders who are committed to using their expertise, relationships and access to resources to build a collection of public-private partnerships which broaden and deepen engagement between the United States and local communities on issues of economic opportunity, science & technology, education, and exchange to help advance President Obama's Cairo vision. Aspen Middle East programs also include a dialogue with the UAE, a Lebanon program, the North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO), and the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership (UPP), which promotes economic opportunities for the Palestinian people through a public-private partnership, in order to support progress toward a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian people.
From November 1994 until January 2001, Ms. Verstandig served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs at the US Department of State. In this capacity, she directed and coordinated U.S. bilateral relations and overall policy development concerning Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, as well as U.S. economic and commercial policies in the Middle East. Ms. Verstandig also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula. She chaired the bilateral Committees on Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
Ms. Verstandig is a graduate of Boston University and Stephens College, and also holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Seton Hill College. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She serves on the Board and Executive Committee of Children's National Medical Center, the Board of the University of Denver Korbel School for International Affairs, the National Advisory Board for the Catholic Center for the Study of the Holocaust, the Board of Trustees of the American Friends of the Yitzhak Rabin Center, and that of the Center for Global Development. Ms. Verstandig is married, and they have one child.