Toni G. Verstandig, a member of the judges’ panel for the Prize on Prenatal Innovation, is currently the Chair of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board and the Executive Vice President at The S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. From November 1994 until January 2001, Ms. Verstandig served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department. In this capacity, she directed and coordinated U.S. bilateral relations and overall policy developments concerning Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority, as well as U.S. economic and commercial policies in the Middle East.
Ms. Verstandig worked directly with the Secretary of State and the Special Middle East Coordinator as a member of the Peace Team where she participated in bilateral and multilateral Middle East peace negotiations. She has a particular expertise in economic, civil affairs and water issues. She also chaired the bilateral Committees on Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. Prior to joining the Peace Team, Ms. Verstandig served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, where she coordinated the Bureau’s relations with the congress. In that capacity, she was also responsible for the development and management of U.S. bilateral relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen.
She also served for 17 years as senior staff to the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives where she specialized in international terrorism policy, aviation security issues and U.S. military assistance programs.
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 of the Center for Global Development. Ms. Verstandig is married, and they have one child.