Biography

Chris Backemeyer
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iran
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Term of Appointment: 08/01/2016 to present

Chris Backemeyer currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iranian Affairs, in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, where he oversees the Department’s diplomatic efforts toward Iran. From 2015-16, Mr. Backemeyer served as the Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy. In this role he was responsible for coordinating the Department’s sanctions policy in order to most effectively use the tool to advance U.S. foreign policy interests. Mr. Backemeyer also represented the United States in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, where he served as the lead sanctions negotiator. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Backemeyer served as the Director for Iran on the National Security Council staff at the White House. In this role he was responsible for advising the President, National Security Advisor, and other White House officials on strategic priorities for Iran during a period of burgeoning diplomatic discussions over its nuclear program. Prior to his time at the White House, Mr. Backemeyer served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Sanctions Policy and Implementation at the State Department, where he was responsible for effectively implementing U.S. sanctions in a variety of areas. Prior to his service in government, Mr. Backemeyer worked in the banking sector where he focused on commercial financing of corporate and real estate transactions. Mr. Backemeyer is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He also holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California San Diego and Bachelor’s degrees in Finance and Political Science from Arizona State University.