Steven Pifer is director of the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at the Brookings Institution, where he also works on Ukraine and Russia questions. He frequently comments on these issues in the media, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Interest, among others. He is co-author of The Opportunity: Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Arms. A retired Foreign Service officer, his more than twenty-five years with the State Department included assignments as deputy assistant secretary of state with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine (2001–2004), ambassador to Ukraine (1998–2000), and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia on the National Security Council (1996–1997). He also served in Warsaw, Geneva, Moscow, and London.