Piccone served eight years as a senior foreign policy advisor in the Clinton administration, including on the National Security Council staff, at the State Department's Office of Policy Planning and the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. From 2001-2008, Piccone was the executive director and co-founder of the Democracy Coalition Project, a research and advocacy organization working to promote international cooperation for democracy and human rights globally. He was also the Washington office director for the Club of Madrid, an association of over 70 former heads of state and government engaged in efforts to strengthen democracy around the world, and continues as an advisor. Piccone served as counsel for the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador from 1992-1993, and as press secretary to U.S. Rep. Bob Edgar from 1985-1987.
Piccone has authored or edited multiple volumes and articles on foreign policy, Latin America and human rights. His latest book, Catalysts for Change: How the UN’s Independent Experts Promote Human Rights (Brookings Institution Press, 2012), analyzes the effectiveness of this system at the national level and recommends ways to strengthen it. His research currently focuses on the evolving role of five rising democracies in the global democracy and human rights order.
Piccone received a law degree from Columbia University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, and a B.A. in history magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.
Club of Madrid, advisor
Club of Madrid Foundation Inc., board member
International Forum for Democratic Studies, member, research council