A senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, Robert Alvarez served as senior policy adviser to the Energy Department's secretary and deputy assistant secretary for national security and the environment from 1993 to 1999. During this tenure, he led teams in North Korea to establish control of nuclear weapons materials. He also coordinated the Energy Department's nuclear material strategic planning and established the department's first asset management program. Before joining the Energy Department, Alvarez served for five years as a senior investigator for the US Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Sen. John Glenn, and as one of the Senate’s primary staff experts on the US nuclear weapons program. In 1975, Alvarez helped found and direct the Environmental Policy Institute, a respected national public interest organization. He also helped organize a successful lawsuit on behalf of the family of Karen Silkwood, a nuclear worker and active union member who was killed under mysterious circumstances in 1974. Alvarez has published articles in Science, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Technology Review, and The Washington Post. He has been featured in television programs such as NOVA and 60 Minutes.
Charles P. Blair is a Washington, DC-based university instructor, researcher, and writer specializing in terrorism and the history, technical underpinnings, and potential futures of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). As a visiting student in Moscow in 1985, Blair witnessed the final years of the Cold War and since then has worked on issues relating to globalization and the concomitant diffusion and diversification of WMD in the context of the rise of mass-casualty terrorism incidents. In addition to teaching graduate-level classes on terrorism and the technology of WMD at Johns Hopkins University and George Mason University, Blair is a columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Hugh Gusterson is a professor of anthropology and international affairs at George Washington University. His expertise is in nuclear culture, international security, and the anthropology of science. He has written two books on the culture of nuclear weapons scientists and antinuclear activists: Nuclear Rites: A Weapons Laboratory at the End of the Cold War (University of California Press, 1996) and People of the Bomb: Portraits of America's Nuclear Complex (University of Minnesota Press, 2004). Gusterson also co-edited Why America's Top Pundits Are Wrong (University of California Press, 2005) and its sequel, The Insecure American (University of California Press, 2009). He is currently writing a book on the polygraph. Previously, he taught at MIT's program on Science, Technology, and Society, and at George Mason's Cultural Studies program.
Siegfried Hecker is a senior fellow and affiliated faculty member at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also a research professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. He is director emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he served as director from 1986 to 1997 and as senior fellow until July 2005.
A general internist who began her career in health care as a registered nurse, Kahn works on the research staff of Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security. Her expertise is in public health, biodefense, and pandemics. From 2003-2005, she led a study that assessed the public health infrastructures of New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. She has also co-organized the Carnegie Corporation’s "Biodefense Challenge" seminar series, which introduces biosecurity, codes of conduct, and dual-use biotech threats to the life sciences community. Prior to joining Princeton, she was a managing physician for the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and a medical officer for the Food and Drug Administration.
A physicist trained at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Podvig works on the Russian nuclear arsenal, US-Russian relations, and nonproliferation. In 1995, he headed the Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces Research Project, editing the project’s eponymous book, which provides an overview of the Soviet and Russian strategic forces and the technical capabilities of Russia's strategic weapon systems. His blog, "Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces," updates this information in real time.
Suzuki is the vice chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) and a member of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs in Japan. The goal of this personal column is to inform the public with clearer information of what is happening in Japan. The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station continues to unfold, and these updates reflect what the understanding of the tragedy is at the time of publishing; the statements are likely to change as more information is understood. The views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the JAEC or the government.
The Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) brings together the experience of leading nonproliferation experts and nongovernmental organizations to support President Barack Obama's vision of "securing all nuclear weapon materials at vulnerable sites within four years." Specifically, working group members collaborate in a series of meetings to create consensus around fissile material control priorities, develop actionable policy proposals, and package recommendations for implementation by Obama administration officials. FMWG members who will contribute to this column include Irma Arguello, David Culp, Ingrid Drake, Rob Golan-Vilella, Li Hong, Kenneth Luongo, Michelle Cann, Rajiv Nayan, Miles Pomper, William Potter, Kingston Reif, Jennifer Smyser, Elena Sokova, Peter Stockton, Alexandra Toma, Paul Walker, Peter Wilk, and Sarah Williams.