About the Author
Rebecca Hersman is the director of the Project on Nuclear Issues and senior adviser for the International Security Program. Ms. Hersman joined CSIS in April 2015 from the Department of Defense (DOD), where she served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for countering weapons of mass destruction (WMD) since 2009. In this capacity, she led DOD policy and strategy to prevent WMD proliferation and use, reduce and eliminate WMD risks and respond to WMD dangers. Ms. Hersman was a key leader on issues ranging from the nuclear security summit to the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons to the global health security agenda. She served as DOD’s principal policy advocate on issues pertaining to the Biological Weapons Convention, Chemical Weapons Convention, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. Prior to joining DOD, Ms. Hersman was a senior research fellow with the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University from 1998 to 2009. Her primary projects focused on the role of DOD in mitigating the effects of chemical and biological weapons attack, concepts and strategies for eliminating an adversary’s WMD programs, as well as proliferation issues facing the United States. Ms. Hersman also founded and directed the WMD Center’s Program for Emerging Leaders, an initiative designed to shape and support the next generation of leaders from across the U.S. government with interest in countering weapons of mass destruction. Ms. Hersman previously held positions as an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a special assistant to the undersecretary of defense for policy, and a member of the House Armed Services Committee professional staff. She holds an M.A. in Arab studies from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Duke University.
A note from Director Rebecca on all things PONI; building a community in a crisis.
Informed by research and eight tabletop exercises conducted with nearly 150 participants overall, this two-year study examines implications of the emerging strategic situational awareness ecosystem and its impact on crisis decisionmaking. Read the full report on the On the Radar website.
The European Trilateral Track 2 Nuclear Dialogues have convened senior nuclear policy experts from the United Kingdom, France, and the United States (P3) for the past eleven years to discuss nuclear deterrence, arms control, and nonproliferation policy issues and identify areas of consensus among the three countries.
Chemical weapons are back. Since 2012, the growing number and types of CW uses have increasingly challenged the anti-CW regime.
PONI congratulates Ambassador Linton Brooks on being awarded the John S. Foster Medal for his exceptional lifelong contributions to nuclear security.
As increasingly capable and provocative situational awareness tools come into play, the very act of improving situational awareness may intensify escalation cycles in unanticipated ways, particularly among nuclear-armed states.
As we survey the world today, we find the nuclear landscape to be more uncertain and precarious than it has been at any time since the end of the Cold War.
Eric Brewer joins as PONI Deputy Director and Fellow
We want to reconnect with you. If you’ve participated in PONI programming but have fallen out of touch, let us know.
Tackling the hard issues.