The National Defense University Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) invites you to join us on 17-18 June
for online Annual Symposium panels exploring how the convergence of geopolitics and emerging technology will shape today’s WMD issues.

While COVID-19 transmission mitigation measures will preclude execution of this year’s event on the National Defense University campus, portions of the planned 2020 symposium agenda will be adapted to a webinar format accessible online to the government and non-government counter WMD community. (Message from the Center Director)

The symposium, “WMD 2020: Great Power Competition and Technology Challenges,” takes stock of the new imperatives driving defense planning. The emergence of great power competition comes at a time of rapid and globally-distributed technological innovation that increasingly shapes the strategic and operational threat environment. For those in the security community focused on WMD threats, the nexus of great power competition and dynamic new technologies is generating a shifting landscape of risk. The symposium seeks to promote a better understanding of this landscape by bringing together the perspectives of policy, operational, and technology experts, as well as senior leaders from the United States and its allies and partners.

As we kick-off our series of virtual 2020 symposium events on 17-18 June, please join us in exploring how the convergence of geopolitics and emerging technology will shape WMD issues such as: Great Power Nuclear Competition, Chemical Warfare Threats in Great Power Competition, Biotechnology and Defense Innovation, and Disinformation and WMD.

All online symposium content will be UNCLASSIFIED.
Symposium Agenda print friendly
DAY ONE – Wednesday, 17 June
1030–1200 (EDT) Great Power Nuclear Competition

Ms. Elaine Bunn, Expert Consultant, Center for the Study of WMD, National Defense University (Chair)

Mr. Paul Bernstein, Distinguished Policy Fellow, Center for the Study of WMD, National Defense University, “Prospects for U.S.-Russia nuclear competition” (Confirmed)

Dr. M. Taylor Fravel, Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science and Director, Security Studies Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “Prospects for U.S.-Russia nuclear competition” (Confirmed)

Mr. Bruce Sugden, Research Analyst, Institute for Defense Analyses, “Great power nuclear competition: a framework for analysis” (Confirmed)

Dr. Scott Sagan, Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science, Stanford University (Discussant) (Confirmed)

1300–1430 (EDT) Chemical Warfare Threats in Great Power Competition

AMB. Robert Mikulak, Expert Consultant, Center for the Study of WMD, National Defense University (Chair)

Ms. Amanda Moodie, Policy Fellow, Center for the Study of WMD, National Defense University, “The role of regulatory regimes in maintaining norms of non-use” (Confirmed)

Dr. Jonathan E. Forman, Science and Technology Advisor, Global Security Technology and Policy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, “New and novel chemical warfare-related technologies and the challenges they pose” (Confirmed)

Mr. Richard J. Beedham, FRSB, Visiting Fellow, Cranfield University, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom “Non-traditional use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes” (Confirmed)

DAY TWO – Thursday, 18 June
1030–1200 (EDT) Biotechnology and Defense Innovation

Dr. Diane DiEuliis, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for the Study of WMD, National Defense University (Chair)

Dr. Michelle Rozo, Assistant Director for Biotechnology, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, “Defense Department research, development, and prototyping of biotechnology” (Confirmed)

Dr. Kavita Berger, Principal Scientist, Gryphon Scientific, “Great Power Competition in biotechnology – focus on China” (Confirmed)

Dr. Thomas M. Connelly, Jr., Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, American Chemical Society, “Safeguarding the bioeconomy” (Confirmed)

1300–1430 (EDT) Disinformation and WMD

Ms. Sarah Jacobs Gamberini, Policy Fellow, Center for the Study of WMD, National Defense University (Chair)

Ms. Laura Rosenberger, Senior Fellow and Director, Alliance for Securing Democracy, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, “Disinformation and influence operations” (Confirmed)

Mr. Joby Warrick, National Security Reporter, The Washington Post, “Disinformation and Novichok use in the United Kingdom” (Confirmed)

Ms. Rebecca Hersman, Director, Project on Nuclear Issues, Senior Adviser, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, “Disinformation and Syrian chemical weapons use” (Confirmed)