Capstone Conference

Join us on May 3, 2022 for the in-person PONI Capstone Conference at Offutt AFB in Omaha, NE. Registration closes April 15.

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Hosted at STRATCOM in Omaha, NE, this event is the final conference in the 2021 PONI Conference Series. The conference will feature a keynote address from Adm. Charles Richard, Commander of STRATCOM and presentations from emerging nuclear experts covering topics such as nuclear policy and strategies, arms control and proliferation challenges, technology and capabilities, and deterrence.

The PONI Conference Series, is unique in its emphasis on featuring rising experts and young professionals in the nuclear field. The Conference Series draws emerging thought leaders from across the nuclear enterprise and policy community and provides them with a visible platform for sharing their new thinking on a range of nuclear issues.

Due to base access, all attendees must pre-register to attend and are subject to base approval. Registering for the conference does not imply approval.

PONI Capstone Conference Agenda 

Dougherty Conference Center at

Offutt Airforce Base

U.S. Strategic Command 

May 3, 2022


9:00     Conference Check-in and Breakfast 


9:30     Conference Welcome 


9:45     Panel 1: Arms Control and Strategic Stability Issues

 Lessons from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty negotiations: An East Asian Perspective

Sayaka Shingu

Cryptographic Data Exchange Methodology to Support Warhead Verification for a U.S.-Russian Arms Control Treaty 

Dan Zhukov

Autonomous Nuclear Weapons Systems: Ethics, International Law and Future Stability

Joshua West

China’s Expanding Nuclear Enterprise in the Context of Strategic Competition

MAJ Lorin Veigas


11:15   BREAK 


11:30   Panel 2: Nuclear Materials And Technology

Future Tritium Production: Does the U.S. Need to Reestablish Domestic Uranium Enrichment?

Dr. Courtney Ford Ryan

Thermal Hydraulics capability: Using validation studies to collaboratively increase understanding and reduce the cost of entry into nuclear design

Katherine Jarman

A Quiet Place: Assessing SSBN Vulnerability in the Arctic Ocean

Nicholas Blanchette

 Nuclear Cyberdefense in Practice: Creating Deterrence as far as Deterrence Can be Created

Gabriel Kelvin and Jacob Sebastian



1:00     Lunch & Keynote Discussion  

Dr. Mara Karlin, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, Plans, and Capabilities


2:30     Panel 3: Nuclear Issues and Opinions in Europe

Trident Demonstration and Shakedown Operation – A UK SSBN Crew Perspective

Christopher Stafford

Safeguarding Ukraine’s Disputed Territories: IAEA Safeguards and the Broader Conclusion in Ukraine

Kiley McCormick

Public Opinion on Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control in Russia

Anna Wagner

Millennials and Nuclear Weapons: Concerned or Complacent

Amelia Morgan


4:00     End of Presentation Panels 


4:15     Reception


5:30     Dinner & Keynote 

Admiral Charles Richard, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command 


7:15     End of Conference 

Hotel Information:

Courtyard Marriott Omaha Bellevue

At Beardmore Event Center

3730 Raynor Pkwy

Bellevue, NE 68123


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