CSIS President and CEO John Hamre held a Q&A with Dr. Siegfried Hecker about Hecker’s new two-volume set, Doomed to Cooperate: How American and Russian scientists joined forces to avert some of the greatest post-Cold War nuclear dangers.

About Doomed to Cooperate

An account edited by Siegfried Hecker, Doomed to Cooperate tells the story of the collaboration through the words of American and Russian scientists who traveled to each other’s nuclear complexes to work together within the individual bounds of nuclear secrecy. The content reveals not only the scientific endeavors and benefits but also the intensity, emotion, friendships, and sometimes humor that resulted. Published in a two-volume set, Doomed to Cooperate is a reading experience.

About Siegfried Hecker

Siegfried S. Hecker is a professor (research) in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). He was co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) from 2007-2012. From 1986 to 1997, Dr. Hecker served as the fifth Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Dr. Hecker is an internationally recognized expert in plutonium science, global threat reduction, and nuclear security.

Dr. Hecker’s current research interests include plutonium science, nuclear weapons policy, nuclear security, and the safe and secure expansion of nuclear energy. Over the past 25 years, he has fostered cooperation with the Russian nuclear laboratories to secure and safeguard the vast stockpile of ex-Soviet fissile materials. He has just released Doomed to Cooperate, a two-volume compendium of Russian and American laboratory-to-laboratory post-Cold War nuclear cooperation.

Dr. Hecker’s research at CISAC focus on reducing the global risks of nuclear weapons, nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. In addition to his work with Russia, he works closely with the Chinese nuclear enterprise and addresses the nuclear challenges posed by India, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran.

Dr. Hecker joined Los Alamos National Laboratory as graduate research assistant and postdoctoral fellow before returning as technical staff member following a tenure at General Motors Research. He led the laboratory’s Materials Science and Technology Division and Center for Materials Science before serving as laboratory director from 1986 through 1997, and senior fellow until July 2005.

Among his professional distinctions, Dr. Hecker is a member of the National Academy of Engineering; foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences; fellow of the TMS, or Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials Society; fellow of the American Society for Metals; fellow of the American Physical Society, honorary member of the American Ceramics Society; and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

His achievements have been recognized with the Presidential Enrico Fermi Award, the American Physical Society’s Leo Szilard Prize, the American Nuclear Society’s Seaborg Medal, the Department of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Award, the Los Alamos National Laboratory Medal, among other awards including the Alumni Association Gold Medal and the Undergraduate Distinguished Alumni Award from Case Western Reserve University, where he earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in metallurgy.