PONI 2019 Fall Conference

Join us as Kings Bay Naval Base for our Fall Conference. The conference includes presentations by emerging voices on a range of nuclear issues, keynotes, a table top exercise on emerging technology, and tours.

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We are partnering with Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, GA  for this year’s PONI Fall Conference.

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.

The conference will be October 16th & 17th. The first day will feature presentations on a range of nuclear security issues, a reception, and dinner keynote by Vice Admiral Charles Richard.  Our second day will include a table top exercise produced and facilitated by the PONI team. The exercise explores the impact of emerging technology on situational awareness and nuclear risk.

We have a hotel block at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Kingsland. If you would like to stay at the same hotel as the PONI team you can contact the hotel for individual reservations at 912-576-1010 or click here. Last day to book a reservation with our room block rate is October 6, 2019.

Due to base access all registrants must complete a base access pass that will require processing for base approval. Registering for the conference does not imply approval. After you complete the registration form below, you will be emailed the base access pass that must be completed and returned to complete your registration. You will receive a final confirmation email once you are approved for the base. If you have any questions you can reach out to Simone Williams at swilliams@csis.org.

All comments made at the conference are off-the-record.




2019 PONI Fall Conference Agenda

Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base

 October 16-17, 2019

Conference Hotel:                                      Conference Location:

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott                 950 US James Madison Road

1319 E King Avenue                                     Building 1039

Kingsland, GA, 31548                                   Kings Bay, GA, 31558

Day One: Wednesday, October 16

 8:30     Conference Check-in and Breakfast

 9:00     Conference Welcome

Rebecca Hersman, Director, Project on Nuclear Issues and Senior Adviser, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

9:15     Opening Remarks

Rear Admiral John Spencer, Director, Nuclear Enterprise Directorate (NE), Defense Threat Reduction Agency

9:45     The Impact of New Technology

Panel Moderator: Andrew Reddie, U.C. Berkeley

Emerging microfluidics Technology and its Implications for Nuclear Weapons

Cyrus Jabbari, Masters Candidate, the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies 

The Fast-Changing Undersea Domain: Advances in Underwater Drone & Counter Drone Technology

Sylvia Mishra, George Mason University

Space Threats: The Development and Dissemination of Counterspace Weapons

Kaitlyn Johnson, Associate Fellow and Associate Director, Aerospace Security Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies 

Cybersecurity Risks to Missile Defense in Northeast Asia

Garrett Hinck, Research Assistant, Nuclear Policy Program and Cyber Policy Initiative, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

11:15   Break

11:30   Proliferation Concerns

            Panel Moderator: Rebekah Caruso, Senior Policy Analyst, DOE/NNSA Office of Counterterrorism and Counter Proliferation

The Heterogeneous Effect of Global Nonproliferation Policies

Cheyenne Tretter, Student, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Assessing the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism: An Actor-Centric and Demand-Focused Framework

Vivian Hagerty, Consultant, Valens Global

Madeline Dement, Research Fellow, Valens Global

U.S.-Czech Missile Defense Cooperation: Alliance Politics in Action

Michaela Dodge, Research Scholar, National Institute for Public Policy

1:00     Lunch

 3:10     Great Power Competition and Nuclear Risk

Panel Moderator: Dr. Rian Bahran, Department of Defense

Rare Earth Elements: A National Security Risk

Rosemarie Frost, Policy Analyst Associate, SAIC

Manipulate, Meddle, Mystify: Current Russian Activities Surrounding the CTBT and What the United States Can Do About It

William Heerdt, Research Assistant, Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

 Modernizing NATO’s Nuclear Posture to Sustain a Credible and Effective Deterrent Against Russian Aggression

Aaron Richards, Policy Analyst, SAIC

4:45     Closing Remarks  

5:00     Reception

6:00    Dinner Keynote.


8:00     End of Day One


Day Two: Thursday, October 17

8:00     Carnegie Situational Awareness and Strategic Stability Table Top Exercise

            Facilitated by PONI Team

Despite the generally accepted principle that expanded capabilities promote strategic stability, emerging technologies bring new risks that may lead to potentially destabilizing consequences. Given the lack of empirical data to address this dilemma, a series of tabletop-exercises (TTXs) are being conducted by PONI. The TTXs involve both senior and early-career nuclear experts in discussion-based seminars to explore the effects of emerging technologies in two fictional regional scenarios. The first addresses a political crisis in the Taiwan Straits precipitated by Chinese escalation in the region and focused on competition between near-peer adversaries. The second scenario explores a crisis on the Korean Peninsula. In both scenarios, participants will be divided into two teams—a technology team comprised of those with technical expertise within the public and private sector and a policy team comprised of former policymakers and academics. The technology team is tasked with presenting a series of technologies and their tactical uses to policymakers, who are tasked with presenting policy options to the U.S. President.

11:40   Lunch         

1:00     Tours

4:30     End of Conference


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