PONI 2019 Summer Conference

Join us at Sandia National Laboratories for our Summer Conference.

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Join us for the first conference in our 2019 PONI Conference Series. We are partnering with Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM for this year’s PONI Summer 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 July 9th & 10th. The first day will feature presentations on a range of nuclear security issues, a lunch keynote, and a reception and dinner keynote at the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History.  Our second day will include a simulated war game exercise and tour of Sandia’s facilities. The full conference agenda is forthcoming, but we encourage you to register today.

We have a hotel block at the Sheraton Albuquerque Upton 2600 Louisiana Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM 87110. If you would like to stay at the same hotel as the PONI team you can contact the hotel for individual reservations at 505-830-5781 or 1-800-252-7772 or click here. Additionally, we will provide transportation to and from the lab from the Sheraton

Due to lab access foreign nationals will require additional information for processing for base approval. Registering for the conference does not imply approval, but will need to be completed prior to June 3, 2019. 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

Registration is now closed


2019 PONI Summer Conference Agenda

Sandia National Laboratories

 July 9-10, 2019


Conference Hotel:                                         Conference Location:

Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown                      Center for Global Security and Cooperation

2600 Louisiana Boulevard NE                       10600 Research Road

Albuquerque, NM, 87110                               Albuquerque, NM, 87123


Day One: Tuesday, July 9

 8:00     Shuttle Departs from Hotel to Sandia

 8:20     Conference Check-in and Breakfast

Badging and Registration

 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

Dori Ellis, Director, Deputy Laboratories Director, Sandia National Laboratories

9:45     Strategic Stability 

Panel Moderator: Jacquelyn Schneider, Assistant Professor, Naval War College

Standoff Over the LRSO: Assessing the long-range stand-off missile’s impact on strategic stability

Brandon Heimer, Senior Member, Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories

 Conceptualizing Quantum Technologies: Strategic Stability and Nuclear Implications

Jamie Withorne, Research Assistant, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

A Deterrence Stability Framework for the Evaluation of New Technologies

Steven Horowitz, Nuclear Engineer, International Nuclear Security Engineering Department, Sandia National Laboratories

What’s Wrong with Building Confidence?: Multilateralizing Strategic Stability Using Both Arms Control and Deterrence Theory

Alexandra Neenan, Defense Policy Analyst, Systems Planning and Analysis

11:15   Break

11:30   To Infinity and Beyond: Nuclear Threats in Space

            Panel Moderator: Jeffrey Mercier, Senior Manager, Weaponization and Mission Science Department, Sandia National Laboratories

Solving the Space Security Dilemma

Becca Arbacher, Consultant, Booze Allen Hamilton

 Conflict on the Final Frontier: The Weaponization of Space and American Doctrinal, Strategic, and Organizational Policy

Julia Ciocca, Student, University of Pennsylvania

21st Century Machine Learning and Nuclear Command, Control, and Communication

Lesley Kucharski, Nuclear Associate, Technology for Global Security

Alexa Wehsener, Nuclear Associate, Technology for Global Security

1:00     Lunch & Keynote

Mike Burns, National Security Programs Associate Labs Director, Sandia National Laboratories

3:10     Proliferation Concerns 

Panel Moderator: To be Determined

Vertical Proliferation in light of the Disarmament Commitment

Dr. Katarzyna Kubiak, Policy Fellow, European Leadership Network

South Korean Attitudes Toward Acquiring a South Korean Nuclear Weapon: To Deter the North or to Deter the United States

Taylor Hone, Student, BYU Kennedy Center, Brigham Young University

 Surrogate-Based Mutual Information Approximation and Optimization

Andrew Hollis, PhD Candidate, North Carolina State University

Preliminary Results from a Comparative Analysis of Counterintelligence and Insider Threat in Nuclear Facilities

Noelle Camp, Graduate Intern, Center for Global Security and Cooperation, Sandia National Laboratories

4:45     Closing Remarks  

5:00     Reception at The National museum of Nuclear Science & History

6:00     Dinner & Keynote

Annette Totten, Director of the National Counterproliferation Center (NCPC)

8:00     End of Day One/Shuttle Returns to Hotel


Day Two: Wednesday, July 10

7:30     Shuttle Departs from Hotel to Sandia  

8:00     Simulated War Game (Entire Group Briefing)

            Facilitated by Jacquelyn Schneider, U.S. Naval War College

 An International Crisis War Game to understand the impact of cyber operations on international stability while exploring the relationship between new technologies, domestic politics, conventional military capabilities, and nuclear threats. The game integrates mid to senior level decision-makers from private industry, intelligence, military, and government from all over the world to examine how Cold War paradigms of deterrence and crisis escalation apply in a world with new capabilities and vulnerabilities.

8:30     Break out into Small Groups

8:35     Scenario 1

(Review Injects, Select Roles, Complete Response Plan, Survey – 75 minutes)

9:50     Break

10:05   Scenario 2

(Briefing, Response Plan, Survey – 60 minutes)

11:10   Final plenary

11:40   Lunch

12:30   Meet at Buses for Tours       

1:00     Tours

4:30     End of Conference, Shuttle Departs for Hotel


This event is made possible by support from Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Department of Defense, Air Force Global Strike Command, and Northrop Grumman.

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