The 2019 class Mid-Career Cadre class is comprised of 33 members representing organizations in the government, military, national labs, nonprofits, private sector, and academia. More about the Mid-Career Cadre »
Dr. Naoko Aoki is a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the RAND Corporation for the 2018-2019 term. She is also a Research Associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland and an Adjunct Fellow at the Pacific Forum. She conducts research on security issues in the Asia-Pacific region with a focus on the North Korean nuclear problem.
She was formerly with Kyodo News, Japan’s largest news agency, reporting on the Japanese government from Tokyo before serving as a Beijing correspondent. She covered the Six Party Talks on North Korea’s denuclearization in Beijing and has visited North Korea 18 times. She holds a Ph.D. in international security policy from the University of Maryland, College Park and an M.A. in international relations and international economics from The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Dr. Rian Bahran is on a multi-year assignment from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) serving as as a Senior Science & Policy Adviser at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. He started his career at LANL as a postdoc in the Weapons Physics Division. He went on to lead R&D/training efforts in the Advanced Nuclear Technology Group within the Los Alamos Global Security programs tackling challenges related to the nuclear deterrent, safety and security, nonproliferation, and countering weapons of mass destruction. Dr. Bahran received a PhD in Nuclear Engineering and Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) based on research in collaboration with the U.S. Naval Reactors program. He also has a Dual BS in Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics from the same university. He has published 75+ peer-reviewed journal and conference technical publications and is the recipient of various national awards. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico; adjunct faculty at RPI; and a Fellow of the MIT Seminar XXI national security program. He also serves as an Editor for the Journal of Nuclear Materials Management.
Mark Bell is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota. His research examines issues relating to nuclear weapons and proliferation, international relations theory, and US and British foreign policy. His work has been published or is forthcoming in a range of academic journals, including International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Texas National Security Review, Defence Studies, and has been funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation and Tobin Project, among others. He holds a Ph.D in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow, and a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from St. Anne’s College, Oxford University.
Bio coming soon.
Dr. Molly Berkemeier is an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia’s School for Public and International Affairs. Her research covers the areas of nuclear politics, international security, and the role of leaders in international politics. Dr. Berkemeier’s dissertation and ongoing book project examines the role of relationships between leaders in international politics in the three contexts of nuclear cooperation agreements, nuclear proliferation under extended deterrence, and alliance formation. Dr. Berkemeier’s work has been published in Research & Politics and in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. She is currently working on both independent and collaborative research projects on nuclear cooperation, alliance relationships, nuclear deterrence, nuclear latency and counterproliferation, non-state actors and the nonproliferation regime, and the geographic causes of ecological terrorism. Dr. Berkemeier’s teaching focuses on international relations and nuclear politics. Dr. Berkemeier completed her PhD in Political Science at Texas A&M University in 2019 and previously completed a MA in Nonproliferation and International Security ay King’s College, London (with distinction) and a BA in Political Science at the University of Chicago (with honors). Dr. Berkemeier is also a former CSIS PONI Nuclear Scholar and a Bridging the Gap New Era alumna.
Jesse J Bland is a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the Global Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation Organization at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). During his 10-year career supporting SNL, Jesse has performed a variety of nuclear and radioactive materials work, including hands-on processing, mathematical characterization, and nuclear material safeguards. Jesse’s expertise is in nuclear material safeguards, radiological sabotage analysis and Design Basis Threat implementation with emphasis on asset characterization and special nuclear material risk analysis. In Jesse’s current role in the Global Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation Organization he works in both domestic and international nuclear safeguards and radiological security performing engineering analysis of complex systems, developing novel radiation detection technologies and engaging with partner states worldwide to enhance global security. Jesse earned his bachelor’s from the University of New Mexico and a Masters of Engineering Management from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
Dr. Staci Brown first joined the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) as a NNSA Graduate Fellow (NGF) in the Class of 2014-2015 working in the Office of Research & Development (NA-113) supporting multiple initiatives within the Science Portfolio. True to the mission of NGF program, Staci launched her fellowship into a full-time career with the NNSA. This allowed herto help foster future leaders and promote professional development across the technical and policy realm. Upon completion of her doctoral degree in physics, she joined NNSA as a Federal Staff Member supporting NA-113 as the Program Manager for the Dynamic Materials Properties program. In addition to this position she was tasked with providing collaborative support to the Stewardship Science Academic Programs. She was also the federal program lead for Matter Radiation Interactions in Extremes construction project to develop a capability for the time-dependent study of materials behavior at the mesoscale. In her current capacity, Dr. Brown serves as the Defense Programs Liaison to the Office of Nuclear Matters at the Department of Defense.
Bio coming soon.
Rebekah Caruso is a Senior Policy Analyst within the Nuclear Incident Response Policy program of the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation (CTCP). She has experience across the United States Government chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threat enterprise. Rebekah has participated in extensive strategic and operational planning with a wide range of Federal, State, and Local partners focused on ensuring domestic nuclear security, resiliency, and consequence management in the case of an event. Rebekah is a U.S. Navy veteran, and a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Elana DeLozier is a Research Fellow in the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at the Washington institute for Near East Policy, where she specializes in nuclear weapons and proliferation, counterterrorism, and Gulf politics, particularly in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. She has spent seven years in the Middle East in both the Levant and the Gulf, where she worked as a political analyst and spearheaded training programs for new analysts. She has taught graduate courses on nuclear proliferation, Gulf politics, and counterterrorism at New York University in New York City and at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi. From 2006-2010, she served as the right hand to the commissioner of the NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau as well as an intelligence analyst on nuclear issues and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. She started her career at the Brookings Institution.
Major Jonathan Fagins is currently a candidate for an MS degree in Defense Analysis at Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey California. He has commanded US Army Special Forces Detachments in Afghanistan and deployed to Iraq, Syria, Niger and Burkina Faso, Africa. He has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from United States Naval Academy in August 2001. Major Fagins has served in various platforms in the interagency environment. Major Fagins also served in the Surface Warfare Community as a Cryptologic Maintenance Officer on board the USS Port Royal while deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM. Major Fagins operational assignments include: the SOF Liaison to French SOF ISO OPERATION JUNIPER SHIELD in Mali and assignment to 3rd Special Forces Group where he served as Detachment Commander on a Operational Detachment-Alpha, Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. His past staff assignments include: Aide-de-Camp to the Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA) Commanding General, Niger Special Operations Force Element OIC at the US Embassy, Niamey Niger under Special Operations Command Forward – West Africa (SOCFWD-WE), SOCAFRICA and U.S. AFRICOM Crisis Response Force Liaison. His most recent assignment was at 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), Ft. Bragg, NC were he served as G3 (Operations) Assistant and G37 Deputy Training.
Madeleine Foley is a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control where she covers nuclear fuel cycle and nonproliferation issues. Madeleine leads the development and implementation of U.S. priorities for NNSA in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and in the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Madeleine oversees a research program focused on technologies of concern, challenges to U.S. nonproliferation objectives rooted in competitive supply practices, and a globalized nuclear supply chain. Prior to coming to NNSA, Madeleine served as the Nuclear Policy Program Coordinator at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She holds an M.A. from Georgetown University in Security Studies and a B.A. from the George Washington University in International Relations
Lieutenant Joseph Frank is a Deputy Team Chief for the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in the On-Site Inspection and Building Capacity Directorate of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, where he assists in leading teams in conducting New START Treaty inspections of Russian Federation strategic nuclear forces. Joseph served aboard guided missile submarines prior to arriving at DTRA. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Paige Gasser is a Nonproliferation Analyst at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Her work focuses on conducting all-source research and analysis related to the nonproliferation of WMD, delivery systems, and related materials. Previously, Paige was a Research Associate at LLNL’s Center for Global Security Research (CGSR), where she supported work in the future of long term competitive strategies and the impact of disruptive technologies on strategic stability. Paige holds a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where her research interests included Russian and Chinese defense policies, illicit trafficking of fissile material, and the future of U.S.-Russian arms control. She was a former Fulbright scholar in Bulgaria and holds a B.S. in Social Sciences and Global Politics from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Major Jeff Graham began his career in the United States Air Force immediately following his graduation from the California Institute of Technology in 2007, with an assignment to the rocket propulsion laboratory at Edwards AFB, CA, and from which he undertook a six-month deployment in support of Defense Contract Management Agency’s Central Iraq division at Victory Base Complex, Baghdad. Following redeployment, he began work as a project manager and team lead conducting R&D for technical intelligence assets at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. He was subsequently assigned to Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Ft Belvoir, VA, where he served as the Deputy Chair of the Use Control Project Officer’s Group, coordinating long-term plans for increased nuclear weapon safety and security, and as a program manager supporting counterproliferation technology development. He is currently assigned to UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering PhD program as a part of the Air Force Academy Faculty Pipeline program.
Bio coming soon.
Tim Havard is a chief engineer with 11 years’ experience ranging from structural analysis to chief engineering and program management primarily in the field of strategic missiles. Tim received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2008 and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from USCD in 2009. He spent the first years of his carrier performing non-linear structural analysis and nuclear environments analysis on reentry vehicles and missile structures. Tim then shifted to responsible engineer, project management, and program management roles for various missile and missile support equipment programs as well as directed energy and small satellite programs. The national importance, systems engineering complexity, and technical difficulty of large strategic weapon systems pulled him back to technical roles where he currently works as a chief engineer. Tim lives in Southern California with his wife and four children (ages 7, 5, 3, 1).
Karim Kamel is a program analyst with the Corporation’s International Peace & Security program, where he focuses on strengthening nuclear security. Before joining the Corporation in 2015, Mr. Kamel was a program associate at the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum of the Social Science Research Council. Prior to that, he worked as an external relations consultant at the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Mr. Kamel holds a Master of Arts in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at San Jose State University. He also attended The American University in Cairo. Mr. Kamel currently sits on the steering committee of the Middle East Next Generation of Arms Control Specialists Network.
Anthony Mascaro is a B-2 Stealth Bomber Instructor Pilot and the Flight Commander of Training, Standardization and Evaluation for the 393rd Bomb Squadron at Whiteman AFB, MO. Captain Mascaro graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a minor in Chinese Language. His senior thesis on building strategic trust in the US-China relationship was published by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in the summer of 2010. After graduating, he attended Pilot Training at Columbus AFB, MS. Following pilot training, he served as a B-52 Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot in the 96th Bomb Squadron at Barksdale AFB, LA. Capt Mascaro transitioned to the B-2 in July 2016, and was a distinguished graduate of B-2 Initial Training. As a B-2 Instructor Pilot, Capt Mascaro trains and develops the pilots of the world’s only operational B-2 squadron. He has over 1,600 flying hours, including 360 hours in the B-2 and over 1100 hours in the B-52.
Nicholas L. Miller is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at Dartmouth College. Miller’s research focuses primarily on the causes and consequences of nuclear weapons proliferation. His book, Stopping the Bomb: The Sources and Effectiveness of U.S. Nonproliferation Policy, was published by Cornell University Press in 2018. His work has also been published in a variety of scholarly journals, including the American Political Science Review, International Organization, and International Security, and outlets like Foreign Affairs, Politico, Lawfare, and the Washington Post. Miller received his PhD in Political Science from MIT, where he remains a research affiliate of the Security Studies Program.
Dr. Caroline R. Milne is currently a research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, where she focuses on nuclear weapons policy and strategy issues for the Department of Defense. In 2017 Dr. Milne earned her Ph.D. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where her dissertation focused on the extent to which nuclear-armed adversaries accept conditions of mutual vulnerability as permanent. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Milne was a research assistant with the RAND Corporation, supporting work on nuclear force postures and more general defense strategy, planning, and acquisition issues. As a graduate student she returned to RAND for a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship, during which time she specialized in U.S. and Chinese perceptions of mutual nuclear vulnerability and strategic stability. Dr. Milne also holds an M.A. in science and security from the King’s College London Department of War Studies and a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Sylvia Mishra is a researcher at the Institute of International Science & Technology Policy, Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University. Her research focuses on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation, Southern Asian security and nuclear dynamics, U.S. policy in Indo-Pacific, and emerging and disruptive technologies. She was a 2019 India-US Fellow at New America, a Scoville Fellow at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Visiting fellow at CNS, a Project on Nuclear Issues Nuclear Scholar, and Carnegie New Leader at the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs. Mishra has also worked for the Observer Research Foundation and Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER)-Wadhwani Chair in India-U.S. Policy Studies. Mishra holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Hindu College, University of Delhi; a master of science in international relations from London School of Economics and Political Science; and a master of arts in nonproliferation and terrorism studies from Middlebury Institute of International Studies. This fall, she will be pursuing doctoral studies at the Department of Political Science, Schar School of Public Policy and Government, George Mason University.
Master Sergeant Francisco Montejano, PMP, is the Weapon System Surety Program Manager for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. He is a nuclear weapons maintenance technician by trade and has a variety of experience with reentry systems mounted atop ICBMs, gravity bombs, Use Control and Command Disablement Systems, and nuclear surety policy. Additionally, he spent 5 years overseas working with NATO allies in Turkey and Belgium. Day to day, Sergeant Montejano serves as the primary technical advisor to DTRA’s Nuclear Weapon System Safety Group voting member, advising on maintenance, logistics, transportation, storage, and safety. Currently, he is working on various projects related to the development of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, new Weapons Generation Facilities, and the Long Range Standoff missile. His work ensures that the nation’s weapons stockpile remains a safe, secure, and credible deterrent. Sergeant Montejano earned his undergraduate degree in Management Communication in 2011 and is working on his M.S. in Defense and Strategic Studies with an emphasis in countering WMD through Missouri State University. Sergeant Montejano entered the U.S. Air Force in 2002 and is the first enlisted member selected to PONI’s Mid-Career Cadre.
Bio coming soon.
Eduardo Padilla is a Principal Nuclear Engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, where he serves as the Program Lead for Arms Control Research and Development efforts. He is also currently a PhD candidate at the University of New Mexico, with a Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His background includes gamma/neutron radiation transport and detector response modeling, along with the design and fielding of radiation detection systems. Current research thrusts are the development of novel algorithms for arms control verification, and cross-disciplinary investigations of potential approaches to build trust in the safeguards and arms control regimes.
Adam Pearlman is the Senior Advisor for Legal Policy in the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism, where he advises the Bureau’s principals on policy developments with legal dimensions, including those related to nuclear and WMD terrorism. Formerly an Associate Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Mr. Pearlman served as agency counsel for complex national security cases in federal and military courts, and also handled fiscal and appropriations matters concerning operations and readiness, security cooperation, and proposed acquisition regulations. He previously held several positions in the Department of Justice, was a Law Clerk to Judge Royce Lamberth, and during law school interned in the White House Counsel’s Office. He is a Visiting Fellow at George Mason University’s National Security Institute and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Pearlman earned his B.A. from UCLA, his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, and a Master of Science of Strategic Intelligence degree from the National Intelligence University, where he was the inaugural recipient of the Judge Allan Kornblum Award for national security law. He earned a certificate in international human rights law at the University of Oxford and another in international anti-corruption law from American University’s Washington College of Law.
Andrew Reddie is a Ph.D. candidate in the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, where he studies international relations, nuclear policy, and arms control. He holds an M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University and M.A and B.A. (hons.) from the University of California, Berkeley. Andrew previously worked at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a member of the CSIS PONI Nuclear Scholar Class of 2018.
Dr. Sarah Shirazyan is a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School, where she designed Interpol-Stanford Policy Lab. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of national security law and public policy. She has previously been a MacArthur Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). Dr. Shirazyan has held posts with leading tech companies and international organizations. She worked on internet policy issues at Facebook; co-led the EU’s efforts to design data protection curriculum for European lawyers; clerked at the European Court of Human Rights; handled international drug cartel investigation cases at the Interpol; and worked on nuclear security issues at the U.N. She holds a Doctor of Juridical Sciences Degree from Stanford Law School. Her dissertation empirically analyzes the effectiveness of the UN Security Council Resolution 1540 in preventing terrorists from accessing Weapons of Mass Destruction. For her outstanding research, teaching and community service, Stanford named her as one of the recipients of Gerald J. Lieberman Award. Her work has been published in Journal of National Security Law & Policy (Georgetown), Arms Control Today and CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues.
Brandon Smith is a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) where he leads a team that develops multi-physics software for modeling, simulation, and analysis within the nation’s Stockpile Stewardship and Global Security programs. He is a core member of multiple activities related to international nuclear cooperation and has made significant contributions to the Advanced Simulation and Computing program recognized by Los Alamos Award Program Awards and Defense Programs Awards of Excellence. Smith earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has received formal education in nuclear weapons physics as a graduate of LANL’s Theoretical Institute for Thermonuclear and Nuclear Studies.
Bio coming soon.
Dr. Andrea Viski is the Director of the Strategic Trade Research Institute and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Strategic Trade Review, the leading journal dedicated to high-quality research and analysis on export controls and sanctions. She has extensive experience working with diverse organizations and stakeholders providing research, training, and project implementation. She holds a nonresident fellowship at the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade and Security (CITS) and teaches a Master’s level course on strategic trade at George Mason University. She previously worked for the European Commission’s Joint Research Center, contributing to the Nuclear Security Unit’s work on strategic trade controls as well as the European Union’s CBRN Centers of Excellence (CoE) initiative. She also worked in the Dual-Use and Arms Trade Control, as well as the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Programs at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). She has published extensively in the areas of strategic trade controls, nonproliferation, and international law. Dr. Viski received her PhD and an LL.M from the European University Institute, her M.A from Georgetown University’s Institute for Law, Science and Global Security, and her B.A in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Dr. Tracey-Ann Wellington is a Technical Staff Member in the National Security Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where she supports the implementation of global projects related to international security and nonproliferation. Prior to this position she was a Foreign Affairs Officer at the Department of State in the Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism (WMDT). In this role, Tracey provided technical expertise on the implementation of diplomatic, programmatic, and policy efforts related to pre- and post-detonation nuclear forensics and counter nuclear smuggling activities. Previously, Tracey served as a NNSA National Graduate Fellow in the Office of Nuclear Export Controls, where she provided analysis on proliferation concerns and conducted export license reviews for dual-use goods related to nuclear weapons and missile technologies. She holds a PhD in Energy Science and Engineering from the University of Tennessee.
David Zikusoka originally hails from Princeton Junction, NJ, but has spent most of the last ten years in Washington, DC. He recently graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School with a Master in Public Policy degree. Prior to starting his graduate studies, Dave was a Space Policy and Strategy Analysis contractor with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). He previously worked at OSD as a political appointee in the roles of Special Assistant for Battlespace Awareness and Special Assistant for Global Force Planning. Before working at the Pentagon, Dave served as Vice President Joe Biden’s Senior Advisor for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Non-proliferation and, earlier, as Special Assistant to the National Security Advisor to the Vice President. During his career in government, Dave has worked on everything from space warfare and Guantanamo transfers to nuclear weapons policy and artificial intelligence. Dave graduated from Harvard University in 2006 with an AB in History. In his free-time, he pretends at being a DJ, music blogger, chef, and cyclist.