Mid-Career Cadre

The PONI Mid-Career Cadre is a select group of nuclear professionals that have been in the field for 7 or more years and demonstrate particular promise for developing expertise and moving into leadership positions. Mid-career members come from technical, policy, and military backgrounds. Upon selection, Cadre members participate for three-year terms.

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PONI created the cadre to continue to engage with professionals beyond the nascent stage of their careers and to provide them with educational and developmental opportunities. Activities for the cadre include international exchanges, engagements with senior experts, multilateral dialogues, and opportunities to mentor young professionals in PONI’s other programs. Mid-career events occur on a monthly basis.


Application Information 

Applications are closed for the Mid-Career Cadre Class of 2024. They will open for the Class of 2025 in May 2025. To register your interest and sign up to be notified when we are accepting applications, please fill out this form.

The Mid-Career Cadre is a select group of nuclear professionals that have been in the field for 7 or more years and demonstrate promise for moving into leadership positions or bringing new ideas and perspectives to the field. Cadre members come from technical, policy, academic, and military backgrounds. 

Please reach out to Libby Kos at ekos@csis.org with any questions.


Nuclear professionals with seven or more years of experience in the field are welcome to apply. PONI is committed to including a diverse group of experts from different backgrounds and countries in our work.

For the time being, given resource constraints, the Mid-Career Cadre is open to U.S. citizens and a limited number of international partners. Additionally, while PONI does its best to ensure that all Cadre members are able to participate in the full range of Mid-Career programming, we cannot guarantee that foreign nationals will be granted access to all facilities where Mid-Career activities take place.

Opportunities for engagement:

International Exchanges

PONI works with its international partners to organize various week-long international exchanges. In the fall of 2023, we hosted a U.S.-UK Exchange in Washington, DC, which included several roundtables at CSIS, along with visits to the Department of State and Department of Defense. We also hosted a “New England Exchange” in the summer of 2023, which included trips to General Dynamics Electric Boat facilities at Quonset Point, RI and Groton, CT, as well as General Dynamics Mission Systems in Pittsfield, MA. Previous exchanges have involved traveling to international organizations in Vienna, dialogues with French mid-career professionals and tours of the sea-borne component of the French deterrent, a tour of the UK nuclear deterrent, a visit to the Nevada test site, and discussions on nuclear policy at NATO HQ.

Engagements with Senior Leaders

PONI hosts monthly private roundtables to bring the Cadre together with senior officials and leading experts to engage in in-depth discussions on a range of nuclear issues. Recent roundtables have featured Assistant Secretary Mallory Stewart, Deputy Administrator Corey Hinderstein, NSC Senior Director Pranay Vaddi, and more.

Deep Dive Workshops 

Deep Dive workshops bring together a diverse group of 20-30 participants to participate in collaborative research and develop recommendations relating to one key question in the nuclear field whose solution requires innovative and interdisciplinary approaches. Recent and upcoming deep dive topics include the U.S. tritium stockpile, the future of nuclear command and control, allied proliferation, and strategic stability in the Arctic.

Mentorship Opportunities

Support a young professional in our current class of Nuclear Scholars by advising on their research project.

Publishing Opportunities

PONI provides opportunities for Mid-Career Cadre members to publish blog posts and longer commentary on our website, the Nuclear Network.

PONI Events

Cadre members are invited to attend all PONI events, including the annual conference series or public events, such as the debate series. Members of the cadre are frequently invited to present their research at public events, or to serve as moderators for panels at the annual conference series.

If you have any questions about the Mid-Career Cadre, please reach out to Libby Kos at ekos@csis.org.