Vincent Briscoe Lecture 2016
60 Years of Nuclear Nonproliferation: Who’s the Adversary Now?
Eminent U.S. nuclear nonproliferation leader, Anne Harrington, presents the Institute for Security Science and Technology's 2016 Vincent Briscoe security lecture.
If we look at the period 1957 – 2017, it can be challenging to distinguish nuclear nonproliferation fact from popular belief. The chronological march of events, beginning in 1957 with the entry into force of the Statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the signing of the European Atomic Energy Community Treaty (EURATOM), can look very orderly. In the past several decades the end of the Cold War and increased détente between the former Eastern Bloc and the West signalled the possibility of a more peaceful world order and the expectation that a steady reduction in both overall numbers and threat from nuclear weapons might be at hand. However, this order is increasingly challenged by multiple pressures including a resurgence in East/West tensions, continued instability in the Middle East, and the danger of nuclear proliferation to non-state actors. In this lecture Anne Harrington will describe the historical development of nuclear nonproliferation, whether our technical and dialogue-based means for nonproliferation are still appropriate, and what the international policy and science community must do to maintain and further advance efforts towards nuclear threat reduction.
Ms. Anne Harrington was sworn in as Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation for the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in October 2010. Previously, Ms. Harrington was the Director of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC), a position she held from March 2005 to October 2010. Whilst at CISAC she managed several key studies on a variety of nonproliferation, threat reduction and other nuclear security issues.
Ms. Harrington served for 15 years in the U.S. Department of State, where she was Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Office of Proliferation Threat Reduction and a senior U.S. government expert on nonproliferation and cooperative threat reduction. She has dedicated much of her government career to developing policy and implementing programs aimed at preventing the proliferation of WMD and missile expertise in Russia and Eurasia, and also launched similar efforts in Iraq and Libya.
Her State Department assignments include serving as the U.S. senior coordinator for efforts to redirect former Soviet WMD/missile experts 1993–1998. She was based in Moscow from 1991 to 1993, where she was the Senior Advisor to the U.S. Delegation to the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) Preparatory Committee and Science Analyst at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. She was instrumental in negotiating the agreements that established the ISTC and the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine (STCU), and the agreement between the United States and Kazakhstan for the secure storage of spent fuel and safe shutdown of the Aktau BN-350 breeder reactor.
She was selected to attend the National Defense University’s National War College in 2002–2003, where she was also a research fellow and authored the paper, “Reducing the Threat from Biological Weapons: Perspectives on U.S. Policy.” Ms. Harrington has been author or co-author on a number of papers on countering biological threats. Ms. Harrington graduated with a BA from St. Lawrence University, an MA from the University of Michigan, and an MS from the National Defense University National War College.
About the Vincent Briscoe lecture
The Institute for Security Science and Technology’s annual lecture is named in honour of H.V.A. (Vincent) Briscoe, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Imperial College London from 1932–55.
Records indicate Briscoe provided the first independent scientific advice to the Security Service in 1915, on the subject of secret German writing, and continued in service throughout the inter-war years and during and after the Second World War.