State Department and Elliott School Partner to Encourage Dialogue on Nuclear Policy

photo: Rose Gottemoeller
Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, participates in an NPT RevCon Speakers Series event.
June 17, 2015

Every five years, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference (RevCon) convenes global leaders to review the NPT and assess its implementation. This year, as the RevCon was taking place at UN headquarters in New York, the Elliott School—in partnership with the U.S. Department of State—hosted ambassadors and senior representatives from 20 countries, along with senior State Department officials to discuss conference developments.

The talks, held at the Elliott School in May, aimed to foster dialogue between the United States and several Washington delegations as a means to encourage communication and increase mutual understanding of the priorities of the United States and other states parties to the NPT. Elliott School faculty members Douglas Shaw and Christopher Cahill hosted the meetings.

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller, an Elliott School alumna, and Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Tom Countryman participated in the talks, providing detailed overviews of U.S. priorities, taking questions, and engaging the delegations present on critical issues on the agenda of the 2015 RevCon, including disarmament, nonproliferation, the prospects and challenges for a Middle East WMD Free Zone (MEWMDFZ), as well as the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons.

“Dialogues like these are important sources of engagement between the United States and the international community,” said Dr. Shaw, associate dean for planning, research, and external relations at the Elliott School. “Communicating with Washington embassies can serve to clarify U.S. priorities and connect these priorities to broader bilateral relationships. Supporting this important potential can give Elliott School faculty a front-row seat to multilateral diplomacy, delivering research and teaching benefits based on our unique location.”

The May events represent just some of many engagements between the Elliott School and the Department of State. For instance, the Elliott School is a long-standing partner of the annual Generation Prague conference, to be held this year from July 15-17. The Elliott School will host the 3rd day of the conference.

GW has become a hub for discussion of nonproliferation, energy, disarmament, and arms control policy under the umbrella of the Nuclear Policy Talks event series. Since March 2009, the series has sponsored 130 events featuring more than 350 experts on nuclear policy topics.

The Nuclear Policy Talks series has featured formal collaborations with the U.S. Departments of State and Energy, Sandia National Laboratories, the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management, and other prominent external partners as well as the GW Departments of Physics and Chemistry and the International Affairs Society.