Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Sandy goodbye w Bill and Frank Sesno
CNS at 30:
A Milestone Anniversary
On October 28, alumni, funders, staff, diplomats, other government officials, and friends gathered in Washington, DC, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS).

The anniversary events commenced with an annual meeting of the Center’s International Advisory Council (IAC) at its Washington office, chaired by Founding Director William C. Potter.

Over the course of its 30-year history, CNS has spawned a global, multigenerational network of nonproliferation experts and specialists working in every conceivable capacity in the field. From technical experts at international organizations and national laboratories to career specialists in foreign and defense ministries—as well as leaders in the nongovernmental, academic, and philanthropic fields—CNS has helped build a cadre of nonproliferation and disarmament professionals well-equipped to address the most pressing challenges presented by the existence and spread of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. 

Following the IAC meeting, participants gathered for a spectacular evening gala event at the stately Occidental Grill, nestled between the White House and Congress. Former CNN correspondent Frank Sesno functioned as Master of Ceremonies for the evening, with nearly a dozen leaders and prominent friends delivering tributes to CNS, Dr. Potter, and Deputy Director Leonard "Sandy" Spector, who is stepping down as head of the DC office at the end of the year.

CNS Director Bill Potter Elected to Russian Academy of Sciences
CNS Founding Director William C. Potter was elected this month as a Foreign Member to the Russian Academy of Sciences section on Global Issues and International Relations.

“Dr. Potter’s election to the esteemed Russian Academy of Sciences is a welcomed recognition of his extraordinary achievements in the field of weapons of mass destruction research, training, and education,” said International Advisory Council member Cary Neiman. "The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies takes great pride in the Russian Academy’s acknowledgment of the profound importance of the Center’s work to curtail the spread of weapons of mass destruction.”

Founded in 1724 by Emperor Peter the Great, the Russian Academy of Sciences is the highest-level scientific institution in the Russian Federation. It seeks to advance fundamental research in the sciences and humanities, to conduct long-term scientific investigations closely connected with industrial development, to study new possibilities of technical progress, and to promote maximum practical application of scientific achievements and developments.
Jessica Varnum Talks Turkey
In two, separate, comprehensive discussions with host Peter Tilden, CNS Deputy Director Jessica C. Varnum spoke on KABC Radio in Culver City, California, on the abrupt US withdrawal from Syria and Turkey's subsequent military incursion.

Drawing on her deep expertise on Turkey and the region, Varnum said in her October 31 interview that Trump's decision to order a precipitous withdrawal of US troops, abandoning America’s Kurdish allies, “is nothing but catastrophic for American credibility and foreign policy.”

Varnum also reiterated the point she made in a recent New York Times article that Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent statement about nuclear weapons should not be interpreted as Turkey’s interest in pursuing nuclear weapons.

Varnum appeared again on the Monday, November 18 episode of the Peter Tilden Show, to talk about Erdogan's visit to Washington and the Turkish dimension of the impeachment investigations.
Evidence about North Korea's Nuclear-Weapon Designs
Senior Research Associate and Nonproliferation Review Editor Joshua H. Pollack spoke at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security’s Brown Bag Seminar on October 23, 2019, about three distinct streams of evidence pertaining to the design of North Korea’s nuclear weapons: seismic and other observational data, insider accounts, and official North Korean statements.

Comparing the three streams provides a largely consistent picture, that North Korea likely has four designs: three implosion devices, and one two-stage device. Still unknown are the DPRK’s choice of fissile material and its boosting capabilities.

Regulating Floating Nuclear Power Plants
Scientist-in-Residence Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress coauthored a new study published in the Moscow Journal of International Law exploring the practical and legal aspects of floating nuclear power plants.

The research finds that, although largely compatible with the existing rules of international law, floating nuclear power plants present some legal problems, especially in an export scenario. The paper calls for new bilateral and international agreements between supplier states and importing states to cover these "gray areas" and gaps in the existing body of law.

Applications Now Accepted for March 2020 Policy Short Course
The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation is now accepting applications for its next nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament policy short course for diplomats and practitioners, to be held in Vienna, March 23–27, 2020.

Applications from women and practitioners in developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.

The deadline to apply is January 31, 2020, but candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

The tuition fee for the course is 1000 euros, but may be waived for qualifying cases. Visit the VCDNP website for more information on the application process.

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

460 Pierce Street
Monterey, CA 93940 USA
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Email: cns@miis.edu
Phone: +1 (831) 647-4154
Fax: +1 (831) 647-3519

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