Obama Victory Heralds Transformation in Nuclear and Security Policies

November 10, 2008

Top national security experts offer fresh insight on topics from nuclear terrorism to U.S.-Russia relations.

The following experts are available for interviews on the immediate challenges President-elect Obama will face, and the prospects for transforming national security policies in an Obama presidency – in particular, his commitment to establishing the U.S. as a leader in building a nuclear weapon-free world.

  • Joseph Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund, is the author of Bomb Scare: The History and Future of Nuclear Weapons , is an expert advisor to the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, and serves as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism. He is a frequent commentator for NPR, CNN, Fox News and the Los Angeles Times. His most recent article is “Strategic Collapse: The Failure of the Bush Nuclear Doctrine,” in the November 2008 issue of Arms Control Today, November 2008.
    Suggested topics: The “new moment” for a world without nuclear weapons; new U.S. and international nuclear weapons policies; missile defense and the U.S.-Russia relationship; nuclear weapons challenges posed by Iran, North Korea and Pakistan. contact: 202.441.9825
  • Theresa Hitchens, Vice President, Center for Defense Information, is one of America’s leading authorities on the weaponization of space and defense budget issues. Editor of Defense News from 1998 to 2000, Ms. Hitchens’ journalistic career has focused on military, defense industry and NATO affairs. She began her career in the national security field as an intern in the office of Senator John Glenn (D-OH).
    Suggested topics: Missile defense; a space weapons policy for the Obama administration; defense spending. contact: 202.797.5269
  • Paul Ingram, Paul Ingram, Executive Director, British American Security Information Council (London), has written on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament,with a focus on Iran and the UK, and defense economics. He hosts a weekly prime-time talk show on Iranian domestic TV News focusing on global security issues, and teaches leadership to senior civil servants. 
    Suggested topics: The view from Europe on President-elect Obama’s national security challenges; dealing effectively with the challenge of Iran; building international consensus behind effective disarmament strategies. contact: (London) +44 7908 708175
  •  John Isaacs, Executive Director, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, is one of the leaders of the nation’s arms control community, focusing on nuclear weapons, missile defense and the workings of Congress. Isaacs has represented the Council for a Livable World, the Center’s sister organization, on Capitol Hill since 1978. He previously served as a Legislative Assistant on foreign affairs to Representative Stephen Solarz (D-NY), and a Foreign Service Officer in Vietnam.
    Suggested topics: The national security agenda for the new Congress; missile defense and the U.S.-Russian relationship; U.S. nuclear weapons policy; prospects for a nuclear weapon-free world. contact: 202.543.4100 x2222
  • William Potter, Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS), and of the MIIS Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. He is the co-author of The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism. His current research focuses nuclear terrorism and on proliferation issues involving the post-Soviet states.
    Suggested topics: The first test: dealing with Russia; preventing nuclear terrorism at the source. contact: 831.647.4154
  • Lisa Schirch is Professor of peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University and Director of the 3D Security Initiative, a policy voice for civil society organizations engaged in conflict prevention and stabilization in war zones. A former Fulbright Fellow in East and West Africa, Schirch has worked in over 20 countries with communities and government leaders.
    Suggested topics: How an Obama administration could achieve a more balanced security policy; foster reconciliation in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan; and pursue principled negotiation with Iran. contact: 540.383.4859
  • Jacqueline Shire, Senior Analyst, Institute for Science and International Security, provides research and analysis on Iran's nuclear program as well as proliferation challenges posed by North Korea and other countries. At the State Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs her assignments included tours of duty at the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She was a member of the U.S. delegation negotiating with North Korea in 1993.
    Suggested topics: President-elect Obama’s top proliferation challenges: Iran and North Korea; a new way forward with Iran; illicit nuclear trade; and United Nations issues. contact: jshire@isis-online.org
  • Karin von Hippel, Co-Director, Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, recently returned from a week-long NATO- sponsored tour of Afghanistan, where she was briefed by military officials, international experts and Afghan civilians. She has also visited Pakistan and produced recommendations for how the U.S. can support the new government and promote security in the region. Previously, von Hippel worked with the UN and the European Union in Somalia and Kosovo and on peacekeeping issues.
    Suggested topics:  Restoring America’s place in the world; a new policy on Afghanistan; Pakistan.  contact: (202) 775-3116



Ploughshares Fund is one of the nation’s largest foundations dedicated exclusively to security and peace funding. Ploughshares Fund is supported by gifts from individuals, families and foundations.