Biography

Jon Wolfsthal is the former Special Assistant to the President of the United States for National Security Affairs and senior director at the National Security Council for arms control and nonproliferation.  Before that, he was Deputy Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey.  He joined Monterey after having been Special Advisor to Vice President Joseph R. Biden for nuclear security and nonproliferation and as a director for nonproliferation on the National Security Council from 2009-2012.

During his time in Government he was involved in almost every aspect of U.S. nuclear weapons, arms control, nonproliferation and security policy.  He helped negotiate and secure the ratification of the New START arms reduction agreement with the Russian Federation, and helped support the development of nuclear policy including through the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and other elements of the Obama Administration's security policies.  He was previously a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and deputy director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  He served in several capacities during the 1990s at the U.S Department of Energy, including an on-the-ground assignment in North Korea during 1995-96.

With Joseph Cirincione, he is the author of Deadly Arsenals: Tracking Weapons of Mass Destruction and a leading authority on nuclear weapons policy, regional proliferation, arms control and nuclear deterrence.  His work has included extended assignments in Russia, North Korea and travel to Iran.  He is the author of dozens of scholarly articles and op-eds and has appeared on or been quoted in most leading domestic and international news media outlets.  He is an avid cook, fly fisherman and runner and lives in Washington DC with his wife and two children.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2017, 2:51pm

Awards