The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
Joyce Connery is the Director of Nuclear Energy Policy within the Office of International Economics on the National Security Council. In that position, Ms. Connery works to develop policy among agencies and align and coordinate programs covering nuclear safety, security and nuclear trade. Previously, Ms. Connery served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Energy. Prior to that post, she was the Director for Threat Reduction and Nuclear Energy Cooperation in the office of the WMD Coordinator at the National Security Council. She served under both the Bush and Obama Administrations and was responsible for nuclear Cooperative Threat Reduction programs, the Nuclear Security Summit, the President’s four year effort to secure vulnerable nuclear materials, international nuclear energy policy and bilateral nuclear security and trade agreements.
Before working at the NSC, Ms. Connery served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration. She also worked in various other capacities within that organization, to include: nuclear security, nuclear safety, nonproliferation and export control policies. She served in Kazakhstan for two years, first as the Department of Energy’s nonproliferation representative for the Embassy and then as the on-site project manager for the shut-down of the BN-350 fast breeder reactor.
Ms. Connery holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International relations from Tufts University and a Master’s of Art in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School with a concentration in conflict resolution and Southwest Asian area studies. Ms. Connery has extensive experience in Russia and Central Asia and speaks Russian.
Ms. Connery has received numerous awards over the course of her career, to include NNSA’s Silver Medal and the Secretary of Energy’s Distinguished Service Award. She is a Board Member of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management and was recognized by the Institute for her role in the establishment of the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS). She was a finalist for the 2012 Service to America Medal for National Security and International Relations. She is an active member of the American Nuclear Society and received a Presidential Citation from them in 2013 for her work with the nuclear industry.
This session is one of a series of "Nonproliferation Practitioner Seminars" seminars sponsored by the Project on Managing the Atom.