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.”
The field of national and international security, and nuclear policy in particular, has traditionally been predominantly white and predominantly male in composition. It remains so, despite the declared commitment of many organizations to attract women and minorities and earnest policies and practices to do so. Only about one-third of professionals in the WMD policy and research field are women. The gap is far wider for women of color. What are the most challenging obstacles to diversifying the nuclear field? What are the greatest bottlenecks, biggest opportunities, and most successful strategies for closing the gap? Most importantly, beyond gender tokenism and optics, what is the transformative impact of a more diverse academic and policy milieu that deals with the world’s deadliest weapons? To discuss these and other questions, the Project on Managing the Atom brings together prominent women who have impactfully engaged with challenges to diversity in the security and nuclear field.
Sarah Bidgood directs the Eurasia Nonproliferation Program at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies. She is also an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies MA program. Her research focuses on US-Soviet and US-Russia nonproliferation and arms control cooperation, as well as the nonproliferation regime more broadly. She is the co-editor of Once and Future Partners: The United States, Russia, and Nuclear Non-proliferation (London, UK: International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2018). Sarah’s work has appeared in publications such as International Security, Arms Control Today, The Nonproliferation Review, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, War on the Rocks, , DefenseNews, and Teen Vogue, among others. Her analysis has been featured in media outlets including The Washington Post, CNN, NBC, NPR, The Guardian, Vice News, DefenseOne and VOX.
Heather Hurlburt is the director of the New Models of Policy Change project at New America's Political Reform program. Hurlburt leads research into how policy advocacy can adapt to be effective in our current environment of intense political polarization and guides advocates and funders seeking to navigate politics effectively on behalf of policy solutions on issues such as national security and climate change.
Hurlburt is a contributor to New York Magazine; has published articles in Politico, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, Fortune, Vox, and Time, among other publications. She co-hosts the Drezburt podcast and frequently appears in print and broadcast media.
Previously, she ran the National Security Network, a premier source for internationalist foreign policy messaging and advocacy, held senior positions in the White House and State Department under President Bill Clinton, and worked on Capitol Hill and for the International Crisis Group. She holds degrees from Brown and George Washington Universities.
Sylvia Mishra is a New Tech Nuclear Officer at the European Leadership Network and a doctoral researcher at the Department of Defence, King’s College London. Her research focuses on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation, Southern Asian security, grand strategy, and emerging technologies. She Co-Chairs the CBRN Working Group for Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS), the Indian Women in International Relations (IWIR) at Global Policy Insights, is a N-Square Innovators Network Fellow, and a Mid-Career Cadre Scholar at CSIS. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Stimson Center’s UNSCR 1540 Assistance Support Initiative, is a Board Member of Atomic Reporters, and is a Steering Committee Member of OrgsInSolidarity.
Formerly, Sylvia was an India-US Fellow at New America, Accelerator Initiative Fellow at the Stanley Center for Peace and Security, a Scoville Fellow at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Visiting Fellow at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Carnegie New Leader and worked in New Delhi at the Observer Research Foundation on India-US defense and security ties. Her publications include chapters in books, articles in journals, and commentaries/opinion pieces. She has been invited to present papers, deliver talks, and participate in crisis simulation and Track II dialogues at various national and international forums. Mishra holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hindu College, University of Delhi, MSc in International Relations from London School of Economics and Political Science and M.A. in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
Nomsa Ndongwe is a Research Associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and an Assistant Director of Global Recruiting at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She is a Co-founder of the WCAPS West Coast Chapter, and an N-Square Innovators Network Fellow 2020 - 2021. She has a Master of Arts in Nonproliferation, Terrorism Studies and Financial Crime Management degree from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Previously, she served as diplomat at the Zimbabwe Permanent Mission in Geneva, focusing mainly on the Disarmament portfolio. She obtained her LLB Single Hons degree at Brunel University, and her Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (LPC) from the University of Law in Guildford, UK. Nomsa is fluent in English, Shona, French, Romanian and Kiswahili; and she is passionate about preserving the planet for future generations.
Jenny Town is a Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center and the Director of Stimson’s 38 North Program. Her expertise is in North Korea, US-DPRK relations, US-ROK alliance and Northeast Asia regional security. She was named one of Worth Magazine’s “Groundbreakers 2020: 50 Women Changing the World” and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2019 for her role in co-founding and managing the 38 North website, which provides policy and technical analysis on North Korea.
Ms. Town is also an expert reviewer for Freedom House’s Freedom in the World Index, where she previously worked on the Human Rights in North Korea Project; an Associate Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a Member of the National Committee on North Korea, and an Associate Member of the Council of Korean Americans. She serves on the Editorial Board for Inkstick, an online foreign policy journal for emerging scholars.
From 2008-2018, Ms. Town served as the Assistant Director of the US-Korea Institute at SAIS. She holds a BA in East Asian Studies and International Relations from Westmar University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
Mariana Budjeryn is a Research Associate with the Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. Formerly, she held appointments as a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at MTA, a fellow at Harvard Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, and as a visiting professor at Tufts University and Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. Mariana’s research focuses on the international non-proliferation regime, arms control, and post-Soviet nuclear history. Her analytical contributions appeared in The Nonproliferation Review, Harvard International Review, World Affairs Journal, Arms Control Today, The Washington Post, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, War on the Rocks, and in the publications of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars where she is a Global Fellow. Mariana’s book Inheriting the Bomb: Soviet Collapse and Nuclear Disarmament of Ukraine is forthcoming in 2022 with Johns Hopkins University Press. She holds a PhD in Political Science, an MA in International Relations from Central European University (formerly) in Budapest, Hungary, and a BA in Political Science from the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine.