Press Release - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Ambassador Laura Holgate Returns to the Belfer Center

| Feb. 15, 2017

Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center enthusiastically welcomes back Ambassador Laura Holgate, who began her career at the Center in 1990. Holgate, who joins the Belfer Center as a Senior Fellow, was until January Ambassador and U.S. Representative to United Nations-Vienna and International Atomic Energy Agency. Previously, she served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction where she also played a major role in planning all four Nuclear Security Summits.

In her new position as a  non-resident Senior Fellow, Holgate will lead a new Belfer Center initiative to examine how multilateral institutions like the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Warfare, and the World Health organization can contribute to reducing threats from nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and materials.

“We are thrilled that Laura is returning to the Belfer Center to continue her critically important work to reduce nuclear and other major threats,” said Belfer Center Director Graham Allison. “Laura’s expertise in leading cooperative efforts among disparate stakeholders will be a vital element in the project she’ll lead at the Center to pull together international organizations to reduce global threats.”

 “I’m very pleased to be returning to the Center where my career began,” Holgate said. “The Belfer Center has demonstrated over the years the positive impact that can come from the marriage of excellent research, analysis, and expertise with the legislative process. I was fortunate to be at the Center when the cooperative threat reduction program with Russia was being invented and to find my calling from that experience. I’m looking forward to working with the incredible scholars and practitioners at the Center to continue efforts to keep the world safe from weapons of mass destruction.”

Holgate was at the Belfer Center in 1990-92 as Coordinator for Projects on Cooperative Security and Post-Cold War Reconstruction. Working with then Professor and recent Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter in the months that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union, she helped develop the Center report that informed the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program to secure the Soviet nuclear arsenal. From the Center, she moved on to the Pentagon where she worked with then Assistant Secretary of Defense Carter to help develop and later direct the Nunn-Lugar program. In that position, she worked successfully with American, Russian, and other former Soviet officials to remove vulnerable nuclear warheads and missiles and help secure nuclear materials throughout the former USSR. She also helped launch a U.S.-Russia effort to reduce biological threats.

Holgate received a Bachelor of Arts  in Politics from Princeton University and a Master of Science in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has won awards from the Council on Foreign Relations, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Ambassador Laura Holgate Returns to the Belfer Center .” Press Release, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, February 15, 2017.