Project on Managing the Atom Congratulates Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins on Confirmation as Undersecretary of State

| Aug. 19, 2021
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins

The Project on Managing the Atom extends its congratulations to Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins on her recent confirmation as Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.  

Ambassador Jenkins, who was a Predoctoral Research Fellow with Managing the Atom and the  International Security Program at the Belfer Center from 2002 to 2005, was confirmed by the Senate on July 21 and began serving in the position the following day. 

She is the first African American person to hold the rank of Undersecretary of State. 

“I’m thrilled that the Senate has confirmed Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins—a former Managing the Atom fellow—to serve as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs,” said Matthew Bunn, James R. Schlesinger Professor of the Practice of Energy, National Security, and Foreign Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and faculty lead at Managing the Atom. 

“Ambassador Jenkins has had a highly distinguished career, from her service as Special Envoy and Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs (including helping to launch a global effort to help countries be better prepared to detect and contain infectious disease outbreaks, whether natural, accidental, or intentional), to her innovative work launching Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security,” Bunn said. “I’m confident that her talents will help advance an arms control agenda that, in turn, will advance U.S. security.” 

Ambassador Jenkins served in the Obama administration from July 2009 until January 2017. She was the State Department lead for the 2010 and 2016 Nuclear Security Summits as well as the U.S. Representative to the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. 

She has also served as a Legal Adviser to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and advised treaty implementation bodies including the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC). 

Outside government, Ambassador Jenkins has spearheaded efforts to advance the leadership and professional development of women of color in the fields of international peace, security, and conflict transformation. She founded the advocacy organization Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security in 2017, serving as its Executive Director and Board Chair until April 2021. She also founded Organizations in Solidarity, a partnership among more than 300 organizations and individuals committed to combating racist beliefs, attitudes, and acts of discrimination, and integrating diversity in the peace and security, foreign policy and national security fields. 

While at the Belfer Center, she also worked at the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School, where she advised law students on legal jobs in the public sector. 

Ambassador Jenkins has a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Virginia; an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from the Georgetown University Law Center; an M.P.A. from the State University of New York at Albany; a J.D. from Albany Law School; and a B.A. from Amherst College. She is a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Officer. 

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Project on Managing the Atom Congratulates Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins on Confirmation as Undersecretary of State.” Announcement, , August 19, 2021.