Szilard Advisory Board (SAB)

The Sweet Voice of Reason”

The Szilard Advisory Board (SAB) is composed of a select group of experts at the intersection of policy and politics dedicated to reducing the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD). 

A project of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, the SAB will add clear analysis, expert opinion, and insights based on experience to the public discourse on international security. 

The Board is named after Leo Szilard, the founder of Council for a Livable World, the Center’s affiliated organization.  His work to bring the “the sweet voice of reason” to the nuclear policy conversation is more important than ever today.  In honoring his memory, the SAB will continue to push for new and better ways to advance arms control and nonproliferation goals. 

Members of the SAB include Mark Appleton, Alexandra Bell, Susan Burk, Thomas Countryman, Jon Finer, Anne Harrington, Laura Holgate, Colin Kahl, Laura Kennedy, Ed Levine, Rebecca Lissner, Nick Miller, Adam Mount, Richard Nephew, Megan Palmer, Edward Price, Mallory Stewart, John Tierney, Jane Vaynman, Anthony Wier, Moira Whelan, Heather Williams, and Jon Wolfsthal.

Szilard Advisory Board Members:

Alexandra Bell
Senior Policy Director, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Amb. Susan Flood Burk
Consultant

Thomas Countryman
Former Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control & Intl Security

Anne Harrington
Former Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration

Amb. Laura Holgate
Former US Ambassador to the IAEA & International Organizations in Vienna, former Special Assistant to the President for WMD Terrorism and Threat Reduction

Colin Kahl
Associate Professor, Security Studies Program, Georgetown University

Amb. Laura Kennedy
Retired Foreign Service Officer, World Affairs Council

Dr. Edward Levine 
Former Congressional Staff

Rebecca Lissner 
Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Nick Miller
Assistant Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

Adam Mount
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Richard Nephew
Former Principal Deputy Sanctions Coordinator, State Department, and Director for Iran at the National Security Council

Megan Palmer
Senior Research Scholar, Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), Stanford University

Edward (Ned) Price
Former Special Assistant to President Obama and National Security Council Spokesperson and Senior Director

Mallory Stewart
Nonresident Fellow, Stimson Center

Congressman John Tierney
Former Member of Congress, Executive Director, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Jane Vaynman
Assistant Professor, Temple University

Anthony Wier
Lobbyist and Director, Friends Committee on National Legislation

Moira Whelan
Partner, BlueDot Strategies

Heather Williams
Associate Professor, King’s College London

Jon Wolfsthal
Senior Advisor, Global Zero, Fellow, Carnegie Endowment and Harvard University

Alexandra Bell

Alexandra Bell is the Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, where she focuses on national security issues in Congress, nuclear arms control, foreign policy, Pentagon spending, and other areas of peace and security.
Bell was the Director for Strategic Outreach in the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the Department of State. Before joining the Department of State in 2010, she was the Project Manager at the Ploughshares Fund and a Research Assistant for Nuclear Policy at the Center for American Progress.
Bell received a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the New School and a Bachelor’s degree in Peace, War and Defense from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2001-2003, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in southwest Jamaica.
Bell is a Truman National Security Fellow, a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member, a 2017 Munich Security Conference Young Leader, a member of the Project on Nuclear Issues Mid-Career Cadre and a member of the Younger Generation Leaders Network on Euro-Atlantic Security.

Ambassador Susan Flood Burk

Amb. Burk served as the special Representative of the President, Nuclear Nonproliferation with the rank of Ambassador, from 2009-2012, leading the U.S. preparations for and participation in the successful 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference. Over her more than 35 years of public service focused on United States’ nonproliferation, arms control and counterterrorism objectives, she has held a number of senior positions in both the State Department and the former U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACCDA). Burk served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Nonproliferation, and as Acting Assistant Secretary of in the Nonproliferation Bureau for 14 months. She was the first Deputy Coordinator for Homeland Security in the State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism. In ACDA, she headed the office that led the U.S. preparations for the successful 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference.

Since her retirement from federal service, she has been retained by the Department of Energy as a consultant on nuclear nonproliferation and NPT issues. She has continued to write and speak on these subjects. She serves on the Boards of the Herbert P. Scoville Peace Fellowships, the Arms Control Association, the Center of Concern and the State Department Senior Seminar Alumnae Association. She is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. She is an active member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and currently serves on the Board of AAUW of Virginia.

Mrs. Burk is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity College, Washington, DC (B.A. 1976) and of Georgetown University (M.A. 1982).

Anne Harrington

Anne Harrington served as Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation in the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration from October 2010 to January 19, 2017, and was the longest-serving incumbent in that position. Main areas of focus included advancing global security through security or eliminating stocks of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, advancing security of radiological sources, supporting development of technologies to advance nonproliferation and arms control, and cybersecurity of nuclear facilities. From 2005-2010, Ms. Harrington was the Director of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC). While at CISAC, she managed studies on a variety of nonproliferation, threat reduction and nuclear security issues, including: Global Security Engagement: A New Model for Cooperative Threat Reduction (2009); Future of the Nuclear Security Environment in 2015 (2009); Internationalization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Goals, Strategies, and Challenges (2008, joint report with Russian Academy of Sciences); and English-Chinese Chinese-English Nuclear Security Glossary (2008, produced jointly with the Chinese Scientists Group for Arms Control).

Ms. Harrington served for over 15 years in the U.S. Department of State, where she was Acting Director and Deputy Director of the Office of Proliferation Threat Reduction and a senior U.S. government expert on nonproliferation and cooperative threat reduction. She was pivotal in developing policy and implementing programs aimed at preventing the proliferation of WMD and missile expertise in Russia and Eurasia, and launched similar efforts Iraq and Libya. She was a primary negotiator for agreements that established the International Science and Technology Center and the Science and Technology Center in Ukraine, and the agreement between the United States and Kazakhstan for secure storage of spent fuel and safe shutdown of the Aktau BN-350 breeder reactor.

Ms. Harrington holds a B.A. from St. Lawrence University, a M.A. from the University of Michigan, and a M.S. from the National Defense University National War College. She is now principal at Harrington Consulting LLC.

Ambassador Laura Holgate

Amb. Laura Holgate represented the U.S. at the International Atomic Energy Agency and UN offices in Vienna. In this role, she advanced U.S. priorities in nonproliferation, nuclear security, and verification of the Iran nuclear deal. Amb. Holgate was previously the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director on the National Security Council. In this role, she coordinated the development of national policies and programs to thwart terrorist access to and use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. She was the U.S. Sherpa to the Nuclear Security Summits and co-led the Global Health Security Agenda. Amb. Holgate held senior roles at the Nuclear Threat Initiative as well as the Departments of Energy and Defense, in which she designed and implemented innovative approaches to reducing the weapons of mass destruction threats posed by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Amb. Holgate holds degrees from Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Colin Kahl

Colin H. Kahl is an associate professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a Strategic Consultant to the Penn-Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

From October 2014 to January 2017, he was Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President. In that position, he served as a senior advisor to President Obama and Vice President Biden on all matters related to U.S. foreign policy and national security affairs, and represented the Office of the Vice President as a standing member of the National Security Council Deputies’ Committee. From February 2009 to December 2011, Prof. Kahl was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East at the Pentagon. In this capacity, he served as the senior policy advisor to the Secretary of Defense for Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, and six other countries in the Levant and Persian Gulf region. In June 2011, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service by Secretary Robert Gates. In 2007-2009 and 2012-2014, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a nonpartisan Washington, DC-based think tank.

He is the author of States, Scarcity, and Civil Strife in the Developing World, published by Princeton University Press in 2006. He has also published numerous articles on U.S. foreign and defense policy in the Middle East in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, International Security, the Los Angeles Times, Middle East Policy, the National Interest, the New Republic, the New York Times, Politico, the Washington Post, and the Washington Quarterly, as well as several reports for CNAS.

He received his B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan (1993) and his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University (2000).

Ambassador Laura Kennedy

Amb. Laura Kennedy served almost four decades in the Foreign Service, including policy positions under both Republican and Democratic Presidents. Several tours in Moscow led to a career-long interest in arms control and non-proliferation. Kennedy took part in the Conventional Forces in Europe negotiations and returned to Vienna twice to serve as the Acting US Governor to the IAEA, most recently in 2014-15. She served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and as Ambassador twice, Turkmenistan (2001-3) and Geneva – Conference on Disarmament (2010-13), where she was concurrently the US Special Representative for Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Issues. In addition to the Szilard Advisory Board, Kennedy is a member of the Academy of Diplomacy, a Director of the World Affairs Council -DC, Foreign Policy for America, and the Arms Control Association.

Dr. Edward Levine

Dr. Edward Levine, chairman of the board of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, is a retired senior professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which he served from 1997 until 2011. He was a professional staff member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1976 until 1997.

Dr. Levine was the Foreign Relations Committee’s lead Democratic specialist on arms control, nonproliferation, and U.S arms sales to other countries. He played a major staff role in the Senate’s consideration of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, the Moscow Treaty, the New START Treaty, protocols to the Convention on Conventional Weapons, conventions relating to nuclear safety, arms sale agreements with the United Kingdom and Australia, and the U.S.-India nuclear agreement. He also helped to oversee and to maintain funding for U.S. nonproliferation programs and U.S. contributions to the IAEA and the CTBTO Preparatory Commission.

Dr. Levine served both Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. One of his roles was to write or co-author the committee’s assessments of U.S capabilities to monitor compliance with SALT II, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, the Threshold Test-Ban Treaty and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty, and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Prior to working for the U.S. Senate, Dr. Levine taught political science at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and at Rice University. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of California (Berkeley) and his M.A. and Ph.D. in international relations from Yale University.

Rebecca Lissner

Dr. Rebecca Friedman Lissner is a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, she served as a Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, held an International Security Studies Fellowship at Yale University, and worked as a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Lissner’s scholarship has been published in Presidential Studies Quarterly and International Peacekeeping; her policy analysis and commentary has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The Atlantic, among other publications. Dr. Lissner received an AB in Social Studies from Harvard University and a PhD in Government from Georgetown University.

Nick Miller

Nicholas Miller is an Assistant Professor of Government at Dartmouth College. His research focuses on nuclear weapons, US nonproliferation policy, and international security. Miller’s book, Stopping the Bomb: The Sources and Effectiveness of US Nonproliferation Policy, is forthcoming with Cornell University Press. His articles have been published in a variety of scholarly journals, and his commentary on public affairs has appeared at ForeignPolicy.com, The National Interest, and The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage. Miller received his Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT, where he is a research affiliate of the Security Studies Program. In 2016-2017, Miller was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. From 2014 to 2017, he was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brown University.

Adam Mount

Adam Mount is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where his work covers U.S. nuclear strategy and force structure, global nuclear politics, deterrence, and North Korea. Previously, he was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

In 2015-16, he directed the CFR Independent Task Force on U.S. Policy Toward North Korea, a group of seventeen experts chaired by Adm. Mike Mullen and Sen. Sam Nunn. Their report, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia issued ten findings and six recommendations for the next president’s policy toward the regime.

Dr. Mount’s other writing has been published by Foreign Affairs, Survival, the Nonproliferation Review, Democracy, and other outlets, and is a columnist at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. His analysis has been cited in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Politico, and he has appeared on CNN, CBS, and CNBC networks. He has testified before the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces.

He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the Department of Government at Georgetown University, and a B.A. from Reed College.

Richard Nephew

Richard Nephew is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He assumed both of those roles in February 2015.

Prior to then, he served as Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the Department of State, a position he held since February 2013. Nephew also served as the lead sanctions expert for the U.S. team negotiating with Iran, starting with the private channel talks in August 2013. From May 2011 to January 2013, Nephew served as the Director for Iran on the National Security Council staff at the White House. Earlier in his career he served in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the State Department and in the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security at the Department of Energy.

Nephew holds a Masters in Security Policy Studies and a Bachelors in International Affairs, both from The George Washington University. He is married with three children.

Edward (Ned) Price

Ned Price served as a Special Assistant to President Obama on the National Security Council staff, where he also was the Spokesperson and Senior Director for Strategic Communications. Prior to his tenure at the White House, Ned was at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where he was a spokesperson and—prior to that—a PDB briefer and senior analyst covering a range of strategic and tactical issues. He publicly resigned from the Agency in February 2017 after more than a decade of service. Prior to joining the CIA, Ned was an Associate at The Cohen Group, working under former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen on a variety of public policy, non-profit, and business initiatives. Ned graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2005. He also holds a Master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he received a citation for his superior thesis on the tension between secrecy and transparency in the national security realm. He is originally from Dallas, Texas.

Mallory Stewart

From January 2015 until January 2017, Mallory Stewart was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Emerging Security Challenges and Defense Policy in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance (AVC). In that role, she was responsible for overseeing the Office of Emerging Security Challenges and the Office of Chemical and Biological Weapons Affairs.

Ms. Stewart joined the State Department in 2002 as an attorney in the Legal Adviser’s Office (L). During her time in L, Ms. Stewart represented the United States before the Iran-U.S Claims Tribunal as an attorney in the Office of Claims and Investment Disputes. She focused on international and domestic treaty law in the Office of Treaty Affairs, and she worked on numerous legal issues related to nonproliferation sanctions, conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction, missile defense, and space in the Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control. She was the lead lawyer for the U.S. delegation that negotiated the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreements with Poland and Romania, and she was the lead lawyer on the 2013 U.S.-Russian Framework for the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons. In 2014, Ms. Stewart was a recipient of the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs for her work on the international effort to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons. Ms. Stewart was a litigation associate at the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell prior to joining the State Department.

Ms. Stewart is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School.

Congressman John Tierney

Former Congressman John Tierney is the Executive Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation, where his work focuses on national security issues in Congress, nuclear nonproliferation, missile defense, and other areas of peace and security. Tierney is a former nine-term Massachusetts congressman who served on the House Intelligence Committee and chaired the National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee of the Government Oversight and Reform Committee. During his congressional career, Tierney spent considerable time advocating on nuclear non-proliferation and national security issues. His 18-year career included oversight of the Government Accountability Office’s annual assessment of the Pentagon’s Weapons Selection Programs and reform of overall Pentagon spending.

Jane Vaynman

Dr. Jane Vaynman is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Temple University. She was previously the Associate Director of the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies and Research Assistant Professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.
Jane’s work focuses on security cooperation between adversarial states, the design of arms control agreements, and the nuclear nonproliferation regime. Previously, she was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and has also held positions with the U.S. Department of State and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She was a recipient of a Fulbright fellowship for research in Russia, and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. She received her PhD in political science from Harvard University and BA in International Relations from Stanford University. Jane is fluent in Russian.

Anthony Wier

Anthony Wier is lead lobbyist and director of FCNL’s work on nuclear weapons policy and is the key team leader working on our efforts to rein in Pentagon spending. He is also responsible for maintaining FCNL’s Nuclear Calendar and for representing FCNL with the various coalitions that work on these issues.

Prior to joining FCNL in May 2017, Wier worked for ten years for Congress and the State Department on nuclear nonproliferation issues and international security policy. His most recent experience prior to FCNL was at the U.S. Department of State where he was Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs. Before that he worked on nonproliferation issues on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff.

Wier also worked as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where he helped craft and negotiate the resolution and accompanying committee report providing Senate advice and consent to ratification of the New START treaty and provided advice to the committee on nonproliferation, nuclear weapons issues, international nuclear cooperation, international arms sales, and export controls.

Wier’s substantial resume also includes time as a Research Associate at the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard University and, before that, as a Program Examiner at the Office of Management and Budget International Affairs Division. He has a Masters of Public Affairs and a Masters of Arts in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Moira Whelan

Moira Whelan is an entrepreneur and partner at BlueDot Strategies. She is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Digital Strategy with more than 15 years of experience in national security communications. She has served in senior communications roles at the State Department, US Agency for International Development, the Department of Homeland Security and in the House of Representatives. She has also helped advance the policy conversation as a founding staff member of the National Security Network and at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Washington Board of the Digital Diplomacy Coalition.

Heather Williams

Dr. Heather Williams is a Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Centre for Science and Security Studies and Defence Studies Department at King’s College London, where her research focuses on strategic stability, arms control, and the nuclear ban treaty. Previously she was a Research Fellow at Chatham House where she led projects on the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons initiative and nuclear risks. She received her PhD in 2014 from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London on trust-building in US-Russia arms control. Heather is also an adjunct research staff member with the Institute for Defense Analyses, which she joined in 2008. She has a BA in International Relations and Russian Studies from Boston University and an MA in Security Policy Studies from the George Washington University. She is on the board of directors of the British-American Security Information Council (BASIC), the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) UK, and the Non-Proliferation Review. Her most recent publication is “The Nuclear Education of Donald J. Trump”, with Jeffrey Michaels, published in Contemporary Security Policy, and her forthcoming book is titled A Call to Arms Control: Trust in US-Russia Nuclear Negotiations.

Jon Wolfsthal

Wolfsthal is a former special assistant to the President for National Security and senior director for Non-Proliferation and arms control at the national Security Council under President Obama. Globally recognized expert on all issues related to nuclear weapons, arms control, nonproliferation, and nuclear strategy. Former Deputy Director of the Nonproliferation Centers at Middlebury College and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.