CNS Staff List

Listings of all CNS staff with areas of expertise, contact information, biographies, and recent publications.
Updated: Nov 20, 2013

Dr. William C. Potter

Director of CNS

Dr. William Potter, CNS Director


Dr. William Potter is Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies and Founding Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS).

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He currently serves on the International Advisory Board of the Center for Policy Studies in Russia (Moscow).

Areas of Research

His present research focuses on:

  • Nuclear terrorism
  • Forecasting proliferation developments


He has served as a consultant to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the RAND Corporation, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He has been a member of several committees of the National Academy of Sciences, including its Nonproliferation Panel.

He served for five years on the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters and the Board of Trustees of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research.

He was an advisor to the delegation of Kyrgyzstan to the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference and to the 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013 sessions of the NPT Preparatory Committee, as well as to the 2000, 2005 and 2010 NPT Review Conferences.


He is the author and co-author of numerous books, including:

  • Nuclear Politics and the Non-Aligned Movement (2012)
  • The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism (2005); Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Options for Control (2000)
  • Nuclear Profiles of the Soviet Successor States (1993)
  • Soviet Decisionmaking for Chernobyl: An Analysis of System Performance and Policy Change (1990)
  • Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (1982)

He is the editor of:

  • Verification and SALT: The Challenge of Strategic Deception (1980)
  • Verification and Arms Control (1985), and International Nuclear Trade and Nonproliferation (1990)

He is co-editor of numerous books including:

  • Forecasting Nuclear Nonproliferation in the 21st Century (2 volumes, 2010)
  • Engaging China and Russia on Nuclear Disarmament (2009)
  • The Global Politics of Combating Nuclear Terrorism: A Supply Side Approach (2009)
  • Dangerous Weapons, Desperate States (1999)
  • Dismantling the Cold War: U.S. and NIS Perspectives on the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (1997)
  • Soviet Decisionmaking for National Security (1984)
  • The Nuclear Suppliers and Nonproliferation (1985
  • Continuity and Change in Soviet-East European Relations (1989)
  • International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers' Network(1994)

Dr. Potter has contributed chapters and articles to over one hundred and twenty scholarly books and journals.

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