Online Event: PONI Virtual Winter Conference 2020

December 9 – 10, 2020

Held virtually, this conference will feature two days of presentations from rising experts covering topics such as regional nuclear policy and strategy, arms control and disarmament, proliferation challenges, and deterrence. All participants must pre-register to attend.

The PONI Conference Series is unique in its emphasis on incorporating rising experts and young professionals in the nuclear field. The Conference Series draws emerging thought leaders from across the nuclear enterprise and policy community and provides them with a visible platform for sharing their new thinking on a range of nuclear issues.

All comments made at the conference are off-the-record.

Participants must register for each day separately.

Register for day one here. Register for day 2 here. Register for the social hour here.

DECEMBER 9-10, 2020
All Times EST


Day One: Wednesday, December 9


9:30 am: Conference Welcome

Rebecca Hersman, Director, Project on Nuclear Issues and Senior Adviser, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

9:45 am: Panel 1 – Nuclear Policy in Asia

Panel Moderator:
Dr. Naoko Aoki, Congressional Fellow and Adjunct Professor at American University

Balancing Deterrence and Stability in U.S. Conventional Missile Deployments in Asia

Eric Gomez, Director, Defense Policy Studies, Cato Institute

India’s Evolving Strategic Forces

Tyler Sagerstrom, Research Assistant, South Asia Program, Stimson Center

Open Source Analysis & North Korea’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Jamie Withorne, Research Assistant, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

11:30 am: Keynote Speaker

Discussion and Q&A with Lt. General Scott Kindsvater, Deputy Chairman of the NATO Military Committee moderated by Rebecca Hersman.

1:00 pm: Day 1 End of Presentations 

3:00 pm: Social Hour: Pandemics, Polarization, and Presidential Transition: Prioritizing US Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation Goals in a New Era

An informal conversation on agenda-setting in the incoming Biden administration.

4:30 pm: End of Day One

Day Two: Thursday, December 10


10:00 am: Panel 2 – Emerging Technology and Nuclear Policy: Balancing Risks and Rewards

Panel Moderator:
Dr. Brian Radzinsky, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Global Security Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

New Technical and Geopolitical Realities for the Submarine Deterrent         

Leah Walker, Defense Technology Associate, Institute for Security and Technology

Organizational Challenges to AI Adoption: Implications for Strategic Forces

Raymond Wang, Ph.D. Student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Emerging Tech and the Threat of Proliferation

Chris Meskauskas, Instructor, USAF

11:30 am: Break

11:45 am: Panel 3 – New Perspectives on Arms control, Deterrence, and Disarmament

Panel Moderator:
Dr. Andrew Reddie, Senior Engineer at Sandia National Laboratories and Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley

The Conventional Force Perspective: Nuclear Integration In Doctrine, Concepts, and Exercises

Adam Saxton, Research Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Surveys of Superiority: Experimental Evidence on the Impact of the Nuclear Balance

David Logan, PhD Candidate and Fellow, Princeton

Atomic Erasure: Visibility and Inclusion in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Virginia Kerr, Master’s Candidate, Middlebury Institute for International Studies

Citizen Diplomacy: Exploring the impact of track two dialogues on U.S.-Russia arms control agreements

Bernadette Stadler, Master’s Candidate, Harvard University

1:30 pm: Closing Remarks 

Eric Brewer, Deputy Director Project on Nuclear Issues and Senior Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

This event is made possible by support from Defense Threat Reduction Agency, National Nuclear Security Administration, and Northrop Grumman.

Eric Brewer

Rebecca Hersman