Invitation: Promoting a Diverse Perspective on Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation

Hudson-MacArthur-Nuclear Security-Event-WCAPS with Amb Jenkins-18jun2018-Invitation

Monday, June 18, 2018, 9:00 am-12:00pm

On Monday, June 18, Hudson Institute, in partnership with Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS), will host a discussion on overcoming challenges in the effort to diversify the field of nuclear nonproliferation policy.

Representatives from government, think tanks, and foundations will share their views on the value of having diverse perspectives on issues of nuclear policy and nonproliferation and the challenges they have encountered in bringing more people of color into the nuclear field. The discussants will examine how a more diverse voice on nuclear nonproliferation may improve policy making and decisions. They will also review the pathways that led people of color to the nuclear security field and the lessons that can be learned from their experiences.

The event will occur at the lobby conference center at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, Suite 400, NW, Washington, DC 20004.

If interested, please RSVP to Richard Weitz at


Bonnie Jenkins is the Founder and President of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) nonprofit organization. She is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Previously, she was an Ambassador at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) from 2009 – 2017, where she served as Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.

Richard Weitz is a senior fellow and director of the Center for Political-Military Analysis at Hudson Institute.

Brian Finlay is the president and CEO at the Stimson Center. His areas of expertise include nonproliferation, transnational crime, counter-trafficking, supply chain security and private sector engagement. Finlay is also an adjunct instructor in the School of International Service at American University in Washington.

Michele Dash-Pauls currently serves as the deputy director of the Office of Nuclear Export Controls (ONEC) in NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and Arms Control.  ONEC builds global capacity to prevent the spread of dual-use Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) materials, equipment, and technology. Dash-Pauls also previously served as the Acting Director of ONEC from 2011- 2016.

Michelle Dover is the director of programs at Ploughshares Fund, where she leads the grantmaking team. She provides guidance on grantmaking strategies, performance and direction to the program team and Ploughshares leadership, as well as conducting due diligence on grants.

Alexandra I. Toma is the executive director of the Peace and Security Funders Group, a 67-member network of the world’s top peace and security funders. She has over 15 years’ experience at senior levels of politics, government, advocacy and philanthropic organizations, most recently as the executive director of the Connect U.S. Fund.

Togzhan Kassenova, Ph.D.,  is a fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She currently works on issues related to the role of emerging powers in the global nuclear order, nuclear nonproliferation, cooperative threat reduction, nuclear security, strategic trade management, and proliferation financing controls.

Deverrick Holmes is a 2017 graduate from the University of Maryland Baltimore County where he majored in history. He analyzes missile defense, nuclear deterrence, and nuclear security issues.

Jessica R. Gott Major USAFR, is a Strategy Officer assigned to Headquarters Air Force (A4). She is a recent graduate of the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service and a scholar with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Nuclear Scholars Initiative. She researches threats to U.S. security and nuclear escalation risks and contributes to global security workshops focused on minimizing the risks of conflict escalation between nuclear states.

Tracey-Ann Wellington, Ph.D., is a foreign affairs officer and serves as the principal action officer for China engagements for the Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism (ISN/WMDT). She advises the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) on nuclear forensics issues and provides technical expertise and insights on the implementation of diplomatic, programmatic, and policy efforts related to nuclear forensics.

Mareena Robinson Snowden, Ph.D., previously served as a National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Graduate Fellow in Defense Programs. She provided programmatic support to NA-19 Office of Major Modernization Program, specifically the Uranium Program Office, where she contributed to the development of strategic documents, developed and presented briefings to senior NNSA leadership, and served as technology liaison to the Development Lab at the Y12 National Security Complex. Starting in July, Mareena will be working as a Stanton Nuclear Security Policy Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.


8:45 – 9:00      Light Breakfast and Registration

9:00 – 9:05      Welcome: Richard Weitz, Hudson Institute

9:05 – 9:15      Setting the Stage

Bonnie Jenkins, Founder and President, Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security; Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

9:15 – 10:30    Panel I: Challenges from the perspective of the government, funders and think tanks

Moderator: Brian Finlay, President and CEO, Stimson Center


Richard Weitz, Hudson Institute

Alexandra Toma, Executive Director of the Peace and Security Funders Group

Michelle Dover, Program Director, Ploughshares Fund

Michele Dash-Pauls, Office of Nonproliferation & Arms Control, National Nuclear Security Administration, Department of Energy (DOE/NNSA)

10:30 – 10:45  Coffee/networking break

10:45 – 11:55   Panel II: The road to nuclear nonproliferation: an often unanticipated path by people of color

Moderator: Bonnie Jenkins, WCAPS


Mareena Robinson, Former Fellow, DOE/NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program

Tracey-Ann Wellington, Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, U.S. Department of State

Togzhan Kassenova, Fellow, Nuclear Policy Program, Carnegie Endowment

Jessica Gott, Strategy Officer, HQ, US Air Force and Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Nuclear Scholar, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Deverrick Holmes, National Security Consultant

11:55 – 12:00  Conclusion: Bonnie Jenkins, WCAPS and Richard Weitz, Hudson Institute

Hudson Institute would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for supporting our nuclear nonproliferation and security dialogues. Please follow our MacArthur Foundation work at

For information on Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation, please go to




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