Siegfried S. Hecker, a prominent U.S. expert on nuclear technology and policy, was appointed co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation, in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University on Jan. 16. He also assumed positions as a professor (research) in the Stanford School of Engineering's Department of Management Science and Engineering and a senior fellow at FSI.
Hecker's "scientific achievements as a metallurgist, his leadership and talent as the head of a renowned U.S. Department of Energy laboratory and his decades-long dedication to improving global security make him an extraordinary choice to help direct CISAC in the years ahead," FSI Director Coit D. Blacker said, announcing the appointment.
Political science Professor Scott Sagan, whom Hecker joins as a co-director of CISAC, said he is "thrilled to have Sig Hecker as a partner" in leading the center. "Hecker follows in a long line of distinguished scientists--Sidney Drell, William Perry, Michael May, and Christopher Chyba--who have become leaders of CISAC's efforts to produce cutting edge policy-relevant research," Sagan noted. "Stanford University is extremely fortunate to be able to have a scholar-practitioner of Sig Hecker's stature coming to CISAC to help guide our multidisciplinary efforts to address the tough security challenges facing the world right now."
The center, traditionally co-directed by a scientist and social scientist since its founding in 1983 by physicist Drell and political scientist John Lewis, draws from a range of disciplines to focus on current problems in international security.
An emeritus director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Hecker has fostered U.S. cooperation with Russian nuclear laboratories for 15 years to secure the vast stockpile of former Soviet nuclear weapons and materials. At CISAC, where he has been a visiting professor since fall 2005, Hecker has contributed to international projects to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and secure materials for making them.
Looking forward to the new assignments, Hecker said, "I have enjoyed the Stanford environment--the students, faculty, and the great range of international issues being examined. I look forward to the new challenge of leading CISAC with Scott Sagan, as well as teaching and research in management science and engineering."
With Lewis, Hecker has made three visits to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the last three years, gaining rare access to and expertise on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. His reports on the program's status provide valuable insights to U.S. diplomats and scholars seeking to resolve the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula. With Sagan, Hecker has participated in meetings with security experts from China, India, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States to secure nuclear weapons and materials and lessen tensions in South Asia.
Last fall, Hecker co-taught Stanford's popular management science and engineering course, Technology and National Security, with CISAC and MS&E colleague Perry. Hecker lectured on nuclear weapons history and technical fundamentals, nuclear terrorism, and North Korea.
"Dr. Hecker has added 'outstanding professor' to his list of many accomplishments," Perry said. "I am delighted he has accepted this appointment and look forward to working with him."