Ivanka Barzashka is a MacArthur Nuclear Security Fellow at CISAC. Her research focuses on how ballistic missile defense (BMD) affects nuclear risks in the changing strategic environment. She is concurrently a researcher at the Department of War Studies of King’s College London (KCL). As a visiting scholar at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Barzashka examined options for Bulgarian active participation in NATO’s BMD system, for which she did fieldwork at NATO’s Joint Forces Training Center in Poland. She also assessed technical options for BMD cooperation between NATO and Russia in collaboration with American, European and Russian scientists. Barzashka continued that project at the Centre for Science and Security Studies at KCL, where she developed a physics-based model for assessing BMD effectiveness for policy applications.
Previously, Barzashka managed the Federation of American Scientists’ interdisciplinary assessment of Iran’s nuclear capability, specializing in gas centrifuge technology, and developed technically-grounded policy proposals on how to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat. Her work has been cited by major news outlets including Reuters, The Associated Press and The Washington Post. She has briefed congressional staff and policymakers at various government agencies, including the State Department and Department of Defense. She holds a B.S. in physics from Roanoke College and an M.A. in science and security (with distinction) from King's College London, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate in war studies research.