From the Manhattan Project to the Cloud: Arms Control in the Information Age (Drell Lecture)


  • Rose Gottemoeller

Sixty-six years ago, a small group of scientists, policy makers and military leaders embarked upon a highly secretive project to build a nuclear bomb. It would change the world forever. Today, the tightly-controlled knowledge and technologies of the Manhattan Project have given way to the open culture of the internet and the Information Age.

The revolution in technology and information dissemination that has transpired since the dawn of the nuclear age has had far-reaching effects on the entire national security apparatus. It has presented dangers, but also opportunities. In the arms control arena, new communication tools allow treaties to be negotiated with greater speed, and computing models help sustain nuclear stockpiles without testing. Verification techniques and technologies are developing in new and innovative directions. However, the traditional tools of arms control policy are limited in how they apply to cyber-weapons and warfare; new ones will be needed.

Identifying the challenges associated with the Information Age, as well as solutions and opportunities, will drive the arms control agenda for the next century.


Speaker biography:

Rose Gottemoeller was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, on April 6, 2009. She was the chief negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation. Since 2000, she had been with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She most recently was a senior associate in the Carnegie Russia & Eurasia Program in Washington, D.C., where she worked on U.S.–Russian relations and nuclear security and stability. She also served as the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center from January 2006 – December 2008.

Formerly Deputy Undersecretary of Energy for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation and before that, Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation and National Security, also at the Department of Energy, she was responsible for all nonproliferation cooperation with Russia and the Newly Independent States. She first joined the Department of Energy in November 1997 as director of the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security.

Prior to her work at the Department of Energy, Ms. Gottemoeller served for 3 years as Deputy Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. From 1993 to 1994, she served on the National Security Council in the White House as director for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Affairs, with responsibility for denuclearization in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. Previously, she was a social scientist at RAND and a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow. She has taught on Soviet military policy and Russian security at Georgetown University.

Ms. Gottemoeller received a B.S. from Georgetown University and a M.A. from George Washington University. She is fluent in Russian.