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William H. Tobey

Mailing address

Littauer P-24
79 JFK Street
Mailbox 53
Cambridge, MA, 02138

William H. Tobey

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-496-0518
Fax: 617-495-8963
Email: william_tobey@hks.harvard.edu

 

Experience

William Tobey was most recently Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at the National Nuclear Security Administration. There, he managed the U.S. government's largest program to prevent nuclear proliferation and terrorism by detecting, securing, and disposing of dangerous nuclear material. Mr. Tobey also served on the National Security Council Staff in three administrations, in defense policy, arms control, and counter-proliferation positions. He has participated in international negotiations ranging from the START talks with the Soviet Union, to the Six Party Talks with North Korea. He also has extensive experience in investment banking and venture capital.

 

 

By Date

 

2014

March 18, 2014

Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals

Report

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom, Martin B. Malin, Executive Director, Project on Managing the Atom, Nickolas Roth, Research Associate, Project on Managing the Atom and William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In the lead-up to the nuclear security summit in The Hague, Advancing Nuclear Security: Evaluating Progress and Setting New Goals outlines what was accomplished in a four-year effort launched in 2009 to secure nuclear material around the globeand what remains to be done.

 

 

Wikipedia Commons

March 3, 2014

"We are Failing at Nuclear Security"

Op-Ed, European Leadership Network

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Over the past two decades, enormous progress has been made in securing nuclear weapons and fissile materials, Will Tobey writes. Complacency, however, would be a grave, perhaps fatal error.

 

 

AP Photo

March 4, 2014

"The US response to the Crimea crisis"

Op-Ed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In the Ukraine crisis, President Obama faces the most severe national security test of his administration, writes Will Tobey. The results of his examination will be graded not only in Moscow, but also in Tehran, Damascus, and Pyongyang, and by US allies around the world.

 

 

AP

March 3, 2014

"Responding to Russian Aggression in Ukraine and Restoring U.S. Credibility"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Will Inboden

Russia is violating Ukrainian sovereignty and international law by sending troops to seize communications, transportation, and governmental hubs on the Crimean peninsula. Soldiers violating borders to seize territory in Europe is a grave matter, reminiscent of a darker past that Europe has tried to escape.

What has Barack Obama's administration done to respond?

 

 

Hamed Saber / Wikipedia Commons

February 24, 2014

"The NPT: The Center Can Hold"

Op-Ed, International Relations and Security Network

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) has been remarkably successful in restraining the nuclear ambitions of most states, writes William Tobey. If it is to succeed in the future, he says, the ‘best’ must uphold their convictions while the ‘worst’ must recognize that proliferation is ultimately a dead end.

 

 

December 2013

Planning for Success at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit

Policy Brief

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In the dead of night on July 28, 2012, three senior citizens, including an 82-year-old Catholic nun, Sister Megan Rice, broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, site of the US Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF). This self-proclaimed “Fort Knox of uranium” is America’s central repository for weapons-grade uranium.

....The security failings revealed by the nun and her fellow protesters are legion. The protesters were on the site for over an hour and 20 minutes, trekking about seven-tenths of a mile as the crow flies, but far longer as they traversed a steep ridge. They pierced fences equipped with sophisticated sensors. Yet the Y-12 Protective Force failed to spot them until they enjoyed unimpeded access to the exterior of the HEUMF forabout 20 minutes. Had these individuals been well-armed, well-equipped terrorists, instead of Bible-toting peace protesters, the incident would have been far more dire.

 

 

AP

February 5, 2014

"Failure in Syria Will Doom Iran Nuclear Deal"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

The world's nuclear weapons proliferators watch each other. They look for warnings and opportunities in how their peers are treated. Iran halted its nuclear weapons development after Saddam was toppled for several years. Libya's Muammar al-Gaddafi also got cold feet.

Later, Tehran watched the tepid international responses to the 2006 North Korean nuclear test and to a secret Syrian plutonium production reactor (which Israel destroyed as it neared completion in 2007), and apparently decided that the rewards outweighed the risks associated with constructing a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qom.

What are the Mullahs watching now? Syria, where the Obama administration's policy is failing.

 

 

International Panel on Fissile Materials

January 13, 2014

"The Nuclear Terrorism Threat"

Presentation

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Pavel S. Zolotarev

In these slides, William H. Tobey and Pavel Zolotarev provide an updated summary of the threat of nuclear terrorism, based in part on the new U.S.-Russian report, Steps to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism. This was presented at the Meeting of the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit ‘Sherpas’, hosted by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pattaya, Thailand, on January 13, 2014.

 

2013

November 13, 2013

"Testing a Nuclear Deal with Tehran"

Op-Ed, Foreign Policy

By William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Before ink had been put to paper -- let alone dried -- on an interim nuclear bargain with Iran Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced it as "the deal of the century" for Tehran , noting that Iran would not have to dismantle even one centrifuge. If a deal is culminated, others will no doubt defend it, arguing that Iran's enrichment program is a fait accompli; that we can hope only to contain it, not to end it, or even to roll it back.

 

 

October 13, 2013

"Stopping Nuclear Terrorism"

Op-Ed, Moscow Times, issue 5233

By Pavel S. Zolotarev and William H. Tobey, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Earlier this year, an 83-year-old Catholic nun, Sister Megan Rice, was convicted of breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where the U.S. stores weapons-grade, highly enriched uranium. Sister Rice and two senior citizen companions cut through three fences before vandalizing the outside of the storage site. Fortunately, they were peace activists and not terrorists bent on causing mayhem, but this appalling lapse proves that no nation can be complacent about securing its nuclear materials.

 

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