Belfer Center Home > People > Laura Rockwood

« Back to list of experts

Laura Rockwood

Mailing address

Not in Residence

Laura Rockwood

Associate, Project on Managing the Atom




Ms. Rockwood is an associate with the Project on Managing the Atom. Ms. Rockwood served as the the Section Head for Non-Proliferation and Policy Making in the Office of Legal Affairs of the IAEA from 1985 to 2014. She was involved in all aspects of the negotiation, interpretation and implementation of IAEA safeguards for over twenty-seven years. Prior to working for the IAEA, Ms. Rockwood was employed by the U.S. Department of Energy as a trial attorney in radiation injury cases, and as counsel in general legal matters, and, before that, by the U.S. General Accounting Office as an attorney.



By Date



April 27, 2015

IAEA Verification of Fissile Material in Support of Nuclear Disarmament


By Thomas E. Shea and Laura Rockwood, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

This report proposes a framework for IAEA verification of steps toward nuclear disarmament, premised on IAEA verification of fissile material, in any form, whether classified or not, submitted by any state possessing nuclear weapons. It identifies technical, legal, and financial solutions to the challenges posed by such verification, and offers a way forward to the implementation of the proposed framework. The tool that Rockwood and Shea offer is ready for any state with nuclear weapons to take up, finish the final details, and implement.



March 23, 2015

"Nuclear Disarmament: The Legacy of the Trilateral Initiative"

Working Paper

By Laura Rockwood, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

In 1996, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United States and the Russian Federation entered into a cooperative effort – the Trilateral Initiative – aimed at investigating the feasibility and requirements for a verification system under which the IAEA could accept and monitor nuclear warheads or nuclear warhead components pursuant to the NPT Article VI commitments of both States. Although the Initiative ended in 2002, the Model Verification Agreement produced could still serve as the basis for bilateral or multilateral agreements between the IAEA and nuclear-weapon States.

In this paper, Thomas E. Shea and Laura Rockwood examine the potential role for international verification of fissile material in relation to nuclear disarmament, what was accomplished under the Trilateral Initiative and, more importantly, what should be done now to preserve its legacy and take concrete steps towards such verification.




September, 2014

"The IAEA’s State-Level Concept and the Law of Unintended Consequences"

Journal Article, Arms Control Today

By Laura Rockwood, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

"In September 2013, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors reviewed a report by Director-General Yukiya Amano on efforts to further strengthen the effectiveness of safeguards and increase their efficiency. The report described an approach to the implementation of safeguards that had come to be known as the “state-level concept.”

Events Calendar

We host a busy schedule of events throughout the fall, winter and spring. Past guests include: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore, and former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev.