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Daniel Poneman

Daniel Poneman

Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Contact:
Telephone: 617-495-7070
Email: daniel_poneman@hks.harvard.edu

 

Experience

Daniel Poneman is a Senior Fellow with the Belfer Center and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Centrus Energy Corp., which provides enrichment, fuel, and fuel services to utilities that operate nuclear reactors throughout the world. Prior to his appointment in October 2014, Poneman had been Deputy Secretary of Energy since 2009, in which capacity he also served as Chief Operating Officer of the Department. Between April 23, 2013, and May 21, 2013, Poneman served as Acting Secretary of Energy.

Poneman's responsibilities at the Department of Energy spanned the full range of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, including fossil and nuclear energy, renewables and energy efficiency, and international cooperation around the world. He led 2009 negotiations to address Iran’s nuclear program and participated in the Deputies' Committee at the National Security Council. He played an instrumental role in the Department’s response to crises from Fukushima to the Libyan civil war to Hurricane Sandy, and led the Department’s efforts to strengthen emergency response and cybersecurity across the energy sector.

Poneman first joined the Department of Energy in 1989 as a White House Fellow. The next year he joined the National Security Council staff as Director of Defense Policy and Arms Control. From 1993 through 1996, Poneman served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls at the National Security Council. Prior to assuming his responsibilities as Deputy Secretary, Poneman served as a principal of The Scowcroft Group for eight years, providing strategic advice to corporations on a wide variety of international projects and transactions. Between tours of government service, he practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C. – first as an associate at Covington & Burling, later as a partner at Hogan & Hartson.

Poneman received A.B. and J.D. degrees with honors from Harvard University and an M.Litt. in Politics from Oxford University. He has published widely on energy and national security issues and is the author of Nuclear Power in the Developing World and Argentina: Democracy on Trial. His third book, Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis (coauthored with Joel Wit and Robert Gallucci), received the 2005 Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy. Poneman is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

 

By Date

 

2016

August 4, 2016

American Nuclear Diplomacy

Report

By Daniel Poneman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

In this report, American Nuclear Diplomacy: Forging a New Consensus to Fight Climate Change and Weapons Proliferation, Former Deputy Secretary of Energy and Belfer Center Senior Fellow Daniel Poneman writes that we face two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Each, he says, stems from human origins. Both must be fought aggressively.

"Multiple studies confirm the grim truth that, even if all nations fulfill their Paris Climate Agreement emissions pledges, the world will still far overshoot the 2°C warming limit scientists say we must not exceed to prevent devastating climate impacts. Carbon-free nuclear energy can help close the gap. But can we expand its environmental benefits without increasing the risks of nuclear terror?"

Poneman outlines a diplomatic strategy and tough-minded, bipartisan policies to get us there.

 

 

(AP Photo)

March 30, 2016

"Two Reasons to Restore American Nuclear Leadership"

Op-Ed, Medium

By Daniel Poneman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Over the next four weeks, world leaders will gather to confront two existential threats. On March 31, they will join forces in Washington to step up the fight against nuclear terrorism. On April 22, they will assemble in New York to sign the Paris agreement to fight climate change.

While these threats call for a complex web of tough responses, one common thread runs through them: both would benefit from strengthened American leadership in nuclear energy.

 

2015

Commons.wikimedia.org

October 28, 2015

"America Needs to Enrich Uranium"

Op-Ed, Medium

By Daniel Poneman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

With the upcoming implementation of the Iran deal, the continuing challenge from nuclear rogue North Korea, and global competition heating up to supply nuclear facilities to new adopters of nuclear power in Asia, Europe, and Africa, American leadership in nuclear technology is more important than ever to protect our national security and maintain the highest degree of vigilance against the spread of nuclear weapons.

 

2014

Fall/Winter 2014-15

"Former Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman Named Senior Fellow"

Newsletter Article, Belfer Center Newsletter

By Daniel Poneman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Former Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel B. Poneman joined the Belfer Center in October as a senior fellow. Poneman, who served as deputy secretary from 2009 until early October of this year, was responsible for the full range of President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, including fossil and nuclear energy, renewables and energy efficiency, and international cooperation around the world.

 

 

October 14, 2014

Former Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman Joins Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center as Senior Fellow

News

By Daniel Poneman, Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Daniel Poneman, former Deputy Secretary of Energy, has joined Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs as a senior fellow.

Poneman was nominated by President Obama to be Deputy Secretary of Energy on April 20, 2009, and was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 18, 2009. Under the leadership of Secretaries of Energy Steven Chu and Ernest Moniz, Poneman also served as Chief Operating Officer of the Department. Between April 23, 2013, and May 21, 2013, Poneman served as Acting Secretary of Energy.

 
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.