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Matthew Bunn

Mailing address

Littauer 339C
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
79 John F. Kennedy Street, Mailbox 53
Cambridge, MA, 02138

Downloadable CV

Matthew Bunn

Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

Member of the Board

Contact:
Telephone: (617) 495-9916
Fax: 617-495-8963
Email: matthew_bunn@harvard.edu

 

Experience

Matthew Bunn is a Professor of Practice at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.  His research interests include nuclear theft and terrorism; nuclear proliferation and measures to control it; the future of nuclear energy and its fuel cycle; and policies to promote innovation in energy technologies.

Before joining the Kennedy School in January 1997, he served for three years as an adviser to the Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he played a major role in U.S. policies related to the control and disposition of weapons-usable nuclear materials in the United States and the former Soviet Union, and directed a secret study for President Clinton on security for nuclear materials in Russia.  Previously, Bunn was at the National Academy of Sciences, where he directed the two-volume study Management and Disposition of Excess Weapons Plutonium.  He is the winner of the American Physical Society's Joseph A. Burton Forum Award for "outstanding contributions in helping to formulate policies to decrease the risks of theft of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials," and the Federation of American Scientists' Hans Bethe Award for "science in service to a more secure world," and is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.   He is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Arms Control Association and the Partnership for Global Security.

Bunn is the author or co-author of more than 20 books and book-length technical reports (most recently including Transforming U.S. Energy Innovation), and over a hundred articles in publications ranging from Science and Nuclear Technology to Foreign Policy and The Washington Post. He appears regularly on television and radio.

Bunn holds a doctorate in technology, management, and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is married to Jennifer Weeks; they have two daughters.

 

 

By Date

 

2014

NNSA

July 16, 2014

Innovating Verification: New Tools & New Actors to Reduce Nuclear Risks

Report

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

Part of NTI's Innovating Verification reports series, Verifying Baseline Declarations of Nuclear Warheads and Materials analyzes how baseline declarations can contribute to near- and long-term arms control and non-proliferation goals and how to verify them without compromising sensitive information.

 

 

July 14, 2014

Matthew Bunn Interviewed in Tehran Times

News

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

Amidst intense negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program, Professor Matthew Bunn was interviewed for a July 14 article in the Tehran Times about what a comprehensive agreement would look like and how the two sides of the dispute should approach the talks to obtain significant and substantive results.

 

 

Jul 11, 2014

"ISIS Seizes Nuclear Material—but That’s Not the Reason to Worry"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

"Like the Taliban’s Afghanistan before 9/11, the Islamic State may become a safe haven for people from other groups and countries to train and plot complex attacks."

 

 

June 11, 2014

"Ensuring a Nuclear Nightmare Never Happens"

Op-Ed, The National Interest

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

Speaking at West Point last month, President Obama warned that “if nuclear materials are not secure, that poses a danger to American citizens.” Contrarily, recently proposed budget cuts could hamper work being done to ensure nuclear material never falls into the wrong hands. In his National Interest op-ed, Matthew Bunn makes the case that preventing nuclear danger should remain a top priority for Congress.

 

 

April 4, 2014

"A Worst Practices Guide to Insider Threats: Lessons from Past Mistakes"

Occasional Paper

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom and Scott Sagan, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 1981-1982; Editorial Board Member, Quarterly Journal: International Security

Insider threats are perhaps the most serious challenges that nuclear security systems face. Insiders perpetrate a large fraction of thefts from heavily guarded non-nuclear facilities as well, yet organizations often find it difficult to understand and protect against insider threats. Why is this the case? Part of the answer is that there are deep organizational and cognitive biases that lead managers to downplay the threats insiders pose to their nuclear facilities and operations. But another part of the answer is that those managing nuclear security often have limited information about incidents that have happened in other countries or in other industries, and the lessons that might be learned from them.

 

 

March 24, 2014

Matthew Bunn Discusses 2014 Nuclear Security Summit on PBS NewsHour

News

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

Harvard Kennedy School Professor of Practice Matthew Bunn was interviewed on PBS NewsHour about the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague and Japan’s announcement at the Summit that it will hand over to the United States its supplies of weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium on Monday, March 24, 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, 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 globe—and what remains to be done. The effort made significant progress, but some weapons-usable nuclear materials still remain “dangerously vulnerable." The authors highlight the continuing danger of nuclear and radiological terrorism and call for urgent action.

 

 

March 2014

Threat Perceptions and Drivers of Change in Nuclear Security Around the World: Results of a Survey

Report

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom and Eben Harrell, Associate, Project on Managing the Atom

Leaders at the 2010 nuclear security summit agreed on the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material in four years, but the factors that drive and/or constrain nuclear security changes are not well understood. Matthew Bunn and Eben Harrell surveyed nuclear security professionals in countries with nuclear weapons, HEU, or separated plutonium to explore this issue. This paper describes the survey, its results, and implications for strengthening global nuclear security.

 

 

NTI

February 11, 2014

"What Types of Nuclear Material Require What Levels of Security?"

Presentation

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

In this presentation to an Institute for Nuclear Materiials Management workshop on risk-informing security, Matthew Bunn proposes a new approach to judging which materials would be easiest or more difficult for terrorists to use in a nuclear bomb, and hence which materials require more or less security.

 

 

January 31, 2014

"Plutonium Disposition: What are We Trying to Accomplish?"

Presentation

By Matthew Bunn, Professor of Practice; Co-Principal Investigator, Project on Managing the Atom

HKS Professor of Practice Matthew Bunn presented this presentation at the Plutonium Disposition Alternatives Workshop for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, DC on January 30-31, 2014.

 

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The Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) conducts and disseminates policy-relevant research on nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

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