Siegfried (Sig) Hecker

Closeup, smiling wearing glasses

Distinguished Professor of Practice

[email protected]
Santa Fe, NM


  • Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Indian Institute of Metals
  • Fellow of the American Association of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the American Society for Metals, TMS (Minerals, Metallurgy and Materials Society), and Honorary Member of the American Ceramics Society
  • Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, National Committee on North Korea, Advisor to the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Board Member of the Pacific Century Institute

Areas of Research

  • Nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear terrorism
  • Nuclear weapons policy and international security
  • Global future of nuclear energy
  • Plutonium science
  • International relations


Dr. Hecker spent 34 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory beginning as a summer graduate student in 1965, returning as a postdoctoral fellow from 1968 to 1970, and as a technical staff member in 1973 after three years at the General Motors Research Center. He led the Materials Science and Technology Division and the Center for Materials Science before becoming the fifth director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986 to 1997. He was senior fellow until 2005 when he joined Stanford University. At Stanford he was Professor (Research) in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation. He retired from Stanford on August 31, 2022, and joined Texas A&M University as Professor of Practice and the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.


Hecker received a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgy and a Master’s Degree in Metallurgy from Case Institute of Technology, and a PhD in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Case Western Reserve University.


CNS Work

View list on separate page



Recent Books

  • Doomed to Cooperate: How American and Russian Scientists Joined Forces to Avert Some of the Greatest Post-Cold War Nuclear Dangers, Siegfried S. Hecker ed., Bathtub Row Press, 2016.

Forthcoming Book

  • Hinge Points: An Inside Look into North Korea’s Nuclear Program, Siegfried S. Hecker with Elliot A. Serbin, Stanford University Press, January 2023.

Dr. Hecker has contributed chapters and articles to over 230 scholarly books and journals.