William Potter

William Potter Standing in His Office

CNS Founding Director

[email protected]
Monterey, CA


  • Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor
    of Nonproliferation Studies
  • Founding Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS)
  • Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Areas of Research

  • Nuclear terrorism
  • Forecasting proliferation developments
  • US-Russian relations
  • NPT review process
  • NAM nuclear politics


Dr. William Potter has served as a consultant to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the RAND Corporation, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

He has been a member of several committees of the National Academy of Sciences, including its Nonproliferation Panel.

He served for five years on the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters and the Board of Trustees of the UN Institute for Disarmament Research.

He has participated as a delegate at every NPT Review Conference and Preparatory Committee meeting since 1995.


CNS Work

View list on separate page




  • End of an Era: The United States, Russia, and Nuclear Nonproliferation (2021), co-authored with Sarah Bidgood
  • Nuclear Politics and the Non-Aligned Movement (2012)
  • The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism (2005)
  • Tactical Nuclear Weapons: Options for Control (2000)
  • Nuclear Profiles of the Soviet Successor States (1993)
  • Soviet Decisionmaking for Chernobyl: An Analysis of System Performance and Policy Change (1990)
  • Nuclear Power and Nonproliferation: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (1982)


  • Verification and SALT: The Challenge of Strategic Deception (1980)
  • Verification and Arms Control (1985), and International Nuclear Trade and Nonproliferation (1990)


  • Once and Future Partners: The United States, Russia, and Nuclear Non-proliferation (2018)
  • Preventing Black-Market Trade in Nuclear Technology (2018)
  • Forecasting Nuclear Nonproliferation in the 21st Century (2 volumes, 2010)
  • Engaging China and Russia on Nuclear Disarmament (2009)
  • The Global Politics of Combating Nuclear Terrorism: A Supply Side Approach (2009)
  • Dangerous Weapons, Desperate States (1999)
  • Dismantling the Cold War: U.S. and NIS Perspectives on the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (1997)
  • Soviet Decisionmaking for National Security (1984)
  • The Nuclear Suppliers and Nonproliferation (1985
  • Continuity and Change in Soviet-East European Relations (1989)
  • International Missile Bazaar: The New Suppliers’ Network (1994)

Dr. Potter has contributed chapters and articles to over 130 scholarly books and journals.