International Advisory Council Annual Meeting 2020

October 28, 2020

High-level diplomats, former government officials, international civil servants, funders, and staff joined the International Advisory Council (IAC)’s Annual Meeting on October 26, 2020. Though the meeting—like so much of our work during this era of COVID-19—was held virtually, the format remained conducive to insightful briefings and robust discussions. Even without the opportunity for in-person chats, the meeting was effective in sustaining participants’ commitment to nonproliferation issues and the Center’s innovative approach to training and education.

CNS Director Dr. William C. Potter opened the meeting by welcoming participants from across multiple time zones. He welcomed in particular the new additions to the Council, such as H.E. Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez, and to the staff, including Dr. Ian J. Stewart, executive director of the Washington, DC, office; Dr. Hanna Notte, senior non-resident scholar; and Dr. Richard Pilch, director of the chemical and biological weapons (CBW) nonproliferation program.

Three substantive sessions focused on:

  • The Future of Arms Control, with remarks by Ambassador Anatoly Antonov of the Russian Federation, former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane, and veteran arms control negotiator Bob Einhorn;
  • Nuclear Developments in the Middle East, with remarks by Dr. Chen Zak Kane, Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, and Dr. Hanna Notte;
  • Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism in the Age of the Pandemic, with remarks by Jill Luster, Dr. Richard Pilch, and the Honorable Andrew C. Weber, former assistant secretary of defense.

The Honorable Rose Gottemoeller, former deputy secretary general of NATO, shared her views on US–Russia cooperation during a lunchtime discussion led by Eurasia Program Director Sarah Bidgood.

Participants expressed a range of strongly held views in the ensuing discussions, which took place both verbally and in the chat feature of the Zoom meeting.  Despite the divergent opinions, a respectful tone of engagement and friendly debate was maintained.

Although this year’s IAC lacked the side chats and evening revelry of years past, it was nonetheless a welcomed and treasured opportunity for all to engage on these topics we so highly value. The meeting concluded with a business-oriented discussion among IAC members and high-level CNS staff.

Photo Gallery

2020 IAC Slideshow

View album on Flickr

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