Welcome Message

CNS Director

William Potter, CNS Director

Since its founding nearly 35 years ago, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) has worked to reduce the threats posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by educating the next generation of nonproliferation specialists worldwide. CNS has grown to become the largest nongovernmental organization of its kind focusing exclusively on proliferation challenges and nonproliferation opportunities, and its reach and activities have grown accordingly. The Center now consists of three offices—in Monterey, Washington, and in Vienna, Austria (through the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation) — and maintains a diverse network of international contacts. Hundreds of Middlebury Institute for International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) graduates have earned degrees and certificates from MIIS in the nonproliferation field and are working daily to make the world a safer and more secure place. Through the work of its staff and students, our Center is now widely known as a nexus for nonproliferation education, resources, and policy information. In addition to our academic and policy work, we also produce The Nonproliferation Review, the leading international journal in the field, and other significant publications on various nonproliferation topics by international experts and practitioners. Finally, our nonproliferation databases and Center website have become known among analysts, government experts, and the media as reliable sources of objective information on cutting-edge policy issues, as well as a broad range of technological and regime-related questions.

But these products tell only part of the story of our Center’s many activities. Experts on our staff and program alumni have participated in many of the most important nonproliferation efforts in recent years. Our staff and students are now routinely represented at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and Preparatory Committees on both national and international organization delegations. CNS staff have also worked on background materials or served on preparatory committees for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone. CNS graduate assistants serve as interns with major international organizations including the United Nations in New York and Geneva, the IAEA, the CTBTO and OPCW.  Numerous CNS alumni put their training to work in international organizations and government offices focusing on weapons of mass destruction issues. Staff members have testified before Congress on questions related to terrorism, illicit nuclear trafficking, chemical weapons, US assistance to Russian weapons dismantlement programs, nonproliferation issues in Asia, and export control reform. They also routinely provide background reports and analyses to the traditional media, as well as disseminating findings via new social media outlets. In addition to drawing on the Center’s vast resources to advise policymakers, the Center reaches out to the public through seminars and briefings, both in the United States and abroad.

I hope that our website succeeds in serving as a place where experts and novices alike can learn more about existing proliferation threats and opportunities to combat them through innovative and cooperative policy initiatives. I encourage you to contact our Center’s staff with your questions or for further information about its many programs and publications.


William C. Potter
James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies
Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies
Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies
Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey