‘Pushing Nuclear Frontiers’ lecture 6 October at FRIB Laboratory

22 September 2022

Joan Rohlfing, president and chief operating officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), will give a lecture titled “Pushing Nuclear Frontiers” on 6 October at the FRIB Laboratory. Rohlfing’s lecture is part of MSU’s Distinguished Nuclear Policy Lecture series.

The “Pushing Nuclear Frontiers” abstract states: "Though the world has changed dramatically since the advent of nuclear weapons 77 years ago, the strategy for preventing the use of nuclear weapons—nuclear deterrence—has changed very little. This strategy was created for a slow, analog, bi-polar world, and today’s world is far more complex, featuring heightened tension between the nine nuclear possessor states, more lethal, hypersonic speed nuclear weapons, and many pathways to nuclear use that deterrence was never designed to address. The challenge is to push the frontiers of nuclear innovation in both the policy and technology spheres and to design a more effective strategy for reducing the risks of nuclear use. A big part of any new strategy should include innovation of new technologies and procedures for controlling nuclear weapons technologies worldwide. This talk will outline what such a new nuclear technology control regime might look like and how places of cutting edge research and training might contribute to that regime."

At NTI, Rohlfing provides overall leadership and guidance on NTI’s strategic priorities and direction, catalyzes new project activities and innovation work streams and is responsible for managing NTI’s day-to-day operations.

She was part of the original team that created the mission and scope for NTI in 2000. Before joining NTI, she held senior positions with the U.S. Department of Energy. Rohlfing chairs the Laboratory Advisory Committee of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.

Rohlfing will speak at a lecture starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, 6 October, in room 1300 at the FRIB Laboratory (640 S. Shaw Lane). There will be a special reception at 5 p.m. (immediately prior to the lecture) in the area outside of room 1300.