Targeting the Talent: Killing Scientists as a Counter-proliferation Strategy


Location: 1030 Jenkins Nanovic Halls

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Dr. Rachel Elizabeth Whitlark is Associate Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Previously, she was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program within the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program.

Whitlark’s book, All Options on the Table: Leaders, Preventive War, and Nuclear Proliferation (Cornell University Press 2021), investigates American and Israeli decision-making regarding the use of preventive military force as a counter-proliferation strategy. Elsewhere, she explores topics including nuclear latency – the precursor technology central to a state’s ability to acquire either nuclear weapons or civilian nuclear energy, the use of scenarios for methodological and pedagogical purposes, and a variety of contemporary U.S. and international foreign policy challenges. Her work has been published in such journals as Security Studies, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, and International Studies Perspectives, as well as in policy outlets including The Washington Quarterly, Texas National Security Review, and Survival. Her commentary has appeared in online fora including War on the Rocks, The Duck of Minerva, The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, and

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