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New director named for PNNL’s Center for Global Security

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December 03, 2003 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Carol Kessler, an international expert in nuclear energy and nonproliferation, has been named director of the Pacific Northwest Center for Global Security, which is part of the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The Center's mission is to provide a forum for the study of the full range of security issues, including not only traditional issues of nonproliferation, but also the impact of environmental, economic, energy and health conditions on global security.

Kessler's primary responsibility will be to further strengthen the center's partnerships and programs with regional universities and nongovernmental organizations and to expand its contacts with federal agencies. She will be located in Seattle.

"We must look beyond the traditional nonproliferation and verification mechanisms used to deal with proliferation to ascertain the root cause of why a country begins to buy, sell or develop weapons of mass destruction," said Kessler. "We'll be taking a more holistic approach by addressing economic and environmental conditions, and the political, technical or nuclear structures that often are the precursors to proliferation."

The center was established in 1998 to coordinate PNNL's nuclear nonproliferation programs, research, education and policy work within the region, particularly with universities and non-governmental organizations. The laboratory is a leader in nonproliferation efforts and, in fiscal year 2003, conducted nearly $160 million in research for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the national security arm of DOE.

According to Mike Kluse, associate laboratory director for PNNL's National Security Directorate, "Carol brings an impressive portfolio of policy, scientific and international experience in and understanding of nonproliferation issues facing the world community. She is the right person to link PNNL's vast resources in nonproliferation science and policy with the region's universities, nongovernmental organizations and government entities and with the international community."

Kessler most recently served as the deputy director general of the Nuclear Energy Agency at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an international group focused on developing the use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Prior to her tenure at NEA, Kessler worked at the Department of State for 12 years, lastly as senior coordinator for Nuclear Safety, Bureau of Nonproliferation Affairs.

She earned a bachelor's degree in biogeology from Brown University. She holds masters degrees in technology and policy from MIT, and in national security policy from the U.S. National War College in Washington, D.C.

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Tags: Energy, National Security, Nuclear Nonproliferation

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