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Event Information:

  • Mon

    NPWG Meeting 2/7: Guest Speaker Erin Dumbacher

    5:40 pm

    Join us as we host Erin Dumbacher of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), who will speak to us on Escalation Risks amid Modernization: Cybersecurity Threats and U.S. Nuclear Weapons.


    U.S. nuclear weapons are “going digital,” with roughly 90 percent of modernization programs adding digital upgrades or new digital components. Digitization and automation plans for the first major upgrade of the U.S. nuclear weapons systems in nearly 40 years carry significant risks and uncertainties alongside key benefits. How should U.S. policy and posture change with the inclusion of digital technologies in nuclear weapons? In addition to the rewards of and improved functionality in command, control, communication, and warning, how might cybersecurity threats be mitigated to avert escalation from a cyber attack to nuclear war?


    Erin D. Dumbacher is a senior program officer at the Nuclear Threat Initiative focusing on cybersecurity, emerging technology, and nuclear security. Her recent publications include U.S. Nuclear Weapons Modernization: Security and Policy Implications of Integrating Digital Technology and Signals in the Noise: Preventing Nuclear Proliferation with Machine Learning & Publicly Available InformationShe is a former strategy and research director in the private sector and received her M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. She began studying cyber and international security issues in Estonia in 2010 through a Fulbright Fellowship. Dumbacher is a Council on Foreign Relations term member, a member of Women in International Security, and an alumna of the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) Mid-Career Cadre. She is also a former Board Member of SAIS Global Women in Leadership. Her writing has been published by IEEE's Computer, The Atlantic, National Journal, Government Executive, War on the Rocks, NextGov, the SAIS Review of International Affairs, and The Nonproliferation Review.

    If you're interested in joining NPWG, please fill out the interest form to be added to the mailing list!  If you have any questions or would like to learn more, send an email to, I'd be happy to talk!

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