Union of Concerned Scientists Appoints National Security Policy Veteran to Head Global Security Program

Published Apr 30, 2020

WASHINGTON (April 30, 2020)—The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has tapped Sharon Squassoni to direct its Global Security Program. Squassoni, who has decades of experience working for the U.S. government and nonprofit think tanks, will start on June 1.

“We are very fortunate to have a leader like Sharon, with such a breadth of experience in national security policy and government service, join our team,” says UCS President Ken Kimmell. “Sharon combines exceptional writing, speaking and organizational skills with a deep understanding and knowledge of global nuclear policy at the highest level. With her leadership, we are confident that we will build upon our Global Security Program’s already considerable accomplishments to create a better and safer world.”

Squassoni comes to UCS from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, where she was a research professor since January 2018, but she has spent most of her career in nonprofit policy institutes and the federal government. Prior to her GWU professorship, she ran the Proliferation Prevention Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2010 through 2017 and was a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 2007 through 2009. She served in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (now defunct), the State Department and the Congressional Research Service in the 1990s and 2000s

Squassoni says the primary focus of her work closely overlaps with that of the UCS Global Security Program, so it seemed like a natural fit.

“I can’t imagine a better place to be than UCS at a time when science itself is under attack and yet clearly offers solutions for reducing risks,” she says. “The Global Security Program at UCS has done pathbreaking work in reducing nuclear risks for many years, and I’m honored to carry that work forward and build upon it. I’m excited to join such a diverse group of scientists, members, advisors and allies working to make a sustainable and safer future.”

Squassoni has a bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY-Albany and master’s degrees in public management from the University of Maryland and national security strategy from the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.

Squassoni will replace David Wright and Lisbeth Gronlund, who stepped down from their co-director posts on April 30 after 27 years with UCS. Gronlund and Wright will continue their work on U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear policy at MIT’s Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy.