Pierce S. Corden

Visiting Scholar

Since 2008, Dr. Pierce Corden has been a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Science, Technology and Security Policy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has engaged with universities and think tanks on national security issues, in particular related to nuclear weapons and nonproliferation. He has organized workshops, and presentations on Capitol Hill, on nuclear test monitoring and proliferation-related nuclear energy issues. He has mentored interns, co-hosted with the Japan Society for Promotion of Science a day-long symposium on science and nuclear disarmament, and with the Union of Concerned Scientists a workshop on nuclear weapon safety and security issues. He has given talks on the prospects for elimination of nuclear weapons at the University of Linkoping in Sweden, at American University, at the Stanford Center for Security and Arms Control at Stanford, and at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. On nuclear testing issues he has lectured in courses at the Comprehensive Nuclear- Test-Ban Treaty’s Provisional Technical Secretariat in Vienna.

Dr. Corden was adjunct professor in the School of International Service at American University, where he taught a course on new U.S. disarmament challenges in 2009, and was a lecturer on mass-destruction weapons and terrorism at the NATO Center of Excellence – Defense against Terrorism in 2011 and 2012. He has participated in international conferences and workshops on nuclear arms control issues in Stockholm and at the CTBT Preparatory Commission in Vienna, and lectured in capacity-development courses at the Commission.

From 2002-7, Dr. Corden was Director of Administration for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization’s Preparatory Commission in Vienna, Austria. He oversaw the development and implementation of an annual $100 million program for the build-up of the Treaty’s 337-facility International Monitoring System, its global communications infrastructure and International Data Center in Vienna, and for preparations for on-site inspections. From 1994-2001 he directed the offices in the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and then the Department of State, responsible for negotiation of the CTBT and the subsequent activities of the Preparatory Commission, where he represented the United States from 1997-2001.

Prior to that time he served as Deputy Executive Chairman of the UN Special Commission (for Iraq) in 1993; Chief of ACDA’s division for the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe from 1989-92; Executive Secretary of the U.S. Delegation to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, 1982-9; and Physical Science Officer in ACDA, 1971-82. In addition to nuclear weapon testing, Dr. Corden worked on a wide range of arms control issues in the CD, the UN, OSCE and bilaterally. These included environmental warfare, radiological, biological and chemical weapons, and the “cut-off” of fissile-material production. In 1977-8 he was a research fellow at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Dr. Corden received his Ph.D. in solid-state physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971.

Selected Publications:

  • Banning Nuclear Tests,” Editorial, Science Vol. 328, 21 May 2010, p. 953.
  • Organizing for Arms Control: 1945-2009,” Foreign Service Journal Vol. 86, No. 12, December 2009.
  • Science in Arms Control Policy Development and Implementation,” Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences Vol. 95 No. 3, Fall 2009.
  • Objectives and Goals of the 2000 NPT Review Conference,” a presentation to the 12th Regional Disarmament Meeting in the Asia-Pacific Region, Kathmandu, Nepal, February 2000.
  • Capping Nuclear Capabilities Globally: CTBT and FMCT,” a presentation to the Asia Pacific Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Seminar, Bangkok, Thailand, February 25-26, 1999 (Conference paper).
  • The Future of the Conference on Disarmament and Multilateral Arms Control,” a presentation to the China-U.S. Conference on Arms Control, Disarmament and Nonproliferation, Beijing, China, September 24-25, 1998 (Conference paper).