Charles D. Ferguson

Dr. Charles D. Ferguson is the Philip D. Reed senior fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is also an adjunct professor in the security studies program at Georgetown University, where he teaches a graduate-level course titled “Nuclear Technologies and Security,” and an adjunct lecturer in the national security studies program at the Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches a graduate-level course titled “Weapons of Mass Destruction Technologies.” His areas of expertise include arms control, climate change, energy policy, and nuclear and radiological terrorism. At CFR, he specializes in analyzing nuclear energy, nuclear nonproliferation, and the prevention of nuclear terrorism.

Prior to arriving at CFR in September 2004, Dr. Ferguson worked as the scientist-in-residence at the Monterey Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). At CNS, he co-authored (with William Potter) the book The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism (Routledge, 2005). He was also the lead author of the award-winning report Commercial Radioactive Sources: Surveying the Security Risks, which was published in January 2003 and was one of the first post-9/11 reports to assess the radiological dispersal device, or “dirty bomb,” threat. This report won the 2003 Robert S. Landauer Lecture Award from the Health Physics Society.

Dr. Ferguson has consulted with Sandia National Laboratories and the National Nuclear Security Administration. He served as a physical scientist in the Office of the Senior Coordinator for Nuclear Safety at the U.S. Department of State, where he helped develop U.S. government policies on nuclear safety and security issues. He has also worked on nuclear proliferation and arms control issues as a senior research analyst and director of the nuclear policy project at the Federation of American Scientists. After graduating with distinction from the United States Naval Academy, he served as an officer on a fleet ballistic missile submarine and studied nuclear engineering at the Naval Nuclear Power School.

Dr. Ferguson has written numerous articles on energy policy, missile defense, nuclear arms control, nuclear energy, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear terrorism. These publications have appeared in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Christian Science Monitor, Issues in Science and Technology, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the National Interest online, and the Washington Post. He has also authored or coauthored several peer-reviewed scientific articles and published in top physics journals. He holds a PhD in physics from Boston University.