Sara Z. Kutchesfahani is the Director of the N Square DC Hub. N Square is a funders collaborative created in 2014 to introduce innovation and creative thinking into the nuclear risk reduction space. She is also a columnist for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and teaches undergraduate and graduate classes pertaining to nuclear weapons policy at the University of Maryland. Kutchesfahani has 16+ years of professional and academic experience in the fields of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security, holding research, analysis, teaching, and managerial positions at a national nuclear weapons laboratory, an NGO, a university, and at various think tanks around the world. This diverse background is a clear indication of her openness to learning new processes and approaches. She has a PhD in Political Science from University College London and is the author of Global Nuclear Order (Routledge: 2019) and Politics and the Bomb: The Role of Experts in the Creation of Cooperative Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreements (Routledge: 2014), as well as numerous scholarly and policy articles.
What is your area of expertise?
Are you interested in mentoring high school or college students, or both?
How did you become interested in this area?
By accident! It was something I stumbled upon, and once I learned that nuclear weapons existed, I was intrigued. 16 years later, I still have questions.
What was your career path to get here?
I started as a Research Assistant at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, which is how I got exposed to the study and politics of nuclear weapons. I have had the pleasure of working at a nuclear weapons lab (Los Alamos National Laboratory), a university (University of Georgia and now at the University of Maryland), think tanks and NGOs around the world (including in London, Paris, Athens (GA), and Washington D.C.)
Why should the public care?
Because nuclear weapons affect us all, and we all have an important role to play in making sure they never get used again.
What is a current issue or trend that concerns you?
The lack of general knowledge/education on nuclear issues.
Would you be willing to speak to a classroom about your work?Yes
What themes or topics would you be interested in lecturing or discussing with a class?
The Manhattan Project; nuclear history; nuclear trends; nukes and international security; international perspectives on nuclear non-proliferation; nuclear non-proliferation policy; nuclear security/terrorism; the global nuclear order.