Jamie Withorne

Monterey, CA

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Contributor Since 15 September 2019


Mentor Background

What is your area of expertise?

  • Nuclear non-proliferation
  • Policy
  • Are you interested in mentoring high school or college students, or both?

  • High School Students
  • College Students
  • How did you become interested in this area?

    Growing up, I wanted to be a nuclear engineer, but as I took more science classes, I realized I wanted to deal with people more than just numbers and technology. Slowly, as I traveled more, I discovered that I really liked international relations. When I was in college, I found that I could combine my interest in nuclear technology and international relations by focusing on nuclear policy. 

    What was your career path to get here?

    I think it's important to note, that career paths in this field aren't straight shots or linear. In college, I was going to become an immigration lawyer for awhile, and then after an internship freshman year, I decided it wasn't for me. Between my sophomore and junior year of college, I interned at the US Department of State in the Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance bureau and absolutely loved it. But, as I continued my studies, I found that I enjoyed research processes and finding data that could inform policy more than I liked writing and implementing policy itself. So, I pursued some research internships at various think tanks across both political spectrums and research fields, until I was hired as a Research Assistant at my current workplace. 

    Why should the public care?

    The public should care about nuclear weapons because they are some of the most complex and dangerous assets states across the world have, and if people don't know about them, they can't do anything to regulate, control, and reduce their arsenal numbers. For change to occur in nuclear policy, more people need to first know about, and care about, the weapons themselves first. 

    What is a current issue or trend that concerns you?

    Controlling technology by means of policy, especially as it relates to "emerging technologies" and dual-use items from an arms control lens really concerns me, and I think there is a lot of room for growth and improvement in this policy field. 


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