Natasha Bajema


Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear non-proliferation, AI, Policy, History






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Contributor Since 23 March 2020

Dr. Natasha Bajema has built a 20-year career in national security with a specialized focus on reducing the risks of nuclear weapons, biological weapons, and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. Natasha is the CEO and Founder, Nuclear Spin Cycle, LLC, an innovative startup which produces creative content with national security impact. She is also currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic Risks and an NSquare Fellow. From 2008 to 2019, Natasha spent more than ten years at the National Defense University where she taught an elective course on weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that examines the development of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons through documentaries, TV, and film. At NDU, she also led a multi-year initiative exploring the impact of emerging technologies on WMD. From 2010 to 2013, Natasha held a long-term detail assignment serving in various capacities in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics, Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs and in Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation at Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Natasha has also completed stints at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Branch of the Office for Disarmament Affairs at the United Nations. Natasha is the author of three published science fiction mystery novels in the Lara Kingsley Series and the host of the Authors of Mass Destruction podcast. She holds an M.A. in international policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Mentor Background

What is your area of expertise?

  • Nuclear Weapons
  • Nuclear non-proliferation
  • AI
  • Policy
  • History
  • 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?

    I did my Master's work at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, now known as The Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Instead of going to DC for a summer internship, I decided to stay in Monterey and take on an internship at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, which is how I initially got started. 

    Why should the public care?

    The public should care about nuclear weapons because they are the most destructive weapons on the planet. They exist in thousands and once one of them is detonated, it's hard to imagine a world where others are not. 

    What is a current issue or trend that concerns you?

    I am very concerned about emerging technologies and how they alter the landscape for nuclear weapons.

    Educational Resources

    WILDFIRE: An Educational Game about the Global Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
    Role playing, Simulation
    See Details See Details

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