Amb. Robert Joseph

Amb. Robert Joseph
Senior Scholar

Robert Joseph holds the position of Senior Scholar at the National Institute for Public Policy.

Until March 2007, Ambassador Joseph was Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. In this capacity, he reported directly to the Secretary of State as the principal State Department officer for non-and counterproliferation matters, arms control, arms transfers, regional security and defense relations, and security assistance. His management responsibilities included oversight of three major bureaus headed by Assistant Secretaries of State: International Security and Nonproliferation; Political and Military Affairs; and Verification, Compliance and Implementation.

Previously, from January 2001 through November 2004, Dr. Joseph served in the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Proliferation Strategy, Counterproliferation and Homeland Defense. In this capacity, he was responsible, under the supervision of the National Security Advisor, for developing and coordinating U.S. policies and strategies for preventing, deterring and defending against threats to the United States from weapons of mass destruction.

Ambassador Joseph’s major areas of responsibility at the White House and in the State Department included:

  • Formulation and implementation of national security strategies to counter proliferation threats (U.S. National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction and U.S. National Strategy for Bio Defense)
  • Formulation of U.S. policy on strategic missile defense (principal staffing role in the U.S. withdrawal from 1972 ABM Treaty)
  • Design and promotion of international initiatives on counterproliferation (including launching the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism)
  • Development and deployment of counterproliferation capabilities, both biological defenses (detection and medical counter-measures) and ballistic missile defenses, and
  • Expansion of U.S. nonproliferation assistance programs and establishment of the Global Partnership increasing total resources for this purpose to over $15 billion.

From 1992 until 2001, Dr. Joseph was Professor of National Security Studies and Director/Founder of the Center for Counterproliferation Research at the National Defense University. Earlier, he was U.S. Commissioner to the Standing Consultative Commission and Ambassador to the U.S.-Russian Commission on Nuclear Testing, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy, Nuclear Policy/Planning Officer at U.S. Mission to NATO, and Assistant Professor of International Relations/Strategic Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tulane University, and Carleton College.

Dr. Joseph received his BA from Saint Louis University and his MA from the University of Chicago. He received his PhD from Columbia University. His awards include the National Defense University President’s Award for Individual Achievement and the National Nuclear Security Administration Gold Medal for Distinguished Service. He also received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service (and Bronze Palm), and multiple Senior Executive Service Meritorious Achievements citations. In 2006, he was the recipient of the annual Ronald Reagan award for his contributions to U.S. missile defense.