Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins

Jeannine B. Scott

Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins currently serves as a Joint Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the University of Pennsylvania Perry World House.

Before her recent position as a Joint Fellow, Jenkins was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009 as Ambassador at the U.S. Department of State. Jenkins served as the Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. She was also the U.S. representative to the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (Global Partnership) and chaired the Global Partnership in 2012.

She served as the Department of State’s (DOS) lead on the Nuclear Security Summit, and she coordinated DOS activities related to the effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material. Jenkins coordinated DOS Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) programs and helped ensure a coordinated approach when promoting these programs internationally. Jenkins engaged in outreach efforts and regularly briefed United States Combatant Commands about weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs in their area of responsibility, worked closely with relevant international organizations and multilateral initiatives, and also worked closely with nongovernmental organizations engaged in CTR-related activities.

Also during her time as Coordinator, Jenkins worked on the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which is an international effort with over 55 countries to reduce infectious disease threats such as Ebola and Zika. Since the GHSA launch in February 2014, Jenkins worked closely with governments to help ensure they implemented GHSA as a multisectoral effort requiring the engagement of all relevant stakeholder to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease. Jenkins also led an international effort to engage non-governmental stakeholders (NGS) in the GHSA, helping to establish the GHSA NGS Consortium, the GHSA Private Sector Roundtable, and she founded the GHSA Next Generation network.

Ambassador Jenkins has vast experience working with international organizations. For example, she has worked closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the promotion health issues in the Global Partnership. She also was engaged with the WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization on the GHSA, and from 2014-2016, she was chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s nuclear security Centers of Excellence network.

Jenkins dedicated significant attention to the engagement of Africa in the reduction of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. Working closely with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), she developed a program called, the “Threat Reduction in Africa” (TRIA), to help ensure that U.S. programs and activities in WMD security are well coordinated and as accurately as possible meet the needs of countries where those programs are engaged.
Also while at DOS, Jenkins served as the Leadership Liaison for the DOS Veterans-at-State Affinity Group and also on the Department of State’s Diversity Governance Board.

Before rejoining the U.S. Government, Jenkins served as the Program Officer for U.S. foreign and security policy at the Ford Foundation. Her grant-making responsibilities sought to strengthen public engagement in U.S. foreign and security policy debate and formulation. She promoted support for multilateralism, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and the international rule of law. Before joining the Ford Foundation, Jenkins served as counsel to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, more commonly known as the “9/11 Commission”. She was the lead Commission staff member on counter-terrorism policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on U.S. military plans targeting al Qaeda before 9/11.

Jenkins also served as General Counsel to the U.S. Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and as a consultant to the 2000 National Commission on Terrorism. Additionally, she worked at the RAND Corporation in their national security division.

After serving as a U.S. Air Force Reserve non-commissioned officer in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, Jenkins received a direct commission into the U.S. Naval Reserves. Now a retired U.S. Naval Reserve officer, she also completed in 2006 a year-long deployment to U.S. Central Command in Support of Operation Enduring Freedom, becoming a certified targeteer. She has received numerous awards from the military, and during her Naval Reserve service, she was selected as the United States’ Naval Intelligence Junior Officer of the Year.

As an expert on arms control and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Jenkins served for nine years as legal adviser to U.S. ambassadors and delegations negotiating arms control and nonproliferation treaties during her time as a legal adviser in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. She has been a legal adviser on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, among others. She has also served as U.S. legal adviser on relevant Treaty implementing bodies, such as the CTBT Organization (CTBTO), and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Jenkins has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School and co-led arms control, and nonproliferation simulated negotiations at Stanford University’s Center for International Center and Security Cooperation. She was a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. During her years at Belfer, she also worked as an advisor at Harvard Law School’s Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising.

Jenkins has a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Virginia; an LL.M. in international and comparative law from the Georgetown University Law Center; an M.P.A. from the State University of New York at Albany; a J.D. from Albany Law School; and a B.A. from Amherst College. She also attended The Hague Academy of International Law.

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