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Bonnie Jenkins

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy

Bonnie Jenkins is the founder and president of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) nonprofit organization. She is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and president of Global Connections Empowering Global Change LLC., where she works with several academic institutions on issues of global health, infectious disease and defense innovation.

Prior to this, Jenkins was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Previously, she was an ambassador at the U.S. Department of State from 2009-17, where she served as coordinator for threat reduction programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. In that role, Jenkins coordinated the Department of State’s programs and activities to prevent weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism with programs funded by other U.S. departments and agencies, and also with similar programs funded by other countries. She served as the U.S. representative to the 30-nation G-7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and chaired the Global Partnership in 2012. Jenkins was the Department of State’s lead to the four Nuclear Security Summits that took place from 2010-16. Jenkins also worked closely with several international organizations including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), INTERPOL, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Health Organization, and the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit.

Jenkins was also a leading U.S. official in the launch and implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and also led engagement efforts with the nongovernmental sector in furtherance of the GHSA, to include academic institutions, foundations, and the private sector. She was also the U.S. Department of State International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau's (ISN) nominee for the 2016 Secretary's Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs.

Before returning to government in 2009, Jenkins served as program officer for U.S. Foreign and Security Policy at the Ford Foundation. She also served as counsel on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). Jenkins was the lead staff member conducting research, interviews, and preparing commission reports on counterterrorism policies in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on U.S. military plans targeting al-Qaida before 9/11. She 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 also worked at Rand Corporation focusing on Middle East weapons of mass destruction issues. She began her career as a civilian in the federal government at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in the Office of the General Counsel where she was the legal advisor to U.S. ambassadors and delegations negotiating WMD and conventional arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation treaties, and conventions. She also served as legal advisor to several WMD and conventional international implementation bodies, including the OPCW, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty Joint Consultative Group, and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.

Jenkins is a retired Naval Reserves officer and received several awards for her service. She was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University in both the international security and managing the atom programs. During that time, Jenkins also worked at the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School where she advised law students on employment in the U.S. government and public entities. Jenkins holds a doctorate in international relations from the University of Virginia; a Master of Law in international and comparative law from the Georgetown University Law Center; a Master of Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany; a juris doctor from Albany Law School; and a bachelor’s from Amherst College.

Bonnie Jenkins is the founder and president of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) nonprofit organization. She is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and president of Global Connections Empowering Global Change LLC., where she works with several academic institutions on issues of global health, infectious disease and defense innovation.

Prior to this, Jenkins was a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Previously, she was an ambassador at the U.S. Department of State from 2009-17, where she served as coordinator for threat reduction programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. In that role, Jenkins coordinated the Department of State’s programs and activities to prevent weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism with programs funded by other U.S. departments and agencies, and also with similar programs funded by other countries. She served as the U.S. representative to the 30-nation G-7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and chaired the Global Partnership in 2012. Jenkins was the Department of State’s lead to the four Nuclear Security Summits that took place from 2010-16. Jenkins also worked closely with several international organizations including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), INTERPOL, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Health Organization, and the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit.

Jenkins was also a leading U.S. official in the launch and implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and also led engagement efforts with the nongovernmental sector in furtherance of the GHSA, to include academic institutions, foundations, and the private sector. She was also the U.S. Department of State International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau’s (ISN) nominee for the 2016 Secretary’s Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs.

Before returning to government in 2009, Jenkins served as program officer for U.S. Foreign and Security Policy at the Ford Foundation. She also served as counsel on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). Jenkins was the lead staff member conducting research, interviews, and preparing commission reports on counterterrorism policies in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on U.S. military plans targeting al-Qaida before 9/11. She 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 also worked at Rand Corporation focusing on Middle East weapons of mass destruction issues. She began her career as a civilian in the federal government at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in the Office of the General Counsel where she was the legal advisor to U.S. ambassadors and delegations negotiating WMD and conventional arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation treaties, and conventions. She also served as legal advisor to several WMD and conventional international implementation bodies, including the OPCW, the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty Joint Consultative Group, and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.

Jenkins is a retired Naval Reserves officer and received several awards for her service. She was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University in both the international security and managing the atom programs. During that time, Jenkins also worked at the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School where she advised law students on employment in the U.S. government and public entities. Jenkins holds a doctorate in international relations from the University of Virginia; a Master of Law in international and comparative law from the Georgetown University Law Center; a Master of Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany; a juris doctor from Albany Law School; and a bachelor’s from Amherst College.

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