Robert Einhorn is a senior fellow in the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative and the Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology, both housed within the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. Einhorn focuses on arms control (U.S.-Russia and multilateral), nonproliferation and regional security issues (including Iran, the greater Middle East, South Asia, and Northeast Asia), and U.S. nuclear weapons policies and programs.

Before joining Brookings in May 2013, Einhorn served as the U.S. Department of State special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, a position created by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009. In that capacity, he played a leading role in the formulation and execution of U.S. policy toward Iran’s nuclear program, both with respect to sanctions and negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 countries. He also helped shape the Obama administration’s overall approach to nonproliferation; supported nonproliferation goals through diplomatic contacts with China, Russia, and key non-aligned countries; and addressed nuclear security and strategic stability challenges in South Asia. He played a key role in the development of the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review and served as U.S. delegation head in negotiations with South Korea on a successor civil nuclear agreement.

Between 2001 and 2009, Einhorn was a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he directed the Proliferation Prevention Program. Prior to joining CSIS, he was assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation from 1999 to 2001, deputy assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs from 1992 to 1999, and a member of the State Department policy planning staff from 1986 to 1992. Between 1972 and 1986, he held various positions at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), including as ACDA’s representative to the strategic arms reduction talks with the Soviet Union. In 1984, he was an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Einhorn has written extensively in the area of arms control and nonproliferation. He authored “Negotiating from Strength: Leverage in U.S.-Soviet Arms Control Negotiations” (Praeger Publishers, 1984), co-edited “Protecting against the Spread of Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons: An Action Agenda for the Global Partnership” (Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2003), and “The Nuclear Tipping Point: Why States Reconsider their Nuclear Choices” (Brookings Institution Press, 2004), and published numerous articles in such journals as Survival, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, Arms Control Today, The Washington Quarterly, The Nonproliferation Review, and Yaderny Kontrol.

Einhorn holds a bachelor’s in government from Cornell University and a master’s in public affairs and international relations from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Council on Foreign Relations, member
International Institute for Strategic Studies, member

  • Past Positions

    • Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, U.S. Department of State (2009-2013)
    • Director, Proliferation Prevention Program and Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies (2001-2009)
    • Assistant Secretary for Nonproliferation (1999-2001), U.S. Department of State
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State (1992-1999)
    • Member, Policy Planning Staff, U.S. Department of State (1986-1992)
    • U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1972-1986)
    • International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (1984)
  • Education

    • M.A., Public Affairs and International Relations, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
    • B.A., Government, Cornell University
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