Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins was nominated by President Barack Obama in April 2009 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2009 as the Department of State’s Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. Ambassador Jenkins promotes the coordination of Department of State Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) and U.S. government programs in chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological security (CBRN). She also works closely with international partners in coordinating global CBRN security programs and funding to help ensure a coordinated approach when governments implement these programs internationally. She is the U.S. Representative to the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (Global Partnership) and Chaired the Global Partnership in 2012. She is the Department of State lead on the Nuclear Security Summit, and she coordinates the Department of State’s activities related to the four-year effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material. Ambassador Jenkins is also engaged in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a multi-sectoral initiative dedicated to reducing infectious disease threats around the world. She works closely on this initiative with domestic and international partners in the security (with a focus on biosecurity), animal and human health, development, and law enforcement sectors and leads U.S. government outreach to domestic and international non-governmental organizations. Ambassador Jenkins also works closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S chemical Industry in strengthening global security and safety of chemical weapons precursors.
Ambassador Jenkins has focused on a U.S. coordinated effort on threat reduction in Africa, culminating in a “Threat Reduction in Africa” U.S. interagency engagement program working closely with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and AFRICOM. She also works closely with relevant international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Prior to rejoining the U.S. Government, Ambassador Jenkins served as the Program Officer for U.S. Foreign and Security policy at the Ford Foundation. Her responsibilities included strengthening public engagement in U.S. foreign and security policy formulation and debates as well as funding programs and international engagements in the areas of peacekeeping, women in conflict, and natural resource conflicts. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ambassador Jenkins served as counsel on 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 counterterrorism policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on U.S. military plans targeting al Qaeda prior to 9-11.
Ambassador Jenkins also served as General Counsel to the U.S. Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to combat proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and as a consultant to the 2000 National Commission on Terrorism. Additionally she was a fellow at the RAND Corporation in their National Security Division. A retired Naval Reserve officer, she completed a year-long deployment to U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). She has received numerous awards in her time as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves.
Ambassador Jenkins served as legal advisor in the Office of General Council at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA). She provided legal advice to U.S. Ambassadors and delegations negotiating arms control and nonproliferation treaties. She has been a legal advisor on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty among others. She also served as U.S. legal advisor on relevant treaty implementing bodies, such as the CTBT Organization (CTBTO), and the OPCW.
Ambassador Jenkins is Chair of the IAEA Nuclear Security Training and Support Center Network, is on the Scientific Committee of the Annual International Symposium on Biosecurity and Biosafety, and is on the Steering Committee of the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity. Ambassador Jenkins is also the Department of State’s Leadership Liaison for the Veterans at State affinity group, and is a member of the Department’s Diversity Governance Council.
Ambassador Jenkins has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School. She also assisted in designing and leading arms control and nonproliferation simulation courses at Stanford University. 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 the Belfer Center, she worked at Harvard Law School in the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising as an advisor to law students on legal jobs in the public sector. Ambassador 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 for International Law.