Ambassador Bonnie D. Jenkins was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2009, as the Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs for the Department of State and oversees Department of State (DOS) participation in interagency efforts to coordinate between DOS’ threat reduction programs and those of other agencies.
Key Initiatives Within Ambassador Jenkins' Portfolio
The United States Chairmanship of the Global Partnership in 2012
In 2012, the United States Chaired the Global Partnership (GP) Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, the State Department Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, served as the U.S. chair to the Global Partnership throughout 2012 and will resume her role as the U.S. representative to the GP in 2013.
As Chair of the GP, the United States provided a road map to guide the GP towards becoming more of a coordinating mechanism for activities and programs under the extended mandate to continue the GP beyond 2012. The United States focused on the areas enunciated at the 2011 G8 Summit in Deauville --specifically nuclear and radiological security, biosecurity, scientist engagement, and facilitation of implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540. Officials collaborated on responses to assistance needs and coordinated possible projects in these areas as well as expansion of membership to start better reflecting global security threats. This expansion included the recent membership of Kazakhstan and also Mexico -- the first Latin American country to join the GP.
In an effort to provide a more integrated mechanism for funding and implementing programs under this extended mandate, relevant international organizations (IOs) were invited to attend the working group meetings for the first time. Furthermore, the U.S. focused on three sub- working groups in Biosecurity, Membership Expansion, and Centers of Excellence to facilitate and materialize the discussions of the full member GP working group. Two additional sub-working groups were approved late in 2012, focusing on Nuclear and Radiological Security, and Chemical Security.
Nuclear Security Summits
In his Prague speech in April 2009, President Obama highlighted the need for effective measures to secure nuclear material and prevent nuclear smuggling and terrorism. The Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC in April 2010 provided significant momentum toward this goal by bringing high-level attention and prominence to the issue of nuclear security and helping to develop a common understanding of the threat posed by nuclear terrorism. In Washington, 50 world leaders produced a Joint Communique and detailed Work Plan to articulate a common commitment to focus collectively on improving security while adapting to changing conditions, minimizing the use and locations of sensitive nuclear materials, and continually exchanging information on best practices and practical solutions. Significant progress toward improving nuclear security has already been made since April 2010.
Recognizing that the Summit’s goals require a long-term commitment, the Republic of Korea hosted the second Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul in March 2012. In Seoul, President Obama and 57 other world leaders joined together to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism. Summit participants agreed to a detailed Communiqué that advances important nuclear security goals. Many countries agreed to a number of multilateral joint commitments, including work on: implementing national legislation to implement nuclear security treaties; measures to prevent nuclear terrorism; and promoting the security of nuclear materials while in transit, among others. The international community has made great strides through the Summit process to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons and material. Taken individually, these Summit initiatives may seem like small steps, but they add up to a significant shift.
The United States recognizes that work still needs to be done. Nuclear material continues to be stored without adequate protection, at risk of exploitation by terrorists and criminal gangs that have expressed an interest. The United States looks forward to working with its international partners to further secure vulnerable nuclear material and make progress toward the President’s nonproliferation agenda. The Netherlands – a steadfast partner and strong leader on nuclear security goals – will host the next Nuclear Security Summit in early 2014.
Global Effort to Secure All Vulnerable Nuclear Material
In Prague, President Obama called for a new international effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years. This effort will draw together international and domestic programs, including many supported directly by the United States, aimed at protecting such materials from theft or sabotage, raising international standards, converting civil applications that current use highly enriched uranium to the use of low enriched uranium, and reducing unnecessary stocks of such weapon-usable materials wherever feasible. Ambassador Jenkins oversees the coordination of DOS efforts in, and lead international diplomacy for the effort to improve nuclear security.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Outreach
Ambassador Jenkins has an active program for outreach to various U.S. and international NGOs, think tanks and research institutes as a means to determine ways in which they can work on promoting the overall goals of the global threat reduction programs. List of Non-Governmental Organizations
Key Programmatic Offices Within Threat Reduction
Efforts to address these threats and coordinate this work include close interaction with the following programmatic offices within the DOS’ Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN):