Ambassador Laura S. H. Holgate

Ambassador Laura S. H. Holgate

Vice President for Materials Risk Management, Nuclear Threat Initiative

Ambassador Laura S. H. Holgate joined NTI as Vice President for Materials Risk Management in April 2018. Previously, Ambassador Holgate was a consultant to the Third Way’s project on advanced nuclear reactors and national security, and to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. She served as U.S. Representative to the Vienna Office of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency from July 11, 2016 to January 20, 2017. The United States Mission to International Organizations in Vienna works with seven major organizations of the United Nations system based in Vienna: the International Atomic Energy Agency; the UN Office on Drugs and Crime; the Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization; the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs; the Wassenaar Arrangement; the UN Commission on International Trade Law; and the UN Industrial Development Organization.  In this role, Ambassador Holgate advanced President Barack Obama’s commitment to design and implement global approaches to reduce global threats and seize global opportunities in the areas of nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear security, verification of the Iran Deal, nuclear testing, counterterrorism, anti-corruption, drug policy, export control, and the Nuclear Suppliers Group.  She also promoted gender balance in the staff and programming of the Vienna-based international organizations.

Ambassador Holgate was previously the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction on the National Security Council. In this role, she oversaw and coordinated the development of national policies and programs to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; detect, identify, secure and eliminate nuclear materials; prevent malicious use of biotechnology; and secure the civilian nuclear fuel cycle. She was also the U.S. Sherpa to the Nuclear Security Summits and co-led the effort to advance the President’s Global Health Security Agenda.

From 2001 to 2009, Ambassador Holgate was the Vice President for Russia/New Independent States Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Prior to that, Ambassador Holgate directed the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fissile Materials Disposition from 1998 to 2001, and was Special Coordinator for Cooperative Threat Reduction at the Department for Defense from 1995 through 1998, where she provided policy oversight of the “Nunn-Lugar” Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

Ambassador Holgate received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in politics from Princeton University and a Master of Science Degree in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and spent two years on the research staff at Harvard University’s Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government.  Ambassador Holgate is a member of the Strategic Advisory Group to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She serves on the Steering Group of the Fissile Material Working Group and on the Szilard Advisory Board of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. She is a Distinguished Visitor at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy at the Elliott School of Public Policy at the George Washington University. She is a past President of Women in International Security and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  She and her husband live in Arlington, Virginia.