The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation is an international non-governmental organization established on the initiative of the Austrian Foreign Ministry in 2010 and officially opened in 2011. The Center's mission is to promote international peace and security by providing a platform for independent analysis and dialogue in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. In order to fulfill its mission, the VCDNP employs conferences, seminars, and other fora to foster result-oriented discussion among international organizations, national governments, non-governmental experts, scholars, and civil society. The Center partners with other academic and non-governmental institutions, as well as international organizations in conducting research, outreach, education, and training on non-proliferation and disarmament. The VCDNP is operated by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation - VCDNP
David Cliff - Research Associate
David Cliff is a Research Associate at the VCDNP. Prior to his move to Vienna, Cliff worked at the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) in London, where his work was focused on the verification of nuclear arms control and disarmament agreements. Cliff has over recent years been particularly involved in work addressing multilateral approaches to the verification of nuclear disarmament, including options for the inclusion of intergovernmental organizations. He has also written on arms control issues ranging from nuclear warhead dismantlement to the technical dimensions of nuclear safeguards implementation in Iran. Cliff holds an MA in International Affairs and a BA in Geography, both from the University of Exeter in the UK.
Angela Kane - Senior Fellow
Angela Kane is a Senior Fellow at the VCDNP. Before joining the Center, Ms. Kane served as the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs until mid-2015, where she provided strategy, vision and thought leadership for the United Nations on its multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation agendas. She was responsible for planning, negotiating and conducting the ground-breaking investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria in 2013, which resulted in Syria’s destruction of its chemical stocks. Previously, Ms. Kane served as the Under-Secretary-General for Management, heading the largest and most complex UN department, with responsibility for the global financial and budgetary management of the UN (2008-2012). Ms. Kane also served as UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, focusing on the prevention and resolution of conflicts in all regions except Africa. She also was the Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management. Her field experience includes Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), a special assignment to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and multi-year postings in Indonesia and Thailand. Ms. Kane holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College and the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She received an Honorary Doctorate from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.
Jenny Nielsen - Postdoctoral Fellow
Jenny Nielsen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the VCDNP. Prior to joining the VCDNP, she was a Research Associate with BASIC and a Visiting Scholar at the NATO Defense College (Rome). Previously, Nielsen was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland (Australia), a Research Analyst with the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and a Programme Manager for the Defence & Security Programme at Wilton Park (UK). Additionally, Nielsen served as a Research Assistant for Professor John Simpson OBE at the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies (MCIS) at the University of Southampton (UK). At MCIS, Nielsen was tasked with co-editing the 2004-2012 editions of the NPT Briefing Book and contributing to analysis on the NPT review process. Jenny holds a PhD from the University of Southampton. Her thesis focused on U.S. nuclear non-proliferation policy vis-à-vis Iran in the 1970s. She additionally holds a MSc from the University of Southampton and a BA in International Relations (Philosophy minor) from the University of San Diego (USA).
Sitara Noor - Research Fellow
Sitara is a Research Fellow at the VCDNP. Prior to joining the Center, she worked at the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority under the Directorate of Nuclear Security and Physical Protection as an International Relations Analyst. She has been a faculty member at the National University of Modern Languages, Department of International Relations, for two years. She was also a visiting faculty at the National University of Science and Technology, the Foreign Services Academy of Pakistan and the Information Services Academy of Pakistan. Noor is pursuing her MPhil in International Relations at the National Defence University, Islamabad. She holds a Masters in Defence and Strategic Studies from Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad.
Mara Pfneisl - Administrative Assistant/Events Coordinator
Mara Pfneisl is the Administrative Assistant and Events Coordinator at VCDNP. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs and Psychology from Lewis & Clark College, and a Master of Advanced International Studies (M.A.I.S.) from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Prior to joining VCDNP, she completed an internship at the International Peace Institute (IPI), Vienna Office, where she assisted in organizing the 43rd annual IPI Vienna Seminar focusing on the dangerous nexus between crime, conflict and terrorism. Ms. Pfneisl also gained experience in interning at the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) at the United Nations in Vienna and working on local political campaigns in the United States.
Laura Rockwood - Executive Director
Laura Rockwood was appointed as Executive Director of the VCDNP as of 1 June 2015. She was most recently a Senior Research Fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School Belfer Center Managing the Atom Project. Ms. Rockwood retired in November 2013 from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as the Section Head for Non-Proliferation and Policy Making in the Office of Legal Affairs, where she had served since 1985. Prior to working for the IAEA she was employed by the US Department of Energy as a trial attorney in radiation injury cases, and as counsel in general legal matters.
Laura Rockwood received a Juris Doctor degree in 1976 from the University of California's Hastings College of Law, San Francisco, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973 from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the State Bar of California and of the Washington DC Bar Association.