Future of Nuclear Weapons Policy

Steven Pifer
Washington, DC

International Affairs Security & Defense


Steven Pifer
Fellow, Foreign Policy
Brookings Institution
Steven Pifer is former Ambassador to Ukraine and as Foreign Service Officer served in the Soviet Union. Mr. Pifer offers extensive expertise on Russia, arms control, weapons proliferation, missile defense, and national security.
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Washington, DC 20036
United States
Gail Chalef
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Former ambassador to Ukraine, Steven Pifer’s career as a Foreign Service officer centered on Europe, the former Soviet Union and arms control. In addition to Kyiv (Kiev), he had postings in London, Moscow, Geneva and Warsaw as well as on the National Security Council.
Steven Pifer is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe, where he focuses on Russia, Ukraine and nuclear arms control issues. He is also a senior adviser (non-resident) with the Center for Strategic & International Studies. He has offered commentary regarding Russia, Ukraine and arms control on CNN, CBS, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, National Public Radio and VOA, and his articles have appeared in the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and Boston Globe, among others.

A retired Foreign Service Officer, his more than 25 years with the State Department focused on U.S. relations with the former Soviet Union and Europe, as well as arms control and security issues. He served as deputy assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine (2001-2004), U.S. ambassador to Ukraine (1998-2000), and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council (1996-1997). He also served at the U.S. embassies in Warsaw, Moscow and London as well as with the U.S. delegation to the negotiation on intermediate-range nuclear forces in Geneva.

In addition to op-eds and short commentaries, his publications include:  “Beyond START: The Next Step in U.S. and Russian Strategic Nuclear Arms Reductions,” Brookings (May 2009), “Engaging Ukraine in 2009,” with Anders Aslund and Jonathan Elkind, Brookings (March 2009); “Averting Crisis in Ukraine,” Council on Foreign Relations special report (January 2009); and “Reversing the Decline: An Agenda for U.S.-Russian Relations in 2009,” Brookings (January 2009).

Story Pitch

Thinking big on getting rid of nuclear weapons
Over 30 countries have declared an intent to develop new nuclear programs. The U.S. and Russia need to revitalize the framework for nuclear security.
Recent Publications/Appearances


March 29, 2013 NYT "Will Russia Take ‘Yes’ for an Answer?"

January 14, 2013 Financial Times "Ukraine is bluffing over Russia's offer"


January 25, 2013 news.az "Post-soviet countries should be free to determine their foreign policy choices"

October 14, 2012 Brookings Institute " Future of Nuclear Weapons Policy Brookings Institution"

May 8, 2012 USA Today "Putin again takes reins of an agitated Russia"

March 30, 2012 ABC NEWS "Russia and the US: Friend, Foe or It's Complicated?"

January 25, 2012 "UNIAN News Agency "Is Ukraine leaving the European energy community?"


October 23, 2011 Stanford Europe Center "Ambassdor Pifer Offers Commentary on Tymoshenko Conviction"

October 7, 2011 International Business Times "Russians Hunt Boss of Nuclear Smuggling Ring"

September 20, 2011 The Day Weekly Digest "On the practical terms of democracy"

September 2, 2011 Kyiv Post "Clearer Picture"

August 18, 2011Radio Free Europe "20 Years After The Big Breakup, Does The 'Former Soviet Union' Still Exist?"

August 5, 2011 The New York Times "Ex-Leader of Ukraine Is Held for Contempt; Activists See Purge in Progress"

March 1, 2011 The New York Times "Yanukovich's First Year"

Feb 26, 2011 Kansas City Star "U.S. trims its nuclear arsenal while upgrading production"

Jan 14, 2011 Reuters "Russia nears arms pact approval, warns on pullout"


Dec 27, 2010 Voice of America "2010 Productive Year for US-Russian Relations"

Dec 24, 2010 The New York Times "Arms Talks Now Turn to Short-Range Weapons"

Dec 22, 2010 Christian Science Monitor "New START treaty: How will next efforts for nuclear weapons reduction fare?"

Dec 22, 2010 NPR "In Win For Obama, New START Clears Senate"

Dec 21, 2010 Toronto Star "U.S.-Russia treaty on track for cutting nuclear weapons"

Dec 7, 2010 Xinhua "Obama struggles to juggle economic recovery, foreign agenda"

Nov 30, 2010 The Wall Street Journal "U.S. Rethinks Access to Data"

Nov 22, 2010 International Business Times "Forget the missiles, get Obama!"

Nov 20, 2010 New Zealand Herald "NATO stops dodging the hardest question"

Nov 18, 2010 NPR "NATO Leaders To Define A New Mission"

Nov 18, 2010 The Atlantic "Reset to Russian-U.S. Relations: Lisbon Edition"

Nov 18, 2010 National Journal "Summit May Help Offset Challenges to 'Reset' With Russia"

Nov 17, 2010 International Business Times "START stalled by Republican senator"

Oct 25, 2010 Los Angeles Times "Turkey: Ankara suspicious that Israel's security behind U.S. push for regional missle shield"

Oct 20, 2010 Financial Times "Ukraine: A nation on guard"

Oct 18, 2010 Spiegel Online "Obama's Missile Shield 'Not Nearly As Contentious'"

Oct 15, 2010 Turkish Daily News "Is the US closing Turkey in?"

Sep 14, 2010 New York Times "Gates to Meet with Russian Defense Minister"

June 29, 2010 Voice of America "Spy Scandal Will Not Derail US-Russia Relations, Analysts Say"

July 2009 Crisis Between Ukraine and Russia
July 1, 2009 Previewing President Obama’s Trip to Russia 
June 24, 2009 The Moscow Summit and Improving the U.S.-Russian Relationship 
May 7, 2009 Thinking Big on Nuclear Non-Proliferation 
May 2009 Beyond START: Negotiating the Next Step in U.S. and Russian Strategic Nuclear Arms Reductions 
March 25, 2009 Barack Obama's First NATO Summit 
March 2009 Engaging Ukraine in 2009 
Feb 25, 2009 An Agenda for U.S.-Russian Relations in 2009 
January 2009 Averting Crisis in Ukraine 
January 2009 Reversing the Decline: An Agenda for U.S.-Russian Relations in 2009 

Oct 29, 2008 Ukraine, Georgia and MAP – Time for Plan B 
Oct 3, 2008 Setting a Constructive Russia Agenda 
Sept 11, 2008 What Does Russia Want? How Do We Respond? 
Aug 18, 2008 Securing Georgia
Aug 15, 2008 South Ossetia Conflict Holds Lessons for Kyiv 
July 2, 2008 A New Approach to Missile Defense in Europe 
June 9, 2008 Traveling the Road to Nuclear Reduction 
May 6, 2008 Ukraine and NATO Following Bucharest 


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