Print Page


Ferguson,  Charles D. 

Full Name:  Ferguson,  Charles D. 
Program Name: FAS
Title: President
Phone Number: 202-546-3300
Fax: 202-675-1010
Email: [email protected]


Charles D. Ferguson has been the president of the Federation of American Scientists since January 1, 2010.

Thirteen years ago, Dr. Ferguson worked for FAS on nuclear proliferation and arms control issues as a senior research analyst and director of the nuclear policy project. 

Asked about his decision to accept the position, Dr. Ferguson said, “I feel profoundly honored to be asked to work with FAS’s immensely talented and dedicated staff and membership. I am committed to leading FAS to become the preeminent non-governmental organization devoted to science and security.”  

At the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), he most recently served as the project director of the Independent Task Force on U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy, chaired by William J. Perry and Brent Scowcroft, in addition to his work at CFR where he specialized in arms control, climate change, energy policy, and nuclear and radiological terrorism.

Previously, from 2002 to 2004, Dr. Ferguson had been with the Monterey Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) as its scientist-in-residence. At CNS, he co-authored the book The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism and was also lead author of the award-winning report “Commercial Radioactive Sources: Surveying the Security Risks,” which was published in January 2003 and was one of the first post-9/11 reports to assess the radiological dispersal device, or “dirty bomb,” threat. This report won the 2003 Robert S. Landauer Lecture Award from the Health Physics Society.  

Dr. Ferguson also has consulted with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and the National Nuclear Security Administration. From 2000 to 2002, he served as a physical scientist in the Office of the Senior Coordinator for Nuclear Safety at the U.S. Department of State, where he helped develop U.S. government policies on nuclear safety and security issues.  

After graduating with distinction from the United States Naval Academy, he served as an officer on a fleet ballistic missile submarine and studied nuclear engineering at the Naval Nuclear Power School. 

Dr. Ferguson has written numerous articles on energy policy, missile defense, nuclear arms control, nuclear energy, nuclear proliferation, and nuclear terrorism. He has also authored or coauthored several peer-reviewed scientific articles and published in top physics journals. And in October 2008, he was named by Wired magazine as one of the “Fifteen People the Next President Should Listen To.” 

He is the Co-Chairman of the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group.  

Dr. Ferguson received his undergraduate degree in physics from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, also in physics, from Boston University in Massachusetts.

To interview FAS President Dr. Charles D. Ferguson, please contact TEL 202-546-3300 or [email protected]  



March 14: Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, "U.S. Military Nuclear Material Unaccounted For: Missing In Action Or Just Sloppy Practices?"


December 2: Hiroshima Report Blog (Center for the Promotion of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation), "Implications Of The Recent Deal With Iran On Getting Controls On Civilian Nuclear Fuel Cycles"
August 23: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, "Thinking Outside Fukushima"
May: FAS Issue Brief, "Regulating Japanese Nuclear Power in the Wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident"


September 17:Science and Diplomacy, "Building a New Foundation with Yemen"
April 18: Kyodo News, "OPINION - Right Approach to Diplomacy with North Korea"
March: USKI Working Paper Series, US-Korea Institute at SAIS: Johns Hopkins University, "Ensuring the Security of Radioactive Sources: National and Global Responsibilities" 
March 15: The National Interest, "Nuclear Power's Uncertain Future"
February 29: Nieman Watchdog, "So Many Questions About Nuclear Power"
February 27:The Burn Blog (curated by UT Austin), "Response: Make Nuclear Power More Efficient and Cost Competitive with Natural Gas"
January 13: The Atlantic, "Killing Iranian Nuclear Scientists Is Counterproductive and Wrong"


November: Foreign Policy, "Think Again: Nuclear Power"
October 6: FAS Special Report, "Towards Enhanced Safeguards for Iran's Nuclear Program"
September 29: International Herald Tribune, "An Iran Offer Worth Considering"
September 13: The Atlantic, "On Iran's Nuclear Program, Science Contradicts Rhetoric" 
July 1: U.S. News & World Report, "U.S. Must Learn From Japan's Nuclear Crisis"
May: Oxford University Press, "Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know"
April 15: Guatemala Times, "Pools of Danger"
March 30: The Hill, Kyl Should Reconsider Opposition To Nuclear Test Ban
March 23: Nature, Do Not Phase Out Nuclear Power -- Yet
March 16: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, The Need For a Resilient Energy Policy in Japan
March 15: Kyodo News, OPINION: Future of Nuclear Power in Japan - Advice from American Friend
March 11: Foreign Policy, A Radioactive Situation, Japan's earthquake could shake public trust in the safety of nuclear power.
March: Arms Control Today, Steps Toward a Deal on Enhanced Safeguards for Iran's Nuclear Program


November 8: Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Next Customer, Please: The Risk in Conventional Arms Sales Along With Nuclear Energy Deals
September 23: Nature, A U.S. Nuclear Future? 
Strategic Asia 2010 - 2011, The Implications of Expanded Nuclear Energy in Asia
May 4: Forbes, Controlling Asia's Nuclear Tigers
January/February: Foreign Affairs, The Long Road to Zero - Overcoming the Obstacles to a Nuclear-Free World  

Fall: Defense Against Terrorism Review, Vol.2, No.2, Assessing Radiological Weapons: Attack Methods and Estimated Effects 


In the News:

2014 March 19: Washington Examiner, "South Carolina Sues Energy Department Over Nuclear Fuel Project" 2013 December 10: Mashable, "Russian Nukes Supply 10% Of U.S. Power, But That's About To Change"
2013 November 25:, "Neutralized: Iran's Uranium Only 'Temporarily' Converted, Experts Say"
2013 November 18: Scientific American, "We Must Start Thinking Again About The Unthinkable"
2013 October 25: Science For The People, "Fukushima"
2013 September 6: Scientific American, "Leader Of Venerable Scientific Watchdog Group Renews Focus On 'Nuclear Dangers'"
2013 August 20: New Scientist, "Secret Clean-Up Secures Weapons-Grade Plutonium Dump"
2013 August 20: YTN (South Korea), "Renewable Energy in South Korea"
2013 Jul 17, EnergyBiz, "Independent Regulators May Help Clear Japan's Nuclear Energy Path"
2013 April 11, The Daily Beast, "How Scared Should You Be About North Korea?"
2013 April 5, Global Security Newswire, "Work Remains As Nuclear Security Deadline Arrives"
2013 March 8, The Asahi Shimbun: "Attacks on Nuclear Sites Are Best Prevented By Abolishing The Plants"
2012 September 23, New York Times: "Uranium Substitute Is No Longer Needed, But Its Disposal May Pose Security Risk"
2012 August 31, Reuters:  "Startup NuScale Holds Its Own in Game of Nuclear Giants"
2012 June 25, Al Jazeera - The Stream: "Nuclear Nation"
2012 April 23, The Greenville News: "Nuclear Safety is About Diligence, Scientist Says"
2012 March 9, Council on Foreign Relations: "Japan's Nuclear Dilemma"
2012 January 18, Reuters: "Not-so-covert Iran War Buys West Time, Raises Tension"
2012 January 17, PBS Frontline: "Nuclear Aftershocks"
2012 January 13, Reuters: "West Sceptical of Iranian Nuclear Cooperation" 
2011 November 16, Global Security Newswire: "Danger of Trafficked Nuclear, Radiological Materials Lingers"
2011 October 19, Council on Foreign Relations: "The Effort to Isolate Iran"
2011 October 10, The Guardian - Global Security Blog: "Obama Urged to Accept Iranian Nuclear Offer"
2011 October 7, Asia TImes: "Pressure Builds on Iran at Nuclear Watchdog"
2011 September 28, Emergency Management: "Nuclear Concern Washes Ashore Following Japan's Crisis"
2011 April 28, The Asahi Shimbun: "Nuclear Plants Must Not Turn Into Radiological Weapons"
2011 March 23, Los Angeles Times: "A Nuclear Renaissance in U.S. Was Unlikely Even Before Japan Disaster"
2011 March 22, Global Security Newswire: "U.S. Looks to Safeguard Medical Isotopes from Terrorists"
2011 March 21, U.S. News & World Report: "Japan's Nuclear Crisis Reignites Safety Debate"
2011 March 21, Newsday: "Safeguarding Hospitals from 'Dirty Bombs'"
2011 March 20, Newsweek: "How Prepared Are We for Nuclear Disaster?"
2011 March 20, The Daily Beast: "How to Save California"
2011 March 20, Chicago Tribune: "Nuclear Energy's Unchanging Plight"
2011 March 18, FOX News: "Interview with Charles Ferguson" (transcript)
2011 March 18, NPR - Talk of the Nation Science Friday: "Update on Japan's Nuclear Reactors"
2011 March 17, MSNBC:  "MSNBC Live with Cenk Uygur" (transcript)
2011 March 17, Science - Insider: "The Worst Case: What if the Water Ran Dry in the Japanese Reactors?"
2011 March 17, NPR - The Diane Rehm Show: "Japan's Nuclear Crisis and Its Impact on the Nuclear Industry"
2011 March 17, Council on Foreign Relations - Analysis Brief: "Clouds Over Japan's Nuclear Response"
2011 March 16, The New Republic: "Do We Really Need Nuclear Power?"
2011 March 15, PBS - NewsHour: "Mechanics of a Nuclear Meltdown Explained"
2011 March 15, Council on Foreign Relations: "Japan's Crisis for Nuclear Power"
2011 March 14, Huffington Post: "Japan's Nuclear Tremors After Quake"
2011 March 10, The Hill - Congress Blog: "The Next Phase of U.S. Strategy on Iran"
2011 February 22, Global Security Newswire: "Global Nuclear Materials Lockdown to Take Longer Than Four Years" 
2011 February 16, PBS NewsHour: "Helium 3 Shortage Affects National Security, Medicine"
2011 February 9, PBS NewsHour: "How Tough Is It To Build A Dirty Bomb"
2011 January 5, Global Security Newswire: "Homeland Security Delivers Nuclear Detection Plan to Capitol Hill"
2010 December 28, Christian Science Monitor: "Why Obama's Bid to Prevent Loose Nuclear Weapons is Going Slowly" 
2010 December 15, Bloomberg Businessweek: Pakistani Bomb Got Help From UN as Lax Oversight Weakened Nuclear Watchdog
2010 May 28, Christian Science Monitor: Will Secret Technology Help Rogue Nations Get Nuclear Weapons? 
2010 May 1, Christian Science Monitor: UN Conference on Nuclear Proliferation a Big Test for Obama
2010 April 12, Christian Science Monitor: Obama Summit's Goal - Keep Nuclear Weapons Away From Terrorist
2010 April 12, Radio Free Europe: Obama Welcomes World Leaders for Nuclear Security Summit
2010 April 8, Global Security NewsWire: Nuclear Summit Must Convince Nations of Terror Threat
2010 March 27, Associated Press: Analysis: Nuclear Treaty and Obama's 'New START'
2010 January 15, ScienceNews: Energy, safety and nuclear capabilities intertwined
2010 January 12, BusinessWeek: Iranian Professor Killed in Bomb Blast in Tehran
2010 January 4, Los Angeles Times: Obama's nuclear-free vision mired in debate 



Watch Nuclear Aftershocks on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

2011 July 20: PBS - Ideas in Action, "Has Nuclear Power Run Out of Power?"
2011 March 23: PBS NewsHour, "After Japan Crisis, What's Next for U.S. Nuclear Policy?" 
2011 March 21: Washington and Lee University, "Japanese Disaster Impact on the Nuclear Power Industry"
2011 March 17: BBC News, "Crisis in Japan"
2011 March 16: NBC News - Nightly News with Brian Williams, "Concern Over Nuke Design Not New"
2011 March 14: MSNBC Hardball with Chris Matthews, "Japan Confronts Grim Reality"
2011 February 9: PBS NewsHour, "How Tough Is It To Build A Dirty Bomb"
2010 October 25: American University Hosts FAS President 
2010 October: 14th Forum 2000 Conference: Nuclear Arms in Today's World
2010 October 6: FAS Awards Ceremony 

Podcast: 2012 March 26, Conversation with an Expert: 2012 Nuclear Security Summit
Podcast: 2012 March 11, Conversation with an Expert: Fukushima - One Year Later
Podcast: 2011 March 14, KQED's Forum with Michael Krasny: Japan Earthquake Update
Podcast: 2011 March 11, PRI's The World: Japan quake prompts nuclear emergency
Podcast: 2010 December 16, Conversation with an Expert: The Way Forward: Nuclear Renaissance and International Peace and Security
Podcast: 2010 August 5, Conversation with an Expert: Anniversary of Hiroshima
2010 June 21, Lowy Institute for International Policy:  Potential Security Consequences of the Nuclear Energy Revival 
Podcast: 2010 February 5: Conversation With an Expert


2012 February 15: American University, Department of Physics Colloquium, Washington, DC -  "How to Build and Dismantle Nuclear Bombs" 
2011 March 30, University of Georgia, Center for International Trade & Security at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: “The Human Dimension of Nuclear Security” 
2011 February 28, U.S. Department of State, Conference on "Atoms for Development": Technical Cooperation for Peaceful Nuclear Technologies: What are the Responsibilities?
2011 January 20, Arms Control Association Panel: Toward a Negotiated Solution - Solving the Iranian Nuclear Puzzle Briefing Series (transcript) 
2010 December 10, USKI/CSIS Workshop on Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Nuclear Security: Nuclear Fuel Cycle Choices and Security: A Decision Analysis Approach
2010 December 3, The 9th ROK-UN Joint Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Issues: The Way Forward: Nuclear Renaissance and International Peace and Security 
2010 October, 14th Forum 2000 Conference, Prague, Czech Republic: Putting Security First 
2010 August 22, World Federation of Scientists' Conference: The Ecology of International Security
2010 Summer, IFRI Security Studies Center: Potential Strategic Consequences of the Nuclear Energy Revival

 Congressional Briefing:

2011 April 1, “Iran’s Nuclear Program: Can an Inspections-Based Solution Work?” 


2010 May 19, House Committee on Science and Technology: Charting the Course for American Nuclear Technology and the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap 

2012 March 9 Nuclear Energy Guide (update)
Nuclear Energy Guide
2010 March 15  Nuclear Energy Guide (executive producer)