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Norris,  Robert Standish  

Full Name:  Norris,  Robert Standish  
Program Name: Nuclear Weapons
Title: Senior Fellow for Nuclear Policy
Phone Number: (202) 454-4685
Email: [email protected]


Dr. Robert Standish Norris joined FAS in July 2011 as a senior fellow for nuclear policy.

Dr. Norris was a senior research associate with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, DC.  His principal areas of expertise include writing and research on all aspects of the nuclear weapons programs of the United States, Soviet Union/Russia, Britain, France, and China, as well as India, Pakistan, and Israel. 

He was co-editor of NRDC's Nuclear Weapons Databook series and was a co-author of U.S. Nuclear Warhead Production, Volume II (1987); U.S. Nuclear Warhead Facility Profiles, Volume III (1987); Soviet Nuclear Weapons, Volume IV (1989); and British, French and Chinese Nuclear Weapons, Volume V (1994).  More recent books include Making the Russian Bomb: From Stalin to Yeltsin (1995) and Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 (1998), with other authors.  He has co-authored or contributed to the chapter on nuclear weapons in the 1985 - 2000 editions of the SIPRI Yearbook.  He has written articles for Arms Control Today and Security Dialogue, and has written a column for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1987. He co-authored the online/DVD article on “Nuclear Weapons” of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

He wrote a biography of General Leslie R. Groves, the head of the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb during World War II. The book, Racing for the Bomb: General Leslie R. Groves, the Manhattan Project’s Indispensable Man (Steerforth Press, 2002) has been favorably reviewed in the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Assembly, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, and The Journal of Military History among other publications and won the Distinguished Writing Award for best Biography of 2002 from the Army Historical Foundation.

Dr. Norris received his Ph.D. in Political Science from New York University in 1976, and has taught at New York University, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Miami University’s European campus in Luxembourg, and American University in Washington, DC. He has been with the Natural Resources Defense Council since 1984 and lives in Edgewater, Maryland.

2011 August 9: Part 1 - 66th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Japan



2014 March 21: Wall Street Journal, "It's Not Just Ukraine, It's What Russia May Try Next"
Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris, "Nuclear Warhead Stockpiles And Transparency," in Global Fissile Material Report 2013: Increasing Transparency Of Nuclear Warhead And Fissile Material Stocks As A Step Toward Disarmament (International Panel on Fissile Materials, December 2013), pp. 50-58.
Book Review: Bombast: Spinning Atoms In The Desert, New Mexico Historical Review, Vol 88, Number 3, Summer 2013
2011 August 17: Nieman Watchdog, "Is Obama's Nuclear Posture Review in Safe Hands?"
2011 August 10, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: "A Presidential Policy Directive for a New Nuclear Path"
2011 July 11, Washington Decoded: "Dreamland Fantasies"



Robert S. Norris and Norman Polmar, U.S. Nuclear Arsenal: A History of Weapons and Delivery Systems Since 1945 (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2009).

Robert S. Norris, Racing for the Bomb: General Leslie R. Groves, The Manhattan Project's Indispensable Man (South Royalton, Vermont: Steerforth Press, 2002).

Robert S. Norris, et al., in Stephen Schwartz, ed., Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Since 1940 (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1998).
Thomas B. Cochran, Robert S. Norris, and Oleg A. Bukharin, Making the Russian Bomb: From Stalin to Yeltsin (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1995).
Robert S. Norris, Andrew S. Burrows, and Richard W. Fieldhouse, Nuclear Weapons Databook, Volume V: British, French, and Chinese Nuclear Weapons (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1994).
Thomas B. Cochran, William M. Arkin, Robert S. Norris, and Jeffrey I. Sands, Nuclear Weapons Databook, Volume IV: Soviet Nuclear Weapons (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger Press, 1989).
Thomas B. Cochran, William M. Arkin, Milton M. Hoenig, and Robert S. Norris, Nuclear Weapons Databook, Volume III: U.S. Nuclear Warhead Facility Profiles (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger Press, 1987).
Thomas B. Cochran, William M. Arkin, Robert S. Norris, and Milton M. Hoenig, Nuclear Weapons Databook, Volume II: U.S. Nuclear Warhead Production (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Ballinger Publishing Company, 1987).