Monterey Institute of International Studies, A Graduate School of Middlebury College

To visit the Monterey Instituteof International Studies website, click here.

Learn How to Combat WMD Proliferation and Terrorism

Dr. William Porter

Dr. William Potter
Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar Professor of Nonproliferation Studies
and Founding Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Monterey Institute of International Studies



The Monterey Institute of International Studies, a graduate school of Middlebury College, provides a professional education covering important global issues, including nonproliferation and terrorism studies. Two research centers support this mission. The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), with offices in Monterey, California; Washington, DC; and Vienna, Austria, is the largest nongovernmental organization dedicated to education about the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. The Monterey Terrorism Research and Education Program (MonTREP) focuses on the study of violenceprone extremist groups and policy tools for addressing global terrorism. Through our full-time faculty and researchers at CNS and MonTREP, the Monterey Institute trains students earning the MA in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies in analyzing, preventing, and responding to terrorist threats and the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

What is unique about the Monterey Institute’s MA Degree in Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies?

The specialized focus of the degree enables us to offer indepth professional training that degree programs that cover international affairs more broadly cannot match. Students have the opportunity to acquire paid on-the-job training at CNS and MonTREP. The degree also offers opportunities for internships at international organizations and U.S. governmental agencies. In addition, students are given the chance to interact with a wide array of visiting national and international policymakers. In January 2013, for example, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave a major address at the Monterey Institute in which he praised our educational programs on nonproliferation and disarmament.

What are the kinds of courses students take as part of their program?

Our interdisciplinary program of study combines traditional coursework in the policy sciences with seminars and technical workshops dealing with regional security issues, terrorist motivations, the science and technology of WMD, and research utilizing primary sources and new analytical tools such as geospatial imaging. Faculty members have pioneered the use of simulation pedagogy, and students participate in realistic, semester-long treaty negotiation simulations, alongside professional diplomats. Last fall, students assumed the roles of delegates to the 2013 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee Meeting and negotiated a final document. A number of those students were subsequently given the opportunity to participate as delegates to the “real world” NPT meeting in Geneva during April–May 2013. Our students also take advantage of immersive, content-based language study at different international venues. In March 2012, ten MIIS students spent a week in Beijing discussing nonproliferation issues—in Chinese—with senior Chinese diplomats, military officials, and scholars.

What kind of jobs can your graduates expect to obtain?

A very large number of MIIS alumni—literally hundreds— now work on nonproliferation and terrorism issues in the U.S. and other national governments, international organizations, and research centers around the world. Perhaps the best-known CNS alumnus is Ambassador Yukiya Amano, the current Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. This growing cadre of professionals is a tangible result of the Monterey Institute’s commitment to educate the next generation of nonproliferation and terrorism specialists, who are equipped with policy-relevant knowledge, technical skills, and foreign language proficiency. So widespread is their influence that in Washington, Tokyo, Vienna, Beijing, and many other capitals they are affectionately known as the “Monterey Mafia.”


Monterey Institute
Email the school
(813) 647-4123


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