Togzhan Kassenova

Nuclear Policy Program
Kassenova is an associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment.


PhD, Politics, University of Leeds
MA, Euro-Asian Studies, University of Reading
BA, International Studies, Almaty State University 


English; Russian


Togzhan Kassenova is an associate in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment. She currently works on issues related to the role of emerging powers in the global nuclear order, weapons of mass destruction nonproliferation issues, nuclear security, and strategic trade management.

Kassenova serves on the UN secretary general’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. 

Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment, Kassenova worked as a senior research associate at the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade and Security in Washington, DC, as a postdoctoral fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and as an adjunct faculty member at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She was previously a journalist and professor in Kazakhstan.

Kassenova is the author of From Antagonism to Partnership: The Uneasy Path of the U.S.-Russian Cooperative Threat Reduction (2007) and Brazil’s Nuclear Kaleidoscope: An Evolving Identity (2014). Her latest publications include “Iran Nuclear Talks in Kazakhstan: Remember When Diplomacy Worked,” “A Regional Approach to WMD Nonproliferation in the Asia-Pacific,” “Global Non-Proliferation and the Taiwan Dilemma” (Global Asia, March 2012), and a contribution on Kazakhstan’s nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation policy in Slaying the Nuclear Dragon: Disarmament Dynamics in the Twenty-First Century (University of Georgia Press, 2012).

Kassenova is a native of Kazakhstan.

  • Other Publications Central Asian Affairs September 29, 2014
    Kazakhstan and the Global Nuclear Order

    Kazakhstan’s advanced nuclear industry and active foreign nuclear policy make it a significant player on the global nuclear scene.

  • Report March 12, 2014
    Brazil’s Nuclear Kaleidoscope: An Evolving Identity

    Remarkably little attention is paid to Brazilian voices on the country’s nuclear policy. Brazilians paint a picture of an emerging power seeking nuclear independence and searching for its role in the global order.

  • Article February 26, 2013
    Iran Nuclear Talks in Kazakhstan: Remember When Diplomacy Worked

    The Kazakh nuclear experience is a reminder of the power of diplomacy and the economic incentives at the disposal of the international community.

  • Regional Approach to WMD Nonproliferation in the A
    Policy Outlook August 14, 2012
    A Regional Approach to WMD Nonproliferation in the Asia-Pacific

    The Asia-Pacific region epitomizes the type of proliferation challenges the international community faces.

  • Op-Ed Global Asia March 22, 2012
    Global Non-Proliferation and the Taiwan Dilemma

    In the pursuit of nuclear security, Taiwan represents a special case for the international community because its legal status as an 'outsider' prevents it from formally participating in the many global arrangements to prevent nuclear proliferation.

  • Policy Outlook January 25, 2012
    Preventing WMD Proliferation: Myths and Realities of Strategic Trade Controls

    Given that products that rely on the same technologies and materials as weapons of mass destruction are everywhere, the challenge for states is to ensure that trade in dual-use goods and technologies does not contribute to WMD proliferation.

  • Radiological Materials and the Nuclear Security Su
    Op-Ed Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists December 21, 2011
    Radiological Materials and the Nuclear Security Summit

    With the second Nuclear Security Summit fast approaching, it is a good moment to reflect on the issue of radiological security.

  • Proliferation Analysis December 12, 2011
    Celebrating 20 Years of Nunn-Lugar, With Questions About the Future

    On its twentieth anniversary, the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program remains an important tool for international cooperation to reduce nuclear dangers, but there remain some tough questions about the continued viability of the model.

  • A Black Hole in the Global Nonproliferation Regime
    Op-Ed Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability September 8, 2011
    A Black Hole in the Global Nonproliferation Regime: The Case of Taiwan

    Taiwan is effectively a legal black hole in the realm of nonproliferation cooperation. The international community needs to find a way to ensure a sustainable commitment to nonproliferation by those, like Taiwan, who are outside the international system.

  • Semipalatinsk: From Nuclear Testing Site to Test B
    Article August 29, 2011
    Semipalatinsk: From Nuclear Testing Site to Test Ban Treaty Support

    On the twentieth anniversary of the closure of Kazakhstan's nuclear site Semipalatinsk, it is important to recognize the role the former weapons testing facility plays in strengthening the verification regime of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

  • CCTV March 24, 2014
    Brazil Going Nuclear?

    Brazil currently has two nuclear reactors and a third is under construction. Four more power plants are being proposed for construction in the 2020s.

  • March 12, 2014 Washington, D.C.
    Understanding Brazil’s Nuclear Policy

    For a country whose importance in the global nuclear order is of potentially great significance, remarkably little is understood about the domestic drivers behind Brazil’s nuclear policy decision making.

  • May 2, 2013 Washington, DC
    The Nuclear Security Summit in 2014: Challenges and Opportunities

    The Nuclear Security Summits in Washington in 2010 and Seoul in 2012 began the process of international engagement on the challenge of securing existing fissile material vulnerable to theft and diversion by non-state or terrorist groups.


Areas of Expertise

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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