George Perkovich

Vice President for Studies
Perkovich’s research focuses on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation, with a concentration on South Asia, Iran, and the problem of justice in the international political economy.


PhD, University of Virginia
MA, Harvard University
BA, University of California at Santa Cruz 


English; French; Russian


George Perkovich is vice president for studies and director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. His research focuses on nuclear strategy and nonproliferation, with a concentration on South Asia, Iran, and the problem of justice in the international political economy.

Perkovich is author of the award-winning book India’s Nuclear Bomb (University of California Press, 2001) and co-author of the Adelphi Paper “Abolishing Nuclear Weapons,” published in September 2008 by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. This paper is the basis of the book Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate, which includes seventeen critiques by thirteen eminent international commentators. He also co-wrote a major Carnegie report entitled “Universal Compliance: A Strategy for Nuclear Security,” a blueprint for rethinking the international nuclear-nonproliferation regime. The report offers a fresh approach to dealing with states, terrorists, nuclear weapons, and fissile materials to ensure global safety and security.

He served as a speechwriter and foreign policy adviser to Senator Joe Biden from 1989 to 1990. Perkovich is an adviser to the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations’ task force on U.S. nuclear policy. 

  • Op-Ed National Interest April 5, 2014
    Nuclear Zero After Crimea

    Today, five years after Prague, the idea of seeking to eliminate all nuclear weapons has nearly evaporated from international politics.

  • Q&A March 27, 2014 Русский
    What Are the Global Implications of the Ukraine Crisis?

    Russia’s annexation of Crimea and possible future incursions into eastern Ukraine could reshape the geopolitical map of Europe and derail cooperation between Moscow and the West for years to come.

  • Op-Ed Arms Control Today March 19, 2014
    Crafting a Well-Rounded Nuclear Deal With Iran

    The Obama administration and Congress should divert a fraction of the time and energy now spent debating whether to add sanctions on Iran to the more difficult challenge of figuring out how to cooperate in removing them if a final agreement is reached.

  • Proliferation Analysis February 12, 2014
    Removing Congressional Illusions About An Iran Nuclear Deal

    Recent testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee highlighted an interesting—and unrealistic—approach to negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

  • Other Publications Foreign Affairs February 4, 2014
    Iran and the Bomb 2: A New Hope

    The world would be a safer place if Iran did not enrich uranium, but neither more sanctions nor military strikes will push Iran out of the enrichment club.

  • Op-Ed Foreign Affairs January 15, 2014
    Demanding Zero Enrichment From Iran Makes Zero Sense

    The world would be a safer place if Iran did not enrich uranium, but contrary to the arguments that hawks put forward, the United States is not in any position to prevent Iran from doing so.

  • Other Publications Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs November 8, 2013
    Preventing Nuclear War in South Asia: Unprecedented Challenges, Unprecedented Solutions

    The Indian tradition of strategic nonviolence, however imperfect, is less risky and more conducive to long-term success than a militaristic strategy to counter terrorism in a nuclearized environment.

  • Op-Ed Politico September 10, 2013
    Obama’s Opportunity in Syria

    Washington should endorse the Russian proposal and invest President Vladimir Putin’s prestige in winning Syria’s assent and full, timely implementation. Such an outcome would be better than military action and better than no action.

  • Op-Ed Politico June 14, 2013
    Rich Lowry’s Misguided View of Lincoln

    The big disputes between libertarian-conservatives and progressives revolve around whether justice can be reduced to individual liberty and property rights, and whether individual liberty and property rights should be privileged over correcting injustices.

  • Op-Ed Politico February 26, 2013
    White House Should Target Transparent Nuclear Policy

    The drone debate should stimulate more careful thinking about the potential use of nuclear weapons.

  • April 1, 2013
    Do Unto Others: Toward a Defensible Nuclear Doctrine

    President Barack Obama should articulate a narrowed framework for the legitimate use of nuclear weapons that the United States believes would be defensible for others to follow as long as nuclear weapons remain.

  • Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace February 13, 2009
    Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate

    A distinguished group of experts from thirteen countries explore how to overcome obstacles to nuclear disarmament and pose questions that require further official and nongovernmental deliberation.

  • Adelphi Paper September 16, 2008
    Abolishing Nuclear Weapons

    In this new Adelphi Paper published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), George Perkovich and James M. Acton examine the challenges that exist to abolishing nuclear weapons completely, and suggest what can be done now to start overcoming them.

  • Strategic Studies Institute October 1, 2005
    Iran Gets the Bomb—Then What?

    The acquisition of nuclear weapons by terrorists or any additional states would shake the international system. The more strategically important the state, the greater the potential threat to global security.

  • Cover - India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global
    University of California Press, Oxford University Press in South Asia November 5, 2001
    India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation


  • Cover - India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global
    Berkeley, University of California Press December 2, 1999
    India's Nuclear Bomb: The Impact on Global Proliferation

    Why did India bid for nuclear weapon status at a time when 149 nations had signed a ban on nuclear testing? What drove India's new Hindu nationalist government to depart from decades of nuclear restraint, a control that no other nation with similar capacities had displayed? How has U.S. nonproliferation policy affected India's decision making?

  • March 25, 2014 Washington, DC
    India Decides 2014: Assessing the Elections and Beyond

    The forthcoming Indian general election, scheduled to begin in mid-April, will be arguably the country’s most critical vote since 1977.

  • 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.

  • October 10, 2013 Washington, DC
    Recapturing India’s Growth Momentum: A Conversation With Finance Minister Chidambaram

    Indian Finance Minister Chidambaram discussed India’s economic future and his government’s plans to restore rapid growth.

  • September 10, 2013 Washington, DC
    Israel’s Short-Range Missile Defense in Action

    Israel’s short-range missile defense system was designed to defend against rocket attacks on the country’s population centers. Since its deployment in 2011, the system has seen action in several engagements.

  • September 5, 2013 Washington, DC
    Guarding Against a Nuclear-Armed Iran: Proliferation Risks and Diplomatic Options

    The recent election of Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran provides a new and important opening for the United States and its P5+1 partners to secure an agreement that limits Iran's nuclear capabilities in exchange for easing tough international sanctions.

  • September 3, 2013 Washington, DC
    The Need for Speed? Debating Conventional Prompt Global Strike

    The long-held U.S. goal of striking distant targets with non-nuclear weapons in just minutes has always been controversial. In the current fiscal environment, however, an impending decision to acquire Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) weapons will be especially hotly debated.

  • June 11, 2013 Washington, DC
    Regional Perceptions of India’s Naval Rise

    With the emergence of the Indo-Pacific as the epicenter of global maritime activity, the rise of the Indian Navy has drawn much attention.

  • May 17, 2013 Washington, DC
    France’s Future Role in the World

    One year after President François Hollande took office, his administration’s new Defense White Paper outlines a significantly scaled down presence for the French military.

  • March 5, 2013 Washington, DC
    Confronting the Bomb: Pakistani and Indian Scientists Speak Out

    The nuclear landscape in South Asia is dynamic, a complex mixture of politics, technology, and emotion. Analysis of these issues is often overshadowed by partisanship and hyperbole.

  • Iran Project
    December 6, 2012 Washington, D.C.
    Weighing Benefits and Costs of International Sanctions on Iran

    The Iran Project will launch their new report “Weighing Benefits and Costs of International Sanctions Against Iran.” William Reinsch, Lieutenant General Gregory S. Newbold, and George Perkovich will offer remarks. Ambassador Thomas Pickering will moderate.

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