As part of its 2022 International Nuclear Policy Conference, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace will convene the Young Professionals Track (YPT). Building on the broader conference content, the YPT is designed to give young professionals a focused, more intimate opportunity to engage core debates in the field, network with senior experts and their peers, and build the skillset for a successful career.

The Young Professionals Track is designed for those with fewer than five years of professional experience and graduate students. We will host both in-person and virtual YPT events, as outlined below. Those who would like to participate in the Young Professionals Track can indicate their interest when registering for the 2022 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference.

There is no additional cost to participants selected for either the in-person or virtual YPT.

We are pleased to partner with the CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI), the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), and Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) for the 2022 Young Professionals Track.

In-Person YPT

The 2022 YPT Main Event will be held on Wednesday, October 26 from 8am-5pm in Washington, DC, and will consist of plenary, breakout, and skills-building sessions, followed by an optional happy hour. YPT participants will also engage with experts in the field at a mentoring lunch and during a possible private Q&A with a keynote speaker during the International Nuclear Policy Conference. YPT participants are expected to attend all events, with the exception of the happy hour which is optional.

Plenary Sessions

  • Navigating Nukes: Adapting to Changes in the Nuclear Field

    Young professionals in the nuclear field face an evolving landscape. On top of the long-standing challenge of navigating the early stages of a career, young professionals also face rapid policy shifts and the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. How might they best navigate these changes? What skills, techniques, and approaches have established nuclear professionals used to develop expertise and build their profiles? How can young professionals adapt them to current circumstances?
  • Talking in Tandem: U.S. Extended Deterrence in Asia and Europe

    The United States maintains extended deterrence relationships with allies in Asia and Europe. Yet, these relationships are rarely discussed in tandem. How are U.S. extended deterrence arrangements in Asia and Europe interrelated? What challenges are shared and what challenges are unique? What do allies in one region learn from observing the other? What could they learn? Can thinking about the two arrangements collectively help to strengthen extended deterrence relationships in both regions?

Breakout Sessions

Participants will attend one breakout session and should rank their preferences during the conference registration process. While we will try to accommodate everyone’s first choice, we cannot guarantee availability.

  • Converging Risks? The Climate-Nuclear Nexus

    Climate change and nuclear risks are converging. An expansion of nuclear energy production might help combat climate change, but could also challenge the nonproliferation regime. What are the key barriers, especially financial, to an expansion of nuclear energy? To what extent can new technology lower these barriers? What are the key risks of an expansion? How can states overcome the barriers while minimizing the risks?
  • Fostering DEI Allyship in the Nuclear Field (hosted by WCAPS)

    Allyship is critical to achieving greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nuclear field. Allies, many of whom regularly hear voices like theirs in the field, are needed to support and help make space for underrepresented voices. How can we foster greater allyship in the nuclear field? What steps can be taken to make that allyship actionable? What challenges do young professionals face in encouraging and promoting allyship? How might they pragmatically overcome those challenges?
  • On the Nuclear Brink: Escalation Management in the Taiwan Strait (hosted by PONI)

    Created by the Project on Nuclear Issues at CSIS, “On the Nuclear Brink” is an escalation management exercise tasking participants to provide policy guidance to the President as a nuclear crisis unfolds. Players assume the role of a Senior Director at the National Security Council, analyzing intelligence, news, and other information to respond to escalating hostilities and provide policy recommendations. Although some high-level intelligence is provided, participants must ultimately define their own objectives based on leadership guidance, assumptions, and interpretation of unfolding events. The Taiwan Strait version of “On the Nuclear Brink” takes place in 2028 as a close-approach incident between the Chinese and Taiwanese navies in the Taiwan Strait sets off a string of political and military maneuvers that raise concerns of cross strait conflict. With a narrowing gap between U.S. and Chinese military capabilities, participants must identify U.S. objectives and attempt to achieve them with a range of diplomatic, economic, and military tools. The exercise aims to expose participants to a wide range of escalatory outcomes possible in high-stakes crises between nuclear-armed states.

Skills-Building Session

  • Open-Source Tools for Nonproliferation (hosted by CNS)

    From the discovery of ICBM silo fields in China to the monitoring of activities at North Korea’s nuclear test site, open-source research has provided public transparency into activities that would previously have remained secret until revealed by a government. But what exactly does open-source research entail? In this skills-building session, a leading expert will provide an overview of the craft, teaching participants how to use open-source tools to conduct nonproliferation research. Participants will then put those tools to use in conducting their own investigation.

If places for the Young Professionals Track are oversubscribed, as they have been at previous events, participants will be chosen through a lottery system. The deadline to enter the in-person lottery is July 29. After that date, all remaining in-person spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Virtual YPT

Virtual participants will be able to join the YPT Main Event sessions on Wednesday, October 26 from 8:30-11:45am EDT/12:30-3:45pm GMT. Virtual participants will also select one online breakout session, which will be scheduled to accommodate various time zones. All virtual sessions will be held via Zoom. Only individuals who are registered as virtual participants in the 2022 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference are eligible to participate in virtual YPT events.

YPT Main Event Sessions

  • Navigating Nukes: Adapting to Changes in the Nuclear Field

    Young professionals in the nuclear field face an evolving landscape. On top of the long-standing challenge of navigating the early stages of a career, young professionals also face rapid policy shifts and the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. How might they best navigate these changes? What skills, techniques, and approaches have established nuclear professionals used to develop expertise and build their profiles? How can young professionals adapt them to current circumstances?
  • Talking in Tandem: U.S. Extended Deterrence in Asia and Europe

    The United States maintains extended deterrence relationships with allies in Asia and Europe. Yet, these relationships are rarely discussed in tandem. How are U.S. extended deterrence arrangements in Asia and Europe interrelated? What challenges are shared and what challenges are unique? What do allies in one region learn from observing the other? What could they learn? Can thinking about the two arrangements collectively help to strengthen extended deterrence relationships in both regions?

Breakout Sessions

Participants will attend one breakout session and will select their preferred topic and time during the conference registration process.

  • Nuclear Risks in the Taiwan Strait
    Tuesday, October 25 from 9-10:15pm EDT/Wednesday, October 26 from 1-2:15am GMT

    Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and against the background of rising U.S.-Chinese tensions, there is growing concern about a cross-Strait conflict between Taiwan and China. While Beijing aims to unify Taiwan with the mainland, Washington appears increasingly committed to assisting Taipei. A cross-Strait conflict could thus put two nuclear powers in conflict. What are the nuclear risks of such a conflict? Under what circumstances could a war over Taiwan escalate to the nuclear level? How can China, the United States, and others prevent nuclear escalation and mitigate nuclear risks?
  • Converging Risks? The Climate-Nuclear Nexus
    Wednesday, October 26 from 11:45am-1pm EDT/3:45-5pm GMT

    Climate change and nuclear risks are converging. An expansion of nuclear energy production might help combat climate change, but could also challenge the nonproliferation regime. What are the key barriers, especially financial, to an expansion of nuclear energy? To what extent can new technology lower these barriers? What are the key risks of an expansion? How can states overcome the barriers while minimizing the risks?
  • Fostering DEI Allyship in the Nuclear Field (hosted by WCAPS)
    Wednesday, October 26 from 11:45am-1pm EDT/3:45-5pm GMT

    Allyship is critical to achieving greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the nuclear field. Allies, many of whom regularly hear voices like theirs in the field, are needed to support and help make space for underrepresented voices. How can we foster greater allyship in the nuclear field? What steps can be taken to make that allyship actionable? What challenges do young professionals face in encouraging and promoting allyship? How might they pragmatically overcome those challenges?

If places for the Young Professionals Track are oversubscribed, as they have been at previous events, participants will be chosen through a lottery system. The deadline to enter the virtual lottery is September 9. After that date, all remaining virtual spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.