Center for BiosecurityUPMC
Prevention of Biothreats: A Look Ahead
horizontal rule
Horizontal rule
horizontal rule
horizontal rule
Background Reading
Horizontal rule
Summary Report
horizontal rule
horizontal rule


Commission of the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism 

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

vertical rule
Tools:||Link to this page| Share this page
horizontal rule

Laura Holgate

Ms. Holgate joined the office of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator at the National Security Council in 2009 as the Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and Threat Reduction. In this role, she oversees and coordinates the development of national policies and programs to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons; detect, identify, secure, and eliminate nuclear materials; prevent malicious use of biotechnology; and secure the civilian nuclear fuel cycle.

From 2001 to 2009, Ms. Holgate was the Vice President for Russia/New Independent States Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative. The Nuclear Threat Initiative is a public charity devoted to reducing toward zero the risk that nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons will ever be used, and to preventing their proliferation. Working closely with governments and international organizations, Ms. Holgate led NTI’s activities to secure and eliminate fissile materials, develop new employment for former weapons workers, reduce risks of the nuclear fuel cycle, and enhance national threat reduction programs.

Prior to joining NTI, Ms. Holgate directed the Department of Energy’s Office of Fissile Materials Disposition from 1998 to 2001, where she was responsible for consolidating and disposing of excess weapons plutonium and highly enriched uranium in the U.S. and Russia, a key nonproliferation goal. She was Special Coordinator for Cooperative Threat Reduction at the Department for Defense from 1995 through 1998, where she provided policy oversight of the “Nunn-Lugar” Cooperative Threat Reduction program of U.S. assistance to Russia and other former Soviet states in eliminating the weapons-of-mass-destruction legacy of the Cold War. Ms. Holgate served for 2 years as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy Ashton B. Carter. She spent 6 months at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), working on the Clinton Transition Team and as Special Assistant to the Acting Director of ACDA, Ambassador Thomas Graham.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, she was awarded a CFR International Affairs Fellowship in 1999. She is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and served as President of Women in International Security. She has participated in advisory panels for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In January 1997, Ms. Holgate was awarded the Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service, and in September 1998 she received the Bronze Palm to that award. In January 2001, she received a certificate of commendation from the Department of Energy. Ms. Holgate is a frequent invited speaker at international conferences and Congressional hearings, and is regularly quoted in print and broadcast media.

Her academic credentials include an AB from Princeton University in politics, an SM from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in political science, and 2 years on the research staff at Harvard University’s Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, where she authored several articles and book chapters.

PreviousNext Speaker Bio