Meggen Watt Petersen

Meggen Watt Petersen,
Non-Resident Senior Fellow

Meggen Watt Petersen is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Council on Strategic Risks. She has more than two decades of experience in international security, focused primarily on relationships and programs based on the principles in the Nonproliferation Treaty. She has worked for the U.S. government (Departments of State and Energy), the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey.

Meggen conducted research on the role of international organizations in nonproliferation in Monterey. From Middlebury Institute, she went to the IAEA’s External Relations office and tracked the Agency’s relationship with North Korea at the time that nation withdrew its membership. She then joined the IAEA delegation for the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference. While with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on-site at the Department of Energy in Washington DC, she focused on nuclear export controls and dual-use technologies, as well as running a training course on nuclear nonproliferation for U.S. government officials. She then joined the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, coordinating multiple rounds of plutonium disposition negotiations between Washington, Moscow, and the Group of Eight, with a vision to put in place a “swords into ploughshares” type program in the United States and Russia. Her work expanded to include preventing nuclear terrorism, as the U.S. Coordinator of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism. She also worked on the State Department’s response to Wikileaks. Fostering relationships between disciplines, agencies, and nations is core to Meggen’s work. She served on the board of the Euphrates Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to building international peace.

Meggen has balanced her national security focus with early work on Latin America for the U.S. Information Agency as a Presidential Management Fellow, and more recently, a sojourn in the Great Lakes region for a beyond-the-beltway perspective. During the latter, she has become familiar with an international-tribal-state treaty governing the use of natural resources, and has published writing on spirituality. Meggen is proficient in Spanish. She holds a master of arts in international policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.