As Deputy Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), Jessica Varnum manages numerous CNS projects from development through implementation. She oversees a wide range of research, budget, personnel, fundraising, outreach, and strategic initiatives for CNS, involving all three office locations. Varnum also oversees CNS’s corporate partnerships. Through these partnerships, CNS works with industry to perform cutting-edge nonproliferation research using new tools and emerging technologies in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT).
In addition to her expertise in OSINT, Varnum specializes in the nonproliferation and nuclear security challenges associated with the spread of nuclear energy and other civil nuclear technologies. She is also an expert on Turkey, and regularly lectures, writes, and contributes to both research and dialogue projects focusing on Turkish foreign and national security policies, and U.S.-NATO-Turkey relations.
An Adjunct Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, she teaches three classes in the MA Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program:
Varnum previously worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Naval Postgraduate School, the Atlantic Council of the United States, and with U.S. Senators Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe.
Open Source Intelligence (OSINT); nuclear nonproliferation; Turkey (including Turkish national security and nuclear policies, Turkish foreign policies, and Turkish domestic politics); NATO and extended deterrence; peaceful nuclear trade and cooperation; and the responsible expansion of nuclear power.
Varnum is completing a PhD with King’s College London in the Defence Studies Department, where she passed the mini viva examination. Varnum earned an M.A. in International Policy Studies with a certificate in Nonproliferation Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and graduated summa cum laude from Colby College with a B.A. in government and international studies. She is proficient in French.
Jessica Varnum, deputy director of the Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and Associate Professor Philipp Bleek participated in the March 5-6 “Track 2 U.S.-Turkey Strategic Dialogue,” in Brussels, Belgium.
“Erdogan is playing to an anti-American domestic audience with his nuclear rhetoric, but is highly unlikely to pursue nuclear weapons.” - The New York Times quotes Jessica C. Varnum, an expert on Turkey at the Middlebury Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in front page article. “There would be huge economic and reputational costs to Turkey, which would hurt the pocketbooks of Erdogan’s voters.”