Program Director, Export Control Nonproliferation
Robert Shaw is Program Director for the Export Control and Nonproliferation Program (XNP) at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Mr. Shaw coordinates the Center’s export control-related research and educational activities.
He is also an adjunct professor for the Middlebury Institute, co-teaching a graduate course on strategic trade controls and nonproliferation.
Mr. Shaw has applied his experience in the private sector to research and articles examining the role of industry in global nonproliferation and export control efforts, the challenge of illicit WMD-related procurement networks, and reform of the US export control system. He has been invited to share an industry practitioner’s view at multiple nonproliferation forums, including events organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the US Department of State’s Office of Export Control Cooperation, and the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade and Security.
Courses offered in the past two years.
- Current term ●
- Upcoming term(s) ○
Strategic export controls – which include export, brokering, transshipment and transit controls, as well as sanctions and supply chain security mechanisms – are important tools used in international and national security efforts, including countering WMD proliferation and terrorism. Traditionally, they have focused on raising the cost of WMD development programs and reducing access to advanced military capabilities by terrorist organizations or states active in proscribed proliferation activities or regional conflict. Strategic export controls have also become a prominent feature of the international trade landscape, and as such, are calibrated to facilitate legal trade in dual-use goods and technologies while reducing risk of instability and conflict.
This lecture course will explore the role of strategic export controls in balancing security and trade. Course participants will learn how strategic controls are applied at global, multilateral, national and industry levels. Course participants will also acquire an understanding of policies and legal-regulatory frameworks used by governments to shape strategic export controls – as well as strategies used by exporters in industry and the private sector to comply with them. The course will also examine challenges to these controls, in the form of illicit trafficking networks, evolving supply chains and new means of distribution, and emerging dual-use technologies – and implications for the future of balancing security and trade.
The course will also feature a ‘red-teaming’ exercise, simulating the operation of trafficking networks. The exercise will give course participants an opportunity to apply knowledge gained through the lectures and readings to better understand illicit procurement and diversion of dual-use goods and technologies – and consider strategies for addressing this challenge while facilitating legal trade and its advantages for global prosperity and human welfare.
Spring 2020 - MIIS
Strategic trade controls -- which include export, brokering, transshipment and transit controls, as well as supply chain security issues -- are important tools in international nonproliferation efforts. These controls when used effectively can raise the cost of WMD acquisitions, prolong the time needed for development, and deny proliferant actors easy access to items and technologies necessary for WMD programs.
This seminar will focus on four important issues. One is how states balance between the pursuit of wealth and security. Second is the issue of cooperation among states on nonproliferation-related trade controls in light of a globalized economy. The third is the effectiveness of strategic trade controls as instruments in supporting nonproliferation objectives given the changing nature of technology and the global trade environment. The theoretical debate on these issues continues to revolve around the question of how states initiate, implement, and sustain international cooperation against the competing pressures of trade, domestic politics, and national security. Finally, the course will engage trade control practitioners from government agencies and industry as guest speakers and facilitators in order to fully understand how the issues surrounding strategic trade control impact the trade and security communities in today’s changing world.
Spring 2019 - MIIS
Areas of Interest
- Industry compliance and nonproliferation export controls
- US export control reform
- National export control systems and international cooperation
- Private sector/government cooperation in global nonproliferation efforts
- Illicit WMD-related procurement networks
- MA, International Studies, University of South Carolina
- BA, Journalism and Foreign Service, Baylor University
- Certificate in Nonproliferation Studies, MIIS
- “Keys to Effective Denied-Party Screening for Targeted Sanctions” with Kevin Cuddy, The Export Practitioner, April 2014.
- “Strategic Trade Controls in Asia: Learning by Example” with Stephanie Lieggi, Global Asia, Spring 2012.
- “WMD Nonproliferation: The Hidden ‘Polar Star’ of U.S. Export Control Reform?” Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI.org), December 11, 2011.
- “Taking Control: Stopping North Korean WMD-related Procurement” with Stephanie Lieggi and Masako Toki, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Feature, September/October 2010.
- “North Korea and Myanmar: A Match for Nuclear Proliferation?” with Catherine Boye and Melissa Hanham, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Analysis, September 27, 2010.