The U.S. Department of State hosted the 6th Annual Generation Prague Conference in Washington, DC, on July 15-17, 2015. Generation Prague 2015: Bridging Divides, Defining the Future explored the potential for creative and cooperative solutions to global arms control and nonproliferation challenges with a focus on youth engagement. Participants interacted with a wide variety of U.S. and international experts and leaders in arms control and nonproliferation, including Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman. US Sherman had just returned to the United States after completing negotiations with Iran on the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The importance of NNSA contributions to U.S. nonproliferation and arms control efforts was highlighted in a number of speakers’ remarks, including an overview of U.S. efforts by Jon Wolfsthal, the National Security Council Senior Director for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, and Ambassador Adam Scheinman’s remarks regarding the 2015 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller, who addressed the group on the 70th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear explosion at the Trinity site in New Mexico, reminded attendees of the seriousness of nonproliferation and arms control efforts by the U.S. and its foreign partners.
In a spotlight on young leaders moderated by Katherine Croft, Senior Policy Advisor to the NNSA Administrator, entitled “Nuclear Explosive Testing in Meridia,” Dr. Julia Craven Jones of Sandia National Laboratories and Dr. Derek Haas of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory spoke about their experiences in the recent Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization’s (CTBTO) large-scale on-site inspection (OSI) Integrated Field Exercise 2014 (IFE14) that took place in Jordan last year. Dr. Jones was a member of the external Evaluation Team and Dr. Haas was a member of the Inspection Team at IFE14. They spoke about their personal experiences supporting the CTBT effort, the intersection of advanced technology and national security policy, and the importance of new generations of experts choosing to pursue arms control and nonproliferation as a career.
NNSA Director of Public Affairs Thom Metzger also spoke on a panel, “Shaping Opinions on Nuclear Weapons,” about current public views regarding nuclear weapons and how public engagement and information can positively impact views about national security issues, including NNSA’s highly technical missions. NNSA Public Affairs works to educate American public about the importance of NNSA’s mission and its value to U.S. national security.