Amb. Bonnie Jenkins


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Bonnie Jenkins

Founder and Executive Director

Redefining National Security Chair

Women of Color Advancing Peace & Security (WCAPS)

It all started when Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins realized that an organization of women of color was needed to encourage and actively develop leadership and a network in areas that affect them most globally: Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation.

Jenkins is the Founder and Executive Director of WCAPS. She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Jenkins is currently the Chair of the Steering Committee of the International Women’s Conference on Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction to Non-State Actors, and the Chair of the Committee on Radioactive Sources: Applications and Alternative Technologies of the National Academies of Sciences.


Jenkins is an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a Professorial Lecturer at the George Washington Elliott School of International Affairs. She is also a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Nursing and Veterinary Science. She recently served as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House and a Visiting Dignitary at the LBJ School at the University of Texas in Austin.

Jenkins was nominated by President Barack Obama in April 2009 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in June 2009 as Special Envoy and Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), U.S. Department of State (DOS). She served in that position until January 2017. Jenkins promoted a coordinated U.S. effort on threat reduction globally. Jenkins was the DOS lead for the 2010 - 2016 Nuclear Security Summits and the U.S. Representative to the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.  She led diplomatic efforts promoting the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), and was the U.S. government lead in outreach to the non-governmental sector. In that role, she established the GHSA NGO Consortium and founded the GHSA Next Generation Network. 


Prior to her becoming an ambassador, Jenkins worked at the Ford Foundation as the Program Officer for US Foreign and Security Policy, at the Rand Corporation, and as a Legal Adviser at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.


Jenkins holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia; an LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center; an M.P.A. from the State University of New York at Albany; a J.D. from Albany Law School and a B.A. from Amherst College. She was a Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the JFK School at Harvard University at which time she also worked at the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School where she advised law students on employment in the US government and public entities. Jenkins is a retired U.S. Naval Reserve Officer and received numerous awards for her military service. She is a member of the New York State Bar.

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