Foreign Policy Blogs

In Memoriam: Jonathan Tucker, Chem/Bio Expert

Jonathan Tucker, 1954-2011

I don’t generally write on chemical or biological weapons here, but I thought I would do so today to remember a friend, colleague and world-class expert on such topics. Dr. Jonathan B. Tucker, until his very untimely passing at the end of July, was the Biosecurity Education Manager at the Federation of Scientists. Jonathan passed away in his sleep at the age of 57.

Jonathan managed the Biosecurity Education Project and was, according to the Virtual Biosecurity Center website, “developing educational modules on various aspects of agricultural biosecurity, including agroterrorism and agricultural biotechnology.

Before joining FAS, Jonathan worked for nearly 15 years at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) of the Monterey Institute of International Studies, initially as founding director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program and then as a Senior Fellow in the CNS Washington Office. He has also held several positions with the U.S. government, including the State Department, the congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and the Graham-Talent Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism.

Jonathan received his BS in biology from Yale University and his PhD in political science from M.I.T. with a concentration in defense and arms control studies.”

The world has lost a tremendous force in the study and prevention of chemical and biological weapons. I met Jonathan while we were both members of the Council on Foreign Relations – he as a full member, I as a Term Member. We maintained a professional and personal friendship since that time. I am greatly saddened by his loss.