Bonnie Jenkins



Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins currently serves as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.

Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins founded the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS), a 501c3 nonprofit organization established in 2017. She was a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She was also a Visiting Scholar at the Nursing School and the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2017, Jenkins was a Joint Visiting Fellow at The Brookings Institution and the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. Prior to that, from 2009 – 017, she was an Ambassador at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) where she served as Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. In that role, Jenkins coordinated the Department of State’s programs and activities to prevent weapons of mass destruction (WMD) terrorism with programs funded by other US Departments and Agencies, and with similar programs funded by other countries. She served as the U.S. representative to the 30-nation G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction and chaired the Global Partnership in 2012. Jenkins was the Department of State’s lead to the four Nuclear Security Summits that took place from 2010 – 2016. Jenkins also worked closely with several international organizations including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), INTERPOL, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Health Organization, and the Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit.

Jenkins was also a leading US official in the launch and implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), the global effort to build country capacities to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease, and led engagement efforts with the nongovernmental sector in furtherance of the GHSA. She established the GHSA Next Generation Network, the GHSA Consortium and helped in the planning for the establishment of the GHSA Private Sector Roundtable. She was on the DOS Diversity Governance Council and Leadership Liaison of the DOS Veterans Affinity Group. She was also the US Department of State International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau's (ISN) Nominee for the 2016 Secretary's Award for Excellence in International Security Affairs.

Before returning to government in 2009, Jenkins served as Program Officer for US Foreign and Security Policy at the Ford Foundation. She also served as Counsel on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). Jenkins was the lead staff member conducting research, interviews, and preparing commission reports on counterterrorism policies in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and on U.S. military plans targeting al Qaeda before 9/11. She served as General Counsel to the U.S. Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and worked at Rand Corporation focusing on Middle East weapons of mass destruction issues.

Jenkins began her career as Presidential Management Fellow in 1988 at the U.S. Department of Defense before moving to the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) in the Office of the General Counsel, where she was the legal advisor to U.S. Ambassadors and delegations negotiating WMD and conventional arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation treaties, and conventions. She also served as legal advisor to several WMD and conventional international implementation bodies, including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty Joint Consultative Group, and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization.

Jenkins is a retired Naval Reserves Officer and received several awards for her service. She was a fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (Belfer) at the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard University in both the International Security and Managing the Atom Programs. During that time, Jenkins 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 holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Virginia; an LL.M. in international and comparative law 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.