The Cable

State Department arms control envoy exits to Brookings

Robert Einhorn, the State Department’s special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, is leaving the State Department to join the Brookings Institution, the think tank tells The Cable. Einhorn joins Brookings as a senior fellow at its newly launched Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, according to Brookings spokesman Shawn Dhar. His specific role ...

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Robert Einhorn, the State Department’s special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, is leaving the State Department to join the Brookings Institution, the think tank tells The Cable.

Einhorn joins Brookings as a senior fellow at its newly launched Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, according to Brookings spokesman Shawn Dhar. His specific role will be at the center’s Arms Control Initiative, which “will combine a focus on existing challenges of nuclear and conventional disarmament with new policy research on the Iranian and North Korean challenges to the nuclear nonproliferation regime,” according to the Brookings website. “The Initiative will also house a new program designed to cultivate and mentor the next generation of arms control and nonproliferation scholars.”

The State Department declined to comment, but earlier today, an anonymous official told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency of Einhorn’s departure. “Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Thomas Countryman will continue our negotiations with the Republic of Korea on a successor civilian nuclear cooperation agreement,” the official said.

During his tenure as special advisor, Einhorn tackled some of the thorniest issues on the geopolitical landscape. In 2010, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tasked him with coordinating the implementation of sanctions on Iran and North Korea. He also led efforts to strengthen multilateral measures to deter Iran’s nuclear program, and had the uncomfortable job of discouraging South Korean demands that it be allowed to enrich uranium and reprocess used fuel rods, which earned him the title of “non-proliferation Taliban” by the Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo. Under an existing 1974 agreement, South Korea cannot reprocess used fuel rods even for civilian purposes.

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