Director, Proliferation and Policy, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

Tom Plant is director for proliferation and policy at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), an independent think tank engaged in cutting-edge defense and security research. Tom’s program at RUSI examines contemporary nuclear issues, particularly those raised by and affecting the UK’s nuclear weapons program, and the security challenges posed by the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs. His team uses innovative methods to identify and expose proliferation networks, to design and assess arms control and disarmament verification processes, and to chart political and technological futures. He is also director of the UK Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI), a cross-generational network that seeks to develop and connect emerging scholars and professionals with their peers and with established experts. Before joining RUSI, Tom was a principal specialist at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), where he was responsible for technical oversight of arms control verification research programs. Prior to that he worked at the UK Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and King’s College London on a range of non- and counter-proliferation issues. He remains a visiting senior research fellow with The Policy Institute at King’s, and is a physicist and systems engineer by training.

Biggest untapped opportunity to help advance a world safe from nuclear threat →
I think there is an element of co-creation—of discovering together—that is more persuasive than advocacy, when it comes to nudging the thinking of those actually working on and with nuclear weapons on a day-to-day basis. Practitioners are very easy to switch off with even a whiff of advocacy. Shared endeavour toward a common goal on the other hand is something where N Square (and UK PONI/others) can work to build mutual understanding and respect across divides.