Group: Alumni

Simone Williams

Simone is a program manager and research associate with the Project on Nuclear Issues (PONI) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where she manages the PONI Nuclear Scholars Initiative, the program budget, and ad hoc events. Her interests include nuclear weapons security policy and strategy, budgetary implications, and the role of the public in nuclear policy. Her goal is to advance diversity in the field for herself and others like her with the intention of making decision-making rooms more diverse and representative. Previously, Simone worked with the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative at CSIS, where she coordinated the planning and execution for the first Future Strategy Forum, a conference on national security issues featuring all women panels. Before moving to DC, she worked as project manager for a healthcare communication company in Chicago. She holds a BA in psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and an MA in international affairs from American University.

I am most excited to work on projects that… will help create change and make it a little bit easier for the next individual looking to pursue a career in nuclear security studies. 

I am looking for partners who can help me… think outside the box. 

A moment when I felt most inspired in my work was… when my voice is heard.


Cecili Thompson Williams

Cecili is executive director of Beyond the Bomb, leading a team of kickass campaigners and activists to mobilize against the threat of nuclear war and weapons. She has nearly two decades of experience leading mission-driven campaigns with organizations including Amnesty International USA, RESULTS Educational Fund, and the National Partnership for Women & Families. Most recently she founded and served as chief strategist for We Divine Water, a consulting group helping smart and passionate changemakers build strategic and effective campaigns. A strong believer in continually building power and capacity, Cecili has trained thousands of campaigners on how to maximize their impact within their organizations and in the world at large. She also serves as a faculty member at the Center for Social Design at the Maryland Institute College of Arts, where she teaches a graduate seminar on campaign strategy.

I am most excited to work on projects that… are unapologetically visionary and experimental.

I am looking for partners who can help me… be smarter, more effective, and more creative—to see things from new perspectives.

A moment when I felt most inspired in my work was… speaking to the virtual audience at the Hiroshima and Nagasaki 75th anniversary event. It was incredible to participate in that event and get to engage with so many activists.

Innovations in my field that I am most excited to work on… include getting better at crowdsourcing solutions to our most pressing problems (both internal to the field and external in terms of our work). I’m also eager to identify the challenges in our culture that hold us back from maximizing our results.

Timothy Westmyer

As a senior project lead at CRDF Global, Timothy helps international partners build their capacity to implement UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea’s WMD program. Since starting in the field with an internship at the Arms Control Association in 2005, Timothy has tried to do his part to lessen nuclear risks in a variety of roles in academia, government, advocacy groups, think tanks, and political campaigns. His research interests include arms control, nuclear testing, verification, and North Korea. Timothy hosts the Super Critical Podcast, which explores the portrayal of nuclear weapons in popular culture and serves as an outlet for experts to discuss how film and other media can help the public better understand nuclear dangers and advance a sane nuclear weapons policy. Timothy holds an MA in security studies from Georgetown and a BA in international relations and history from the University of Redlands. His MA thesis explored how verification requirements constrained and inspired arms control negotiators.

I am most excited to work on projects that… engage experts, the broader public, and people much smarter than me on how to harness popular culture to advance a sane nuclear policy.

I am looking for partners who can help me… show that nuclear war is not just the plot of old movies but a reality we are living today and need to urgently do something about before it is too late.

A moment when I felt most inspired in my work was… debating the merits of nuclear testing treaties with voters in Iowa and seeing that foreign policy mattered when the message connected well to their daily lives.

Innovations in my field that I am most excited to work on… include how a culture of greater diversity and opportunities for young professionals bring fresh perspective to a field that desperately needs it.

Alexandra Stark

Alexandra is a senior researcher at New America. She was previously a research fellow at the Middle East Initiative of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and a Minerva/Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace. Alexandra has written for several leading publications, including Foreign Affairs, Lawfare, and The Washington Post, and has had peer-reviewed articles published. She holds a PhD from the government department at Georgetown University, an MSc in international relations from the London School of Economics, and a BA from Wellesley College, where she was a fellow of the Madeleine K. Albright Institute for Global Affairs.

I am most excited to work on projects that… seek to move beyond conventional foreign policy frameworks and explore possibilities for redefining what national security means.

I am looking for partners who can help me… see beyond my own perspective and build partnerships for change.

A moment when I felt most inspired in my work was… reading the many responses we received from people of different backgrounds and at different places in their careers from all around the world for our essay contest to redefine national security.

Innovations in my field that I am most excited to work on… bring in more diverse perspectives to build a foreign policy that is innovative and better represents all Americans.

John Pope

John is a senior communications associate in the Peace and Security Collaborative, where he works with leading experts, organizations, and community advocates on the intersection between national security, politics, and the media. Before working with ReThink, John used storytelling and communication tools in a variety of roles. These include working as a field organizer back home in Pennsylvania for the 2018 midterms, managing communications and fundraising for a local nonprofit while living in Mexico, and empowering peacebuilders around the world with technology tools at the PeaceTech Lab. John holds a BA in international studies and an MA in international communication from American University.

I am most excited to work on projects that… help bring more voices into the policy conversation.

I am looking for partners who can help me… imagine new ways to tell stories.

A moment when I felt most inspired in my work was… any chance I get to help someone get published or interviewed for the first time.

Innovations in my field that I am most excited to work on… are new mediums of communications that go beyond the way we traditionally think of media.

Adina Pintilie

Adina is a researcher specializing in applying open sources to research tasks at Ridgeway Information, a research consultancy in London. Her work centers around finding new tools and refining novel research techniques, particularly supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). She is interested in big data, machine learning, and natural language processing applications for the security sector. Adina is Ridgeway’s focal point for the Gender Champions in Nuclear Policy network and leads Ridgeway’s work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability. Previously, Adina worked in the European Commission’s polling services in Brussels. She has also supported numerous Economic and Social Research Council projects on pan-European governmental structures, electoral systems, voting behaviors, and security and environmental policies. Adina holds an MA in applied security and strategy from the University of Exeter, where her dissertation focused on strategies used by disparate groups at opposite ends of the ideological spectrum. Her BSc in politics and international relations focused on big data and social movements.

I am most excited to work on projects that… bring together a diverse range of voices and give platform to marginalized ones. 

I am looking for partners who can help me… turn my enthusiasm into sustainable action. 

A moment when I felt most inspired in my work was… overcoming differences in opinion and delivering a piece of analysis the whole team was proud of. 

Innovations in my field that I am most excited to work on… are those that learn from successes in other fields in order to improve.