Bonnie Jenkins ’78 Nominated for Key Role in Biden Presidential Team

Spence alumna and former trustee Bonnie Jenkins ’78 has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. Once Jenkins is confirmed to the role by the Senate, she will advise the President and the Secretary of State on global security policies such as arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament. She will also work to prevent missile, nuclear, chemical, biological and conventional weapons proliferation and counter threats to both the United States and the international community. 

Ambassador Jenkins is a seasoned diplomat; she managed the threat reduction programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the State Department from 2009-2017. In that capacity, Jenkins promoted programs to reduce weapons and materials of mass destruction. She was also the Department of State’s lead to the four Nuclear Security Summits that took place from 2010 to 2016 and the U.S. Representative to the G8 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction. She is the founder and executive director of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) and served as a member of the Biden-Harris Transition State Department Agency Review Team. Jenkins is a retired Naval Reserves officer, a member of the New York State Bar and she leads the American Bar Association’s Women in National Security Law Initiative. 

Jenkins has consistently kept her connections to Spence strong. She has made time to return to Spence and speak with students about her work at Career Day and other events. In 2016, she visited an Upper School International Relations class, where students had the opportunity to ask her questions about international security and diplomacy strategies. 

“My job focuses on tracking individuals—not just who they are, but where they go.” The main goal is to prevent those with ill intent from obtaining chemical, biological or nuclear weaponry, which has now become largely an international cooperative effort. Jenkins also highlighted the important role multinational teamwork and long-term diplomacy play in combating the global proliferation of weapons. 

Spence is so very proud of Ambassador Jenkins’ groundbreaking global security and diplomacy work and her continued success in serving our nation.