Conversations: Nuclear threats, non-proliferation and Australia
Hervé Lemahieu discusses the continuing threat of nuclear weapons, global efforts at arms control and Australia's interactions with the global non-proliferation regime around its proposed acquisition of nuclear submarine technology under the AUKUS agreement.
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Hervé Lemahieu discusses the continuing threat of nuclear weapons, global efforts at arms control and Australia's interactions with the global non-proliferation regime around its proposed acquisition of nuclear submarine technology under the AUKUS agreement. He speaks with Australia's Ambassador for Arms Control and Counter-proliferation Ian Biggs, Program Officer for Nuclear Materials Security Jessica Bufford and Dr Geoffrey Shaw, Director-General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office (ASNO).
Ian Biggs was appointed Ambassador for Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation in January 2022 and leads Australia's international advocacy on global arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament. He has previously served as Australia's Ambassador to Iran (2016-19), Turkey (2011-14) and Saudi Arabia (2005-08) and has previously served in postings in Iraq, India, Austria and Syria. Ambassador Biggs has also served as Secretary of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Chair of the Australia Group, Special Assistant to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Chair of the Nuclear Suppliers Group's Dual Use Regime. He holds a Master of Arts (International Relations) from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney.
Jessica Bufford serves as a program officer in the Nuclear Material Security team at the Nuclear Threat Initiative - a nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity. Prior to joining NTI, she worked in the Division of Nuclear Security at the IAEA. She has also worked on materials management and minimization at the US Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration, and worked previously at NTI as a Herbert J. Scoville Fellow. Bufford received a master’s degree in nonproliferation and terrorism studies, with a certificate in conflict resolution, from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from Austin College.
Dr Geoffrey Shaw was appointed to the position of Director General, Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office (ASNO) in 2022. He is responsible for Australia’s implementation and compliance with regard to the Nuclear Non‑proliferation Treaty, Chemical Weapons Convention and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Prior to this appointment, Dr Shaw has most recently served as Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Australia’s Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking and the Representative of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the United Nations. Previously, Dr Shaw served as the Special Assistant for Policy to the Director General of the IAEA and Australia’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament.