Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Philipp C. Bleek

Associate Professor

Philipp C. Bleek is an Associate Professor in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program at the Graduate School of International Policy and Management and Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, both at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. His research and teaching focuses on the causes, consequences, and amelioration of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons proliferation to states and non-state actors.

During 2012-13, he was on leave to serve as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs under a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship in Nuclear Security, funded by the Stanton Foundation. His primary responsibilities were staffing the Syria Chemical Weapons Senior Integration Group, a Pentagon-based, interagency focal point for efforts to prepare for Syrian chemical weapons contingencies; representing the United States in a White House-led dialogue with the Russian Federation focused on Syrian chemical weapons; working on a program to bolster weapons of mass destruction-related situational awareness and warning; supporting the drafting of a new National Defense Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and participating in chemical and biological terrorism red and blue-team exercises.

He has also held fellowships at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Center for a New American Security. He has served as an advisor to several political campaigns and a consultant to the U.S. government.

In addition to his current faculty position, he has taught at Georgetown University and in the Department of Defense Senior Leader Development Program. He began his work on nonproliferation issues as a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellow working at the Federation of American Scientists and the Arms Control Association. Dr. Bleek is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project.

Dr. Bleek holds a PhD in international relations from Georgetown University's Department of Government; a master in public policy, with a concentration in international security and political economy, from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government; and a bachelor of arts from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he focused on environmental economics.


Causes, consequences, and amelioration of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons proliferation.

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

NPTG 8531 - WKSH: Writing & Briefing Memos      

The goal of this workshop is to hone students’ professionally-relevant, policy-oriented communication abilities, including memo writing and briefing. The course will include a combination of lectures, seminar-style discussion, small working group engagement, and individual student work.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2016 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Spring 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop, Fall 2017 - MIIS, MIIS Workshop

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NPTG 8574 - Intro to WMD Nonproliferation      

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the issues surrounding the proliferation of nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological (NBCR) weapons and their means of delivery, the consequences of proliferation, and means to stem it or ameliorate its dangers, including:

• Nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons technologies

• Means of delivery, including ballistic and cruise missile technology

• Alternative perspectives on the dangers of proliferation and the utility of the term “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD)

• Factors affecting why states do or don’t pursue and obtain nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons and their means of delivery

• Potential and actual non-state actor pursuit, acquisition, and use of NBCR weapons

• Profiles of key countries and their NBCR programs and policies

• Deterrence vis-à-vis states and non-state actors

• Counterproliferation, including the possible use of force

• The nuclear nonproliferation regime, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards system

• The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC)

• The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)

• Missile control regimes and other export control arrangements

• Cooperative threat reduction and various post-9/11 initiatives

• Alternative futures, including new nuclear abolition debates

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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NPTG 8658 - Sem: CBRN Terrorism      

The goal of this seminar is to develop the skills necessary to analyze the motivations and capabilities of non-state actors to acquire and use weapons of mass destruction (WMD), more specifically chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons and materials, for terrorist purposes. Through class discussions, simulation exercises, and individual research, students will review the technical aspects of CBRN, examine the history of CBRN use by terrorists, assess CBRN terrorism threats and vulnerabilities, and assess policy responses to CBRN terrorism. Students are required to have substantial background knowledge of either CBRN or terrorism before joining the seminar.

Students will prepare weekly short memos, conduct group work for integrative simulation exercises, prepare an independent research project, and have various presentation opportunities.

Spring 2016 - MIIS, Fall 2016 - MIIS, Spring 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2017 - MIIS

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