Political Director Monica Montgomery was profiled by Frontiers Science News as a woman in science. In this comprehensive interview, she explains how a college trip to the Vatican inspired her to work in nuclear weapons policy and how she hopes her work will lead to a renewed consensus in Washington that arms control is good for U.S. national security. She also discusses the importance of diversity in the nuclear policy field and how other women in the field have helped her get where she is today.
What was your inspiration that led you to your current role?
I first became interested in nuclear arms control, non-proliferation, and disarmament work through my undergraduate studies at University of Notre Dame, where I had a professor who had extensively worked in Washington, DC on disarmament issues. He organized a trip to the Vatican for a conference that was hosted by Pope Francis himself on issues of nuclear disarmament. I attended this conference and I was really inspired by the message of the Pope. I’ve had Catholic schooling all my life, but this was not something that I had really ever engaged in or had ever thought of nuclear arms control within this sphere.
I think that a lot of the younger generation in the US, at least until recently, hadn’t thought much about this message and the need to continue to focus on revitalizing commitment from nuclear weapons states towards nuclear disarmament. This really inspired me and led me into the work that I am doing now. It also really connected my own interest in US politics and national security, with a more specific focus towards an issue like nuclear arms control non-proliferation. Read more