A Conversation with Joan Rohlfing

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Does the nuclear command authority of the United States protect the world from an ill-considered strike by the Commander in Chief? Short answer: No. Before 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, many people may have thought that existential risk was the stuff of science fiction. Not anymore. Joan Rohlfing has been working on managing existential risk for decades. From arms control to disarmament, she has had a hand in almost every conceivable aspect of the nuclear portfolio. And while an intentional or inadvertent use of nuclear weapons could conceivably end the human story at any moment, Rohlfing is optimistic. Nuclear is a solvable problem, and the solutions we might imagine and enact--from international cooperation to technology innovation--offer models for mitigating existential risk elsewhere. On “Who Is?” this week, it’s the end of the world, and what we can do to prevent it.

  • Joan Rohlfing, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative

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52 episodes