Union of Concerned Scientists Appoints Physicist, National Security Expert to Lead Global Security Program

Published Feb 24, 2022

Media Contact

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) announced the appointment of Dr. Tara Drozdenko as director of its Global Security Program. Drozdenko started in the role February 22.

“Tara’s background as a physical scientist and years spent using that knowledge to try to build a safer world through work on arms control, nuclear weapons education and advocacy make her a great fit for our global security team,” said UCS President Johanna Chao Kreilick. “Tara also brings experience in anti-racism conversations and organizational change to contribute to the transformation we are working towards at UCS. I am just thrilled to see the work that she and our talented team will do to expand our impact and visibility in global security work.”

Drozdenko brings with her nearly two decades of experience in the national security field, managing complex government programs, supervising research teams and communicating with the public about climate change and nuclear weapons. She has worked on issues related to weapons of mass destruction for both the U.S. Navy and U.S. State Department. While at the State Department, Drozdenko spent several years working on missile defense and arms control issues, including representing the U.S. at the Senior Group on Proliferation at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Most recently, she served as acting executive director of Outrider Foundation, a nonprofit digital media organization focused on ending the threat of nuclear war and reversing the course of global climate change. In that role, she set the vision for the organization, working to integrate Outrider’s messaging on climate and nuclear issues. She also brought a focus on racial justice to the organization. Before leading the organization, Drozdenko served as Outrider’s managing director for nuclear policy, producing innovative media for public education and advocacy on nuclear weapons.

“I am thrilled to join the talented Global Security Program team at the Union of Concerned Scientists,” Drozdenko said. “Having worked with so many of the team members in various coalitions over the years, I know that they are a dedicated, impactful group of people. I am looking forward to working with the team to shape our advocacy on U.S. nuclear weapons policy in the coming years.”

Drozdenko also co-founded Highly NRiched, an open-access platform helping educators incorporate lessons about nuclear weapons into their classroom. She was chief of the Country/Regime Sanctions Unit at the U.S. Department of Treasury from 2008 to 2012, where she managed more than 20 of the U.S. government’s economic sanctions programs, including portions of the Iran and North Korea sanctions.

Drozdenko served in the U.S. State Department Office of Counterterrorism from 2006 to 2008 and as a physical scientist in the Bureau of Arms Control from 2003 to 2006. Drozdenko has a Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of California – Los Angeles.