David Wright

Senior Scientist & Co-Director, Global Security Program

Media Contact

David Wright is a nationally known expert on the technical aspects of nuclear weapons policy, missile defense systems, missile proliferation, and space weapons. He has authored numerous articles and reports on arms control and international security, including Toward True Security: Transforming U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy, Securing the Skies: Ten Steps the United States Should Take to Improve the Security and Sustainability of Space, and The Physics of Space Security. 

Since 1990, he has been a primary organizer of the International Summer Symposiums on Science and World Affairs, which foster cooperation among scientists around the world working on arms control and security issues. In 2001, he was a co-recipient of the American Physical Society’s Joseph A. Burton Forum Award for his arms control research and his work with international scientists.

Before joining UCS in 1992, Dr. Wright was a senior research analyst with the Federation of American Scientists and served as an SSRC-MacArthur fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He received his doctorate degree in physics from Cornell University in 1983 and worked as a research physicist from 1983 to 1988.

Selected publications

Gronlund L., Fetter S., and Wright D. 2018. How to limit presidential authority to order the use of nuclear weapons. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Wright D. 2017. Not an ICBM? Still an open question. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Wright D. 2015. Research Note to Hypersonic Boost-Glide Weapons by James M. Acton: Analysis of the Boost Phase of the HTV-2 Hypersonic Glider Tests. Science and Global Security 23:3, pp. 220-229

Wright D. 2012. What Does North Korea’s Planned Rocket Launch Mean? CNN’s Global Public Square, December 4.

Wright D. 2012. Underestimated or Overestimated: North Korea’s Launch in Perspective. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, December 13.

Wright D, Gronlund L. 2009. Technical flaws in the Obama missile defense plan. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September 23.

Wright D. 2008. Chinaʼs kinetic energy anti-satellite test. Harvard Asia Pacific Review 9.2: 32-34.