James Timbie

Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

As senior advisor at the State Department from 1983 to 2016, James P. Timbie played a central role in the negotiation of the INF and START nuclear arms reductions agreements, the purchase from Russia of enriched uranium extracted from dismantled nuclear weapons for use as fuel to produce electricity in the United States, and the establishment of an international enriched uranium fuel bank.  Most recently he was the lead U.S. expert in the negotiation of the nuclear agreement with Iran.  He retired from the State Department in 2016.

He has a PhD in physics from Stanford University, and from 1971 to 1983 was a scientist at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

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Recent Commentary

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Open Source Early Warning Of The COVID-19 Outbreak

by James Timbievia Analysis
Thursday, May 6, 2021

In late 2019, three different open source public alerts of an unknown pneumonia in Wuhan were issued—one week before the first COVID-19 report from the US CDC, and 10 days before the WHO. How does this experience inform conventional intelligence community assessments of biologic or other emergent threats? This National Security Task Force pandemic security brief reports on civil society early warning networks that employ 21st century communication and data technologies.

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Maintaining Readiness Through The Pandemic

by James Timbievia Analysis
Friday, April 2, 2021

The COVID-19 outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt early in the course of the pandemic turned a spotlight towards U.S. military readiness in the face of this novel coronavirus. In this brief, participants in the Hoover Institution’s National Security Task Force draw on interviews with US military personnel and other reporting to observe how the Department of Defense has been impacted by, reacted to, and learned from this threat. In short, the fight against the virus has been treated as a combat operation.

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National Security Supply Chain Resilience

by James Timbievia Analysis
Friday, February 5, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated reassessments of a variety of supply chain risks throughout the U.S. economy. In this brief, participants in the Hoover Institution’s National Security Task Force consider the special case of resilience in supply chains that support national security activities, including rare earth elements and microelectronics. It underscores the need for an ongoing strategic dialogue that balances both market economic and national security perspectives.

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Using data science to fight the virus and minimize economic consequences

by James Timbievia Analysis
Friday, December 11, 2020

Participants in the Hoover Institution’s National Security Task Force have undertaken to examine how data science techniques, particularly machine learning, combined with diverse economic and health data streams has potential for informing complex decisions on public health measures to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic and minimize economic disruption. This progress report summarizes what we have learned to date through interviews with data scientists and public health officials, and from published research, on what artificial intelligence can do in this space.

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A Hinge of History: Governance in an Emerging New World

by George P. Shultz, James Timbievia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Explores how global changes related to technology, demographics, and governance will shape the emerging new world, based on a series of Hoover Institution roundtables and public panel discussions.

From the Conveners

Letter From the Conveners: Russia In An Emerging New World

by George P. Shultz, James Timbievia Governance In An Emerging New World
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Dramatic changes are afoot. The future will not be like the past.  Demographic changes and migration are having a profound effect as the workforces of some countries age and shrink, while others expand. The Project on Governance in an Emerging New World aims to understand these changes and inform strategies that both address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by these dramatic transformations.  We will explore the implications for our democracy, our economy, and our national security, and for other countries.

Books

Beyond Disruption: Technology's Challenge to Governance

by George P. Shultz, Jim Hoagland, James Timbievia Hoover Institution Press
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

In Beyond Disruption: Technology’s Challenge to Governance, George P. Shultz, Jim Hoagland, and James Timbie present views from some of the country's top experts in the sciences, humanities, and military that scrutinize the rise of post-millennium technologies in today’s global society.

Controls on Nuclear Weapons and Fuel: Part 1

with James Timbie, George P. Shultz, Robert Einhorn, Matthew Bunnvia Uncommon Knowledge
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Controls on Nuclear Weapons and Fuel: Part 1, the second session from the Hoover Institution's Reykjavik Revisited: Steps Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons conference. This event features discussants James Timbie, Robert Einhorn and Matthew Bunn. (1:47:33)