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Dr. James Clay Moltz

Clay MoltzStatus
Professor, Associate Chair for Research, and Director of the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction


Research Interests
Space security; Nuclear proliferation and nonproliferation; Russian and Northeast Asian security; International relations theory; and U.S. national security policy.

Clay Moltz joined the National Security Affairs faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in June 2007. Since November 2008, he has held a joint appointment with the Space Systems Academic Group at NPS. He currently teaches Space and National Security, Nuclear Strategy and National Security, International Relations, and Northeast Asian Security. Prior to his appointment at NPS, he served for 14 years in various positions at the Monterey Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies, including: deputy director from 2003-2007, director of the Newly Independent States Nonproliferation Program from 1998-2003, and founding editor of The Nonproliferation Review from 1993-98. He was also a faculty member in the Monterey Institute’s Graduate School of International Policy Studies.

Dr. Moltz is the author of Asia’s Space Race: National Motivations, Regional Rivalries, and International Risks (Columbia University Press, 2012) and The Politics of Space Security: Strategic Restraint and the Pursuit of National Interests (Stanford University Press, 2008 and 2011 editions). In addition, he is co-author of the book Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation (2002, 1st edition, and 2008, 2nd edition). His co-edited books include: Preventing Nuclear Meltdown: Managing Decentralization of Russia's Nuclear Complex (2004) and The North Korean Nuclear Program: Security, Strategy and New Perspectives from Russia (2000). Dr. Moltz has also published some 20 book chapters and more than 30 articles in such journals as Arms Control Today, Asian Survey, Astropolitics, Brown Journal of International Affairs, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of East Asian Studies, Nature, Space and Defense, Space Policy, Strategic Studies Quarterly, and World Politics. His op-eds have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Space News, Korea Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times. Dr. Moltz received his Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies and a B.A. in International Relations (with Distinction) from Stanford University.

Dr. Moltz worked previously as a staff member in the U.S. Senate and has served as a consultant to the NASA Ames Research Center, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment. He held prior academic positions at Duke University and at the University of California, San Diego.

Recent Publications

  • Crowded Orbits: Conflict and Cooperation in Space (New York: Columbia University Press, 2014).
  • “Regional Perspectives on Low Nuclear Numbers: An Overview,” The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 20, No. 2 (July 2013).
  • “Asia’s Space Race,” Nature, Vol. 480, No. 7376 (December 8, 2011).
  • “Coalitions in Space: Where Networks are Power,” Space and Defense, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Summer 2011).
  • “China, the United States, and Prospects for Asian Space Cooperation,” Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 20, No. 68 (January 2011).
  • “Space and Strategy: A Conceptual versus Policy Analysis,” Astropolitics, Vol. 8, No. 3 (September-December 2010).
  • “Toward Cooperation or Conflict on the Moon? Considering Lunar Governance in Historical Perspective,” Strategic Studies Quarterly 3, no. 3 (Fall 2009).
  • “Space Jam” (Op-Ed), The New York Times, February 19, 2009.

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