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Avner Cohen

Former Global Fellow


    June 1, 2009 — May 31, 2019

    Professional affiliation

    Professor of Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

    Wilson Center Projects

    "Israel's Bargain with the Bomb"

    Full Biography

    Avner Cohen is Professor of Nonproliferation Studies at the Graduate School of International Policy and Management (GSIPM) of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS) and Senior Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at MIIS. 

    Dr. Cohen, widely known for his path-breaking history of the Israeli nuclear program, is an internationally recognized author and expert on nonproliferation issues, focusing on Israel, the Middle East and the theory of nuclear nonproliferation.  He is a two-time winner of prestigious MacArthur Foundation research and writing awards, in 1990 and 2004, and in 1997-98 and 2007-08, he was twice a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). In 2008-09 he was also a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center of International Studies in Washington DC.

    Dr. Cohen is the co-editor of Nuclear Weapons and the Future of Humanity (1986, Rowman & Littlefield Pub), The Institution of Philosophy (1989, Open Court), and the author of The Nuclear Age as Moral History (in Hebrew, 1989). His most acclaimed book, Israel and the Bomb, was published by Columbia University Press in 1998 in English and in 2000 in Hebrew. His latest book, The Worst Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb, was published in October 2010 by Columbia University Press.

    In addition, Dr. Cohen produced 4 Monographs, 11 major sites of on-line research, 32 Scholarly articles, 24 books chapters, and 14 short articles. He also authored over one hundred and fifty journalistic items, mostly op-eds, popular articles and book-reviews in American and Israeli newspapers since the mid-late 1970’s.  He publications were published in the following newspapers: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Washington Times, Ha’aretz, The Jerusalem Report, The Jerusalem Post, and Yediot Achronot.

    Cohen received a B.A. in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University in 1975. He then studied at York University where he received an M.A. in Philosophy in 1977 and four years later earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (with the Committee on History of Culture).