Randy Rydell

Biographical Statement (March 2015)

Randy Rydell, Ph. D.

Randy Rydell is (until March 2015) an Executive Advisor to the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, which provides the secretariat for Mayors for Peace.  He retired on 1 October 2014 as Senior Political Affairs Officer in the Office of Ms. Angela Kane, the UN’s High Representative for Disarmament Affairs.  He was Team Leader of the office’s Strategic Planning Unit.  He served from January 2005 to June 2006 as Senior Counsellor and Report Director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission (Blix Commission) and Senior Fellow at the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C.  He joined the UN secretariat in 1998, where he advised Under-Secretary-General Jayantha Dhanapala and his successors, Ambassadors Nobuyasu Abe and Nobuaki Tanaka, and Sergio Duarte.  He was Secretary of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters (2001) and a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School (1998/1999 and 2009/2010). He received the “Unsung Heroes” award in 2009 from the Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

Rydell worked for Senator John Glenn between 1987 and 1998 as a member of the Professional Staff of the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the United States Senate.  He assisted in the drafting and subsequent enactment of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act of 1994 and other legislation.  He also served as a staff member of the Senate’s Arms Control Observer Group.

He was an international political analyst at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1980 to 1986, where he studied problems related to the global spread of nuclear weapons.

He worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University from 1979 to 1980.

He received a B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia (1973), an M.Sc. in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (1974), an M.A. in Political Science from Princeton University (1977), and a Ph. D. in Political Science from Princeton (1980). 

Recent publications/statements:

  • “Nuclear Weapon State Transparency, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the United Nations,” Global Fissile Material Report 2013 (Princeton, NJ:  International Panel on Fissile Materials, October 2013), pp. 39-49.
  • “The Multilateral Dimension of the Middle East WMD-Free Zone:  United Nations, IAEA, and NPT,” Palestine-Israel Journal (v. 19, #1, 2013).
  • “Explaining Hammarskjold’s ‘Hardy Perennial’:  The Role of the United Nations in Nuclear Disarmament,” London:  UNA/UK, 2013.
  • “The United Nations and a Humanitarian Approach to Nuclear Disarmament,” Nuclear Abolition Forum (Issue 1, 2011), 25-35.
  • “Advocacy for Nuclear Disarmament:  A Global Revival?”, in Catherine McArdle Kelleher and Judith Reppy, Getting to Zero:  The Path to Nuclear Disarmament (Stanford, CA:  Stanford University Press, 2011), p. 28-42.
  • “Last Sunset or New Dawn for Nuclear Weapons,” (book review), Arms Control Today (September 2010),  p. 51-56.
  • “The Future of Nuclear Weapons:  A World United and Divided by Zero,” Arms Control Today (April 2009), p. 21-25.
  • “The Secretary-General and the Secretariat”, chapter in Jane Boulden, Ramesh Thakur, and Thomas G. Weiss, eds., The United Nations and Nuclear Orders (Tokyo: UN University Press, 2009).
  • “Nuclear Disarmament and General and Complete Disarmament,” paper presented at a conference sponsored by the Toda Institute and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, San Francisco, 8 September 2007. [In David Krieger (Editor), The Challenge of Abolishing Nuclear Weapons, New York: Transaction Publishers, 2009.]
  • “Security in Disarmament:  The Story of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission”, Hague Journal of Diplomacy, vol. 2, no. 1 (2007), p. 81-91.
  • “Going for Baruch:  The Nuclear Plan That Refused to Go Away”, Arms Control Today (June 2006), p. 45-48.
  • “Disarmament without Agreements?”, International Negotiation (2005), vol. 10, no. 3, p. 363-380.
  • “Looking Back:  The 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference,” Arms Control Today (April 2005), p.  47-48.
  • Book:  Jayantha Dhanapala with Randy Rydell, Multilateral Diplomacy and the NPT:  An Insider’s Account (Geneva:  UNIDIR, 2005).
  • “United Nations Responses to Terrorism after 9/11,” in Yassin El-Ayouty (ed.), Perspectives on 9/11 (NY:  Praeger, 2004), p. 197-212.
  • “Fissile Nuclear Materials and the Future of Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation,” Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Conference on Nuclear Non-Proliferation (30-31 May 2003), Addendum (Athens:  MFA Center for Policy Analysis and Planning, 2004), p. 3-8.
  • “The United Nations and Weapons of Mass Destruction,” in C. Uday Bhaskar (ed., et al.), Asian Strategic Review 2004:  United Nations -- Multilateralism and International Security (New Delhi:  Shipra, 2005), p. 339-356.
  • “Weapons of Mass Destruction:  Developing a Credible Disarmament Programme for the Asia Pacific,” 17th Asia-Pacific Roundtable, Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 8 August 2003.
  • “Missile Norms in a Changing World,” International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation (INESAP) Information Bulletin, No. 21 (April 2003), pp. 61-64.
  • “Models for Missile Disarmament:  In Search of a Political Foundation,” INESAP Bulletin, No. 19 (March 2002), p. 66-71.
  • “Monitoring United Nations Arms Embargoes,” in Michael Brzoska (ed.), Smart Sanctions:  The Next Steps (Baden-Baden:  Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2001),  p. 143-161.
  • “Giving Nonproliferation Norms Teeth:  Sanctions and the NPPA,” The Nonproliferation Review (Winter 1999, Vol. 6, No. 2),  p. 1-19.