MacArthur Fellows Program

Bruce G. Blair

Foreign Policy Analyst | Class of 1999

Foreign Policy Analyst
Washington, District of Columbia
52 at time of award
July 19, 2020
Published July 1, 1999

About Bruce's Work

Bruce Blair is a foreign policy analyst seeking to reduce the risks of nuclear engagement in a rapidly changing geopolitical environment.

Blair has demonstrated the instability of Cold War and post-Cold War missile command and control mechanisms, rendering them vulnerable to human and technical error. As an expert on international strategic command and control of nuclear missile operations, he has developed compelling alternative proposals for "de-alerting" nuclear weaponry that would substantially diminish the possibility of inadvertent nuclear strikes. This research has caused him to be the leading advocate in the United States for taking nuclear weapons off alert and modifying the launch decision process to ensure adequate time for careful deliberation.


Blair served in the Strategic Reconnaissance Wing of Offut Air Force Base, Nebraska, and was a launch officerfor missiles in Montana, prior to holding positions as project director at the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and fellow in foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. Since 2000, he has served as president of the Center for Defense Information. Blair is the author of three books, including Global Zero Alert for Nuclear Forces (1995).

Blair received a B.S. (1970) from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. (1984) from Yale University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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