Managing the Atom

For over two decades, I have been one of the leaders of the Project on Managing the Atom (MTA) at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Since 2009, I have been MTA’s faculty lead.

MTA is a research group focusing on nuclear policy, including nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and the intersections between them. It is intentionally both interdisciplinary and international, as the key nuclear challenges facing humanity cannot be solved with the insights from only one discipline or only one country. As an academic research group, MTA has no single view on nuclear policies, beyond the belief that careful analysis of issues and options can contribute to a safer nuclear world.

MTA typically includes roughly a dozen research fellows (ranging from pre-doctoral fellows finishing their dissertations to senior policymakers), a small core staff, and several faculty members. Over the years, MTA’s work has played a central role in initiatives to strengthen nuclear security around the world; efforts to limit the risks posed by Iran’s nuclear program; debates over spent fuel reprocessing, storage, and disposal; analyses of China’s nuclear forces and policies; and a range of other nonproliferation and nuclear energy issues. MTA fellows have gone on to play leading roles in government and academia, from chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to faculty positions at leading universities.


"Managing the Atom: Goals, Topics, Approaches," MTA Fall Orientation, Cambridge, MA, 6 September 2018.

Matthew Bunn

Professor of Practice

79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138