Toby Dalton

Co-director and Senior Fellow
Nuclear Policy Program
tel +1 202 939 2297
Dalton is the co-director and a senior fellow of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment. An expert on nonproliferation and nuclear energy, his work addresses regional security challenges and the evolution of the global nuclear order.


PhD, George Washington University 
MA, University of Washington 
BA, Occidental College


English; German


Toby Dalton is co-director and a senior fellow of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment. An expert on nonproliferation and nuclear energy, his work addresses regional security challenges and the evolution of the global nuclear order.

Dalton’s research and writing focuses in particular on South Asia and East Asia. He is author (with George Perkovich) of Not War, Not Peace? Motivating Pakistan to Prevent Cross-Border Terrorism (Oxford University Press, 2016), which provides in-depth analysis of the conflict spectrum in South Asia. He also wrote (with Michael Krepon) A Normal Nuclear Pakistan and “Beyond Incrementalism: Rethinking Approaches to CBMs and Stability in South Asia.” He co-edited Perspectives on an Evolving Nuclear Order and wrote “South Korea Debates Nuclear Options,” (with Byun Sunggee and Lee Sang-Tae) and “South Korea’s Search for Nuclear Sovereignty” (with Alexandra Francis).

From 2002 to 2010, Dalton served in a variety of high-level positions at the U.S. Department of Energy, including acting director for the Office of Nuclear Safeguards and Security and senior policy adviser to the Office of Nonproliferation and International Security. He also established and led the department’s office at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan from 2008-2009.

Dalton previously served as professional staff member to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a Luce Scholar at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, a research associate at the National Bureau of Asian Research, and a project associate for the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program.

He has authored numerous op-eds and journal articles in publications such as Foreign Policy, the Washington Quarterly, Asia Policy, Politico, the National Interest, the Diplomat, Dawn, the Wire, Force, and Dong-A Ilbo.

  • Royal Australian Navy submarine HMAS Sheean arrives for a logistics port visit on April 1, 2021 in Hobart, Australia
    Article December 16, 2021
    How the United States Can Use AUKUS to Strengthen Nuclear Nonproliferation

    The AUKUS security pact between Australia, the UK, and the United States will create precedents that could be used by other countries to pursue nuclear weapons. Here’s how the partners could reduce this risk.

  • Op-Ed War on the Rocks October 27, 2021
    Why South Korea Shouldn't Build Its Own Nuclear Bombs

    Although the U.S.-South Korean alliance does face significant geopolitical challenges, nuclear proliferation would be an ill-advised solution. South Korean nuclear weapons would likely make the regional security situation more precarious.

  • Op-Ed Korean on Point September 24, 2021
    A Freeze for Freeze Redux on the Korean Peninsula

    Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula is stalled again. One option worth exploring is a trilateral cessation of missile testing and military exercises on the Korean Peninsula, essentially a “freeze for freeze” redux.

  • Op-Ed Arms Control Association September 2, 2021
    North Korea and the Proof of Nuclear Adherence

    Although the administration does not use the phrase “arms control” in describing its North Korea policy, achieving any “practical progress” would require limiting the quantitative growth and qualitative improvement of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

  • A missile launching
    July 27, 2021
    New Approaches to Verifying and Monitoring North Korea’s Nuclear Arsenal

    While hopes remain for a reboot of nuclear talks with North Korea, a crucial but oft-overlooked question is how compliance with any negotiated agreement would be monitored and verified.

  • Washington Quarterly July 12, 2021
    Reducing Nuclear Salience: How to Reassure Northeast Asian Allies

    Growing threats require renewed U.S. alliance deterrence and assurance initiatives in East Asia. But increasing the prominence of nuclear weapons in U.S. northeast Asian alliances could backfire.

  • Book chapter Diplomacy and the Future of World Order May 31, 2021
    Nuclear Nonproliferation at a Crossroads

    Future nonproliferation diplomacy will be shaped by tension between states seeking to preserve the existing system, states desiring reform, and states that ignore or neglect the rules.

  • Book chapter US-China Nuclear Relations: The Impact of Strategic Triangles April 26, 2021
    Competitive Deterrence? The United States, China, and South Asia

    The past, present, and future shape of nuclear competition among China, India, and Pakistan, specifically the development and posturing of nuclear weapons and related offensive and defensive military systems, is characterized by conflicting narratives. As U.S.-China strategic competition grows, what effects might it have on nuclear competition in Southern Asia?

  • Korean Journal of Defense Analysis March 1, 2021
    Negotiating Nuclear Arms Control with North Korea: Why and How?

    The consolidation of nuclear and missile capabilities by North Korea points to the need for a new strategy to mitigate the potential for conflict: to pursue progress toward peace and denuclearization simultaneously.

  • Rinsa Forum February 28, 2021
    The Biden Administration and a New Approach to Denuclearization?

    It remains to be seen whether the Biden administration will change tack on North Korea policy and finally jettison “maximum pressure” approach in favor of a more practical attempt to work simultaneously toward peace and denuclearization.

  • KCRW’s To the Point October 20, 2015
    Nuclear Weapons: The Pride of Pakistan

    Pakistan faces both nuclear security and deterrence stability challenges.

  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars March 29, 2012
    Securing 'Loose Nukes'

    Different regional actors had different agendas and priorities for the recent Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.

  • Nuclear Peace in South Asia?
    November 17, 2021 Live Online
    Nuclear Peace in South Asia?

    Please join us for a special event with Michael Krepon on the future arms control from his recently published book, Winning and Losing the Nuclear Peace. He will be joined in conversation by Beenish Pervaiz and Debak Das and Toby Dalton will moderate.

  • Mind the Gap: Women in Research
    June 3, 2021 Live Online
    Mind the Gap: Women in Research

    Carnegie Europe and the Brussels Binder are delighted to invite you to a public discussion on the findings of Brussels Binder Beyond, an EU-funded project that explores how equality and diversity in the research sector can improve the quality of the political decision making process

  • September 17, 2019 Washington, DC
    New Technologies and Nuclear Risk

    The proliferation of new technologies threatens to increase the risks of nuclear use. Join us to discuss two of those risks; precision-strike weapons in the hands of U.S. allies and artificial intelligence.

  • Assessing the Second U.S.-North Korea Summit
    March 4, 2019 Washington, DC 中文
    Assessing the Second U.S.-North Korea Summit

    Unpacking the second U.S.-North Korea summit is going to be a long term process but it will be seen as a major turning point—both positively and negatively—on prospects for North Korea’s denuclearization, the extent of inter-Korean détente, and the future of the U.S.-ROK alliance.

  • October 25, 2018 Washington, DC 中文
    Ceasefire Violations in Kashmir: A War by Other Means?

    Two nuclear-armed rivals in South Asia—India and Pakistan—have not fought openly since the 1999 Kargil conflict, but the lack of active war has not meant the absence of violence.

  • June 12, 2018 Washington, DC 中文
    Denuclearization or Deterrence? Evaluating Next Steps on North Korea

    An expert panel discussion on denuclearization diplomacy, the Trump-Kim summit, and Plan B options to deter North Korean coercive behavior.

  • May 18, 2018 Washington, DC
    Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments

    How the process of third-party intervention affects deterrence strategies and prospects for peace between India and Pakistan and lessons for other regional nuclear rivalries.

  • May 1, 2018 Washington, DC 中文
    Denuclearizing North Korea: Practicalities and Politics

    In the aftermath of the inter-Korean summit on April 27, and ahead of planned U.S.-North Korea talks, please join Carnegie for a deep dive on the practicalities and politics of denuclearizing North Korea.

  • February 27, 2018 Washington, DC 中文
    Nuclear Risks in Northeast Asia

    Nowhere are nuclear dangers growing more rapidly than in Northeast Asia. Join Carnegie for a discussion, hosted jointly with Nagasaki University, of the most urgent nuclear challenges facing international actors in this increasingly tense region.

  • December 7, 2017 Washington, DC 中文
    The Art of Sanctions for Nonproliferation

    Sanctions are seen as an essential tool for nonproliferation and in some cases prove useful, as with Iran. However, as new challenges such as North Korea loom, are the United States and its partners using sanctions the right way to achieve their objectives?


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