Heather Williams is a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at MIT. She is visiting from King's College London, where she is a Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department and Centre for Science and Security Studies. Her research project focuses on asymmetric arms control, particularly how arms control can incorporate emerging technologies, such as cyber and AI. The project builds on Heather's 2019 article in Journal of Strategic Studies on a similar topic, and explores the first principles of why states engage in arms control, why arms control succeeds or fails, and draws on historical cases of asymmetric arms control and when emerging technologies were captured in arms control agreements. Her other research areas of interest include social media and nuclear escalation, trust in International Relations, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and nuclear institutions, and balancing deterrence and disarmament, particularly from the perspective of European states.
Heather is also a Senior Associate Fellow at the European Leadership Network, an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, and a member of the Wilton Park Advisory Council. She is an adjunct Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), where she has worked since 2008. Heather has a PhD in War Studies from King's College London, an MA in Security Policy Studies from The George Washington University, and a BA in International Relations and Russian Studies from Boston University.