Jim Walsh | People

Jim Walsh
Senior Research Associate


Jim Walsh is a Senior Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Security Studies Program (SSP). Walsh’s research and writings focus on international security, and in particular, topics involving nuclear weapons. Walsh has testified before the United States Senate and House of Representatives on topics relating to nuclear terrorism, Iran, and North Korea. He is one of the relatively small number of Americans who have travelled to both Iran and North Korea for talks with officials about nuclear issues. His recent writings include,"The Implications of the JCPOA for Future Verification Arrangements (including the DPRK)," "The Digital Communications Revolution: Lessons for the Nuclear Policy Community," and “Laser Enrichment and Proliferation: Assessing Future Risks.”  

He is the international security contributor to the NPR program “Here and Now,” and his comments and analysis have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and numerous other national and international media outlets. Before coming to MIT, Walsh was Executive Director of the Managing the Atom project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a visiting scholar at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He has taught at both Harvard University and MIT. Dr. Walsh received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.





Publications|Selected Publications

Jim Walsh, “What ever happened to our fear of Armageddon?” Responsible Statecraft, October 28, 2022

Jim Walsh, "The Digital Communications Revolution: Lessons for the Nuclear Policy Community," June 2020

Jim Walsh, "4 Things That Will Happen If Kim Jong-Un Died," The National Interest, May 8, 2020.

Jim Walsh, "How Donald Trump pushed Iran to the Bomb," op-ed, CNN, July 11, 2019.

Jim Walsh,"Protecting America from a Bad Deal: Ending US Participation in the Nuclear Agreement with Iran," Written testimony for the hearing before Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security, U.S. House of Representatives, June 6, 2018, pp. 1-18.

Jim Walsh, "Is Trump's Meeting With Kim Jong Un A Good Idea?" op-ed, WBUR's Cognoscenti, March 13, 2018.

Jim Walsh, “Assessing the Iran Deal,” Written Testimony. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security, U.S. House of Representatives. April 5, 2017.

Jim Walsh and John Park, “Stopping North Korea, Inc.: Sanctions Effectiveness and Unintended Consequences,” MIT Security Studies Program, 2016.

Jim Walsh, "Your Beliefs About Terrorism And Islam Are A Hot Mess Of Myth And Illogic," op-ed, WBUR's Cognoscenti, June 21, 2016.

Jim Walsh and John Park, "To Stop the Missiles, Stop North Korea, Inc.," op-ed, New York Times, March 10, 2016.

Jim Walsh, “Iran Terror Financing and the Tax Code,” Written statement for the hearing before the House Committee on Ways and Means, Oversight Subcommittee, United States House of Representatives.  November 4, 2015.  Washington, DC: US Congress. 2015.

Jim Walsh, The Iran-North Korea Strategic Allliance, Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, July 28, 2015.

Jim Walsh, “Evaluating Key Components of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action With Iran,” Written statement for the hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, United States Senate.  June 25, 2015.  Washington, DC: US Congress. 

William Luers, Thomas R. Pickering, and Jim Walsh, "For a New Approach to Iran," The New York Review of Books, August 15, 2013.

Jim Walsh, "Security Assurances and Iran: Assessment and Re-conceptualization,” in Jeffrey W. Knopf, ed., Security Assurances and Nuclear Nonproliferation, Stanford University Press, 2012.

For a complete list of publications



WBUR Here & Now, March 16, 2023, "Video of U.S. drone shows interference by Russian jets." 

WBUR Here & Now, February 21, 2023, "Russia suspends participation in the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the U.S."

Fox News, February 5, 2023, "The Chinese screwed up."

WBUR Here & Now, February 3, 2023, "What our response to the Chinese balloon saga shows about the changing landscape of surveillence."

WBUR Here & Now, November 2, 2022, "North Korea ratchets up tensions with missile launches."

WBUR Here & Now, October 24, 2022, "What we can learn, 60 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis."

CBS News, October 4, 2022, “North Korea launches nuclear-capable missile over Japan,”

WGBH, September 11, 2022, “What's Changed Since 9/11.”

Outrider, August 30, 2022, “North Korea will conduct another nuclear test. It's only a matter of time when.

Fox News Live, August 14, 2022, “International security expert on the threat of Iran plotting to kill Americans on US soil

WBUR, Here & Now, September 26, 2022, discussing protests in Iran.

Fox News, November 14, 2021, "China is not looking to start a war with US: security expert."

WBUR, Here and Now, August 31, 2021, "America's Longest War Is Over. What did the U.S. gain from 20 years in Afghanistan?"

CGTN.com, The Heat, May 22, 2021,"US-ROK Relations and Global Health Summit."

WBUR, Here and Now, April 6, 2021, "New Efforts Underway to Revive the Iran Nuclear Deal."

WBUR, Here and Now, February 19, 2021, Biden Moves to Restart Iran Nuclear Talks

WBUR, Here and Now, February 4, 2021, "US-Russia Treaty Restricting Nuclear Weapons Extended for 5 years."

WBUR, Here and Now, January 12, 2021, "Questions of National Security Arise Amid Uncertainty in D.C."

Fox News Radio, December 2 2020, "Biden Cabinet Picks Signal A Big Shift From The Trump Era."

WBUR, Here and Now, November 26, 2020. "Biden Says US Is Back At The Head Of The Table."

WBUR, Here and Now, November 12, 2020. "The Future of the Iran Nuclear Deal."

Fox News, September 6, 2020, "Russia 'thinks they can get away with' poisoning Navalny: International Security expert."

WBUR, Here and Now, August 6, 2020, "Hiroshima's Legacy 75 Years Later."

Fox News, August 2, 2020, "International security expert on Putin's virus disinformation campaign against Americans."

WBUR, Here and Now, June 16, 2020, "North Korea Blows Up Joint Liaison Office With South."

WBUR,Here and Now, June 4, 2020, "Mattis Calls Out Clearing Protesters Outside White House 'Abuse of Executive Authority'."

WBUR, Here and Now, May 22, 2020, "US Pulls Out of Open Skies Treaty."

WBUR, Here and Now, April 29, 2020, "Where is Kim Jong Un?"

Moderator, Starr Forum, April 24, 2020, "Rethinking National Security in the Age of Pandemics."

"The End of the World (maybe) | Getting Bombed," with Chris Reinacher. On YouTube. (Film was nominated in the category of Best Educational Media at the Raw Science Film Festival!)

WBUR, Here and Now, January 14, 2020, "Iran Nuclear Deal Continues to Unravel."

WGBH, Greater Boston, January 8, 2020, "After Iran Strikes Back, President Trump Indicates a De-Escalation." With SSP alum Gautam Mukunda.

WBUR, Here and Now, January 3, 2020, "Qassem Soleimani, Top Iranian General, Killed In U.S. Airstrike In Baghdad."

WBUR, Here and Now, December 3, 2019, "Nato Summit Begins Amid Tensions."

WGBH, Here and Now, August 13, 2019, "Missile Test Site Explosion Raises Questions About U.S.-Russia Nuclear Competition."

WGBH, Greater Boston, July 1, 2019, "Trump's Whirlwind Weekend in Asia."

Fox News podcast, June 19, 2019, "Is the U.S. Inching Closer to War With Iran?"

WBUR, Here and Now, June 14, 2019, "Trump Blames Iran For Attack On Oil Tankers In Gulf of Oman."

WBUR, Here and Now, June 13, 2019, "Tensions Rise Amid Suspected Oil Tanker Attacks In Gulf Of Oman."

WBUR, Here and Now, May 8, 2019, "Iran Will Stop Complying With Some Parts of U.S. Nuclear Deal."

WBUR, Here and Now, February 20, 2019, "Civilians Evacuated From last ISIS-Held Village In Syria."

WBUR, Here and Now, September 25, 2018, "Trump Strikes Softer North Korea Tone at UN, after 'Rocket Man' Speech A Year Ago."

WBUR, Here and Now, September 18, 2018, "North, South Korean Leaders Meet With Goal Of Reviving Nuclear Talks."

WBUR, Here and Now, September 5, 2018, "South Korean Officials Meet With Kim Jong Un; Pompeo Arrives In Pakistan Amid Tensions."

WBUR, Here and Now, July 17, 2018, "Where Trump's Summit With Putin Fits As A Historical Moment."

WBUR, Here and Now, July 9, 2018, "Heated Rhetoric From North Korea as Trump Departs for NATO summit."

WGBH, Greater Boston, June 12, 2018, "North Korea Summit Heavy on Promises, Light on Detail."

WBUR, Here and Now, May 7, 2018, "Saturday Deadline Looms For Iran Nuclear Deal."

WBUR, Here and Now, April 9, 2018, "How Will U.S. respond To Another Chemical Weapons Attack In Syria?"

WBUR, Here and Now, March 27, 2018, "Will Coordinated Russia Punishment Change Putin's Behavior?"

WBUR, Here and Now, March 6, 2018, "North Korea Says It's Open to U.S. Talks. Would That Lead to a Nuclear Program Rollback?"

WBUR, Here and Now, January 18, 2018, "Hawaii False Missile Alarm Raises Questions About US Nuclear Preparedness"

FoxNews podcast, January 15, 2018, on the Hawaii ballistic missile false alarm.

WBUR, Here and Now, January 2, 2018, "What North Korea's Call For Direct Talks With South Korea Could Mean For the U.S."

WBUR, Here and Now, November 29, 2017, "Trump Promises New Sanctions After North Korea's Latest Missile Test."

WBUR, Here and Now, November 8, 2017, "In Speech to South Korean Assembly, Trump Tells the North 'Do Not Try Us'."

WBUR, Here and Now, October 13, 2017, "Trump Will Decertify the Iran Nuclear Deal. What Does That Mean?"

WGBH, Greater Boston, September 26, 2017, "North Korea Standoff."

WBUR, Here and Now, September 22, 2017, "Heated Rhetoric Between President Trump And Kim Jong Un Rages On."

Undispatch.com podcast, August 16, 2017, "Here is How North Korea Can Be Stopped."

WBUR, Here and Now, July 5, 2017, "North Korea Defiant After Latest Missile Test."

WBUR, Here and Now, June 5, 2017, "British Prime Minister: 'We Must Do More' To Fight 'Islamic Extremism'."

WGBH, Greater Boston, May 25, 2017, "Halting Intelligence."

Testimony before House Oversight Committee (National Security Subcommittee) on the Iran nuclear agreement, April 5, 2017. watch video

NPR, Here and Now, March 15, 2017, "Amid Military Buildup On Korean Peninsula, Rex Tillerson Makes First Official Asia Visit."

NPR, Here and Now, February 14, 2017, "What Michael Flynn's Resignation Means for National Security."

MSNBC, February 5, 2017, "Trump admin. hits Iran with new sanctions."

NPR, Here and Now, January 26, 2017, "U.S. Plan For 'Safe Zones' in Syria Raises Concern Among Russian Officials."

NPR, Here and Now, December 12, 2016, "How Trump's Comments Could Impact National Security."

NPR, Here and Now, December 26, 2016, "Trump Administration Will Face Host of Foreign Policy Challenges."

NPR, Here and Now, November 9, 2016, "Trump Faces Complex International Security Issues."

NPR, Here and Now, July 27, 2016, "63 Years After the Korean War Armistice, How Have North-South Relations Evolved?"

NPR, Here and Now, July 18, 2016, "From Turkey to Nice, Looking at Safety and Stability Around the Globe."

NPR, Here and Now, July 5, 2016, "What's Prompting the Recent Wave of Terror Attacks?"

NPR, Here and Now, June 13, 2016, "Authorities Probe Orlando Shooter's Possible Ties to Terrorism."



Quoted in "Experts: North Korea's Expected Nuclear Missile Test Likely Involves Miniature Warheads," The New Dehli Times, October 27, 2022.

Quoted in "Cognoscenti at 10: Making space for human voices when the news feels too big," Chloe Axelson, Sara Shukla, and Kathleen Burge, WBUR, October 14, 2022.