2013 Intern Spotlight: Connor Wakayama

Connor Wakayama

Name: Connor Wakayama
Home Institution: Middlebury College
Major: Russian and Eastern European Studies, minor in Political Science
CNS Projects:  Nuclear Threat Initiative: Submarine Proliferation Database

“The summer undergraduate internship at CNS allowed me to learn about nonproliferation from experts that know the field best. I was therefore able to explore the topic to a level that would be impossible anywhere else. The internship at CNS is a fantastic opportunity for anyone with an interest in nuclear nonproliferation or international relations. Those who do not have previous experience in the field will receive a solid background about nonproliferation through a series of lectures given by experts in every part of the field. I was very pleased with the way the staff treated the interns. They offered guidance frequently, and I believe they truly enjoyed giving lectures and listening to our opinions on these issues. We were also given a lot of freedom to pursue our own independent research.

The work that I did primarily consisted of updating webpages on the Nuclear Threat Initiative website. Specifically, I spent a lot of time researching the proliferation of submarine technology – which countries have submarines, which countries produce them, and how the strategic balance may shift in the coming years. As some submarines either use nuclear propulsion systems or are capable of carrying nuclear weapons, this information is of particular importance to the field of nuclear nonproliferation. The best part of this internship was having the opportunity to learn from and interact with experts in the nonproliferation field. It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by such intellectual people, who are so passionate about their work.”