Todd Sechser

Fast Facts

  • Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Virginia
  • Coauthor of Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy
  • Expertise in international relations, foreign policynuclear security, emerging technologies

Areas Of Expertise

  • Foreign Affairs
  • American Defense and Security
  • War and Terrorism
  • World Happenings

Todd S. Sechser, faculty senior fellow, is the Pamela Feinour Edmonds and Franklin S. Edmonds Jr. Discovery Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and professor of public policy at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Sechser's research interests include deterrence, coercive diplomacy, military technology, and nuclear security. He is coauthor of the book Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and his research has appeared in academic journals such as International Organization, the American Journal of Political ScienceInternational Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Non-Proliferation Review. His writing on policy issues has been published in media outlets such as the Washington PostWall Street JournalBoston Globe, and the Christian Science Monitor, and he regularly consults for several government and military agencies. Sechser's recent media appearances have addressed the North Korea nuclear crisis, the NATO alliance, the Iran nuclear deal, and U.S.-Russia relations.

Sechser is the director of the Program on Strategic Stability Evaluation, a multi-university working group studying the effects of new technologies on international security. He was previously a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a John M. Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University. He received his PhD in political science from Stanford University, where he wrote an award-winning doctoral dissertation. Before entering academia, Sechser worked as a nuclear policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Todd Sechser News Feed

As Stalin learned in Finland, small countries can inflict serious damage on invading superpowers.
Todd Sechser The Washington Post
Foreign affairs and policy specialist Michael Krepon ("Winning and Losing the Nuclear Peace") discusses his definitive guide to the history of nuclear arms control, including how the practice was built from scratch, how it was torn down, and how it can be rebuilt. In conversation with Todd Sechser.
Todd Sechser Virginia Festival of the Book
Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of the NATO alliance, discusses the role that nuclear weapons should play in American foreign policy in the 21st century. President Barack Obama once proclaimed, “I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” More than a decade later, however, a new era of great power rivalry is upon us. How should we adjust our nuclear posture for this new era? As Russia extends the threat of nuclear attack in Ukraine, how should the United States and its allies respond? Drawing on a lifetime of national security expertise, Admiral Stavridis takes stock of today's nuclear threat to the United States.
Todd Sechser Miller Center Presents
A nuclear war would be an unthinkable scenario. However, Russia continues to keep its nuclear arsenal on high alert and is now calling on China for help. And President Joe Biden brought up the possibility of World War III in a press briefing this week. Experts warn the Russian invasion of Ukraine could escalate to a dire situation. Todd Sechser is a professor of politics at the University of Virginia and a senior fellow at the Miller Center.
Todd Sechser CBS19
Senior Fellow Todd Sechser is interviewed on NBC29.
Todd Sechser NBC29
Sechser says Putin may not have thought it all through. "Russia has now played most of its escalatory cards, and doesn't have many tools left for resolving this crisis in its favor. The nuclear alert seems like more an act of frustration than a calculated tactical move," he said in an email. "If the nuclear alert was intended to coerce the United States and Europe into tempering economic sanctions or abandoning Ukraine, it failed. If anything, it has served to further inflame world opinion against Russia," Sechser added.
Todd Sechser CNN