Paul Carroll

Senior Advisor
San Francisco, CA

Paul Carroll is the Senior Advisor at N Square, based in San Francisco, CA. Launched in 2014 as a collaboration among leading funders in the nuclear security field, N Square facilitates the introduction, initiation, and integration of new ideas and new resources to reduce risks from nuclear weapons and materials.

Paul is a well-regarded expert on a broad array of nuclear weapons topics, from the history and current status of US plans and programs, to international programs and treaty regimes. He has a particular expertise on the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons infrastructure – where warheads are designed, built, tested, and stored. He also is an expert on North Korea’s program and the challenges to limiting it, having traveled to the DPRK twice with nongovernmental delegations.

For 17 years before joining N Square, Paul was the Director of Programs at the Ploughshares Fund. He led all of Ploughshares’ grantmaking efforts and provided strategic guidance to the president, executive director and the board. Prior to Ploughshares Fund, Paul worked on nuclear weapons issues in the U.S. Congress’ Office of Technology Assessment and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, DC. He also worked on environmental issues at a regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has published articles and appeared as a commentator for a number of media outlets including The Daily Beast, Hannity, CNN International, Fox News, AP Radio, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and Al Jazeera America, among others.

Paul has a Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a Masters of Public Policy in National Security Studies from the University of Maryland.

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Recent content

It will be days or weeks before the world knows much about the nuclear test conducted by North Korea mid-day Tuesday local time in Pyongyang. What was its actual yield? What did it use – plutonium or highly enriched uranium, or some combination? Did it perform as expected? What will the international response be? Is this a game changer?

February 12, 2013 - By Paul Carroll

As the United Nations Security Council considers a response to the North Korean missile launch, I’d like to offer my view on the immediate “winners and losers” from this episode.

December 12, 2012 - By Paul Carroll

Although the United States has not tested a nuclear weapon for twenty years, we still spend billions each year on an array of machines that conduct all kinds of diagnostic experiments to mimic nuclear explosions. One of the most expensive is called the National Ignition Facility (NIF).

October 31, 2012 - By Paul Carroll

Say what you will about North Korea. It’s “backwards,” impoverished, isolated, led by an enigmatic, secretive leader, or even that it is “the land of no smiles” whose people live a life on the edge of survival. To varying degrees, these negative descriptions are true.

September 27, 2012 - By Paul Carroll

The US military isn’t known for refusing big guns or new toys. So it’s a telling sign when one of the nation’s top military leaders proposes serious cuts to the nuclear arsenal.

August 6, 2012 - By Paul Carroll

Critics of a recent deal between North Korea and the United States had barely caught their breath before an announcement today by Pyongyang that North Korea plans to launch a satellite atop a long-range rocket in mid-April. It’s hard to argue that this isn’t a setback. But it’s also premature to write the whole thing off.

March 16, 2012 - By Paul Carroll

Anniversaries have a way of generating reflection and re-assessment, and that is a good thing. But next week’s anniversary of the Fukushima catastrophe risks missing a huge piece of the story – that ALL things nuclear are inherently risky and that our assumptions about how we can control them need to be rethought.

March 9, 2012 - By Paul Carroll

Today the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a venerable organization begun by Manhattan Project leaders who presciently realized the implications of their work, moved the Doomsday Clock one minute closer to midnight. It now stands at 5 minutes to “doomsday.”

January 10, 2012 - By Paul Carroll

Kim Jong Il is dead. While for many this may seem like a day long planned, now that it is upon us it is no less frightening.

December 18, 2011 - By Paul Carroll

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to Alaska. I went because a group of citizens wanted someone to come and speak to them about U.S. nuclear weapons policy and what they could do about it. Full disclosure: some of them are Ploughshares Fund supporters and others were members of groups that work to achieve nuclear weapons reductions and nonproliferation. I came back with an important reminder about the real-world aspects of what Ploughshares Fund works on and that everyone has the potential to make a difference.

October 5, 2011 - By Paul Carroll