Luncheon Meeting on November 16, 2018


Chemical Weapons and Their Horrible, But Also Hopeful, Past, Present, and Future


Philipp Bleek, MIISDr. Philipp C. Bleek

Associate Professor; Acting Program Chair, Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies;

Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey


Chemical weapons are back in the news, based on Syria’s repeated, indiscriminate use in the past few years, as well as targeted attacks by both North Korea (on Kim Jung-Un’s brother) and Russia (on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia).  How worrisome are these developments?  And what implications do they have
for the future use of chemical weapons?

Professor Philipp Bleek will discuss the past, present, and potential future of chemical weapons.  He will argue that, while the use of chemical weapons in the past has been horrifying, there is also good news in the way that the international community has managed to progressively marginalize them.  He will explore some reasons to be optimistic about the future of chemical weapons, although he will warn that the progress we’ve seen may be more fragile than anticipated.Philipp Bleek is an Associate Professor and Acting Program Chair of the  Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.  His research and teaching focus on the causes, consequences, and amelioration of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons threats at the intersection of academia, non-governmental organizations, and government.  From 2012 to 2013, he served as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs.  In that capacity, he staffed the then-secret Syria Chemical Weapons Senior Integration Group, a Pentagon-based interagency effort to prepare for various chemical weapons-related contingencies.  He previously worked on a project that involved questioning the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo terrorists about their chemical and biological weapons programs that culminated in the 1995 sarin attacks on the Tokyo subway.

Professor Bleek has a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University,  and a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University.

Please note that this program will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey.  Room capacity is limited.  Reservations will be accepted in the order they are received until the program is full.  Depending on demand, we may be unable to accommodate auditors at this event.


Friday, November 16, 2018
11:30 am: Registration
Noon: Luncheon
12:50 pm: Program

Luncheon Menu

  • Classic Green Salad
  • Lemon and Garlic Herb Chicken with a White Bean Spinach Sauce
  • Classic Rice Pilaf
  • Sauteed Vegetables
  • Rolls and Butter
  • Coffee and Decaf
  • Chocolate Mousse Cake with Seasonal Berries
  • Vegetarian Option: Stuffed Peppers with a Harvest Apple Stuffing

Luncheon Cost

  • $29 for members
  • $35 for guests


Registration for the luncheon is now closed.  Audience seating for the lecture only may be available, depending on room capacity, on a first-come-first-served basis.


Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
1000 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93923


Property and Parking Map (click map for larger view)