Ms. Jessica Cox serves as Director, Nuclear Policy Directorate at NATO HQ in Brussels, Belgium. She provides policy support to the Secretary General and others at NATO HQ on matters related to NATO nuclear deterrence, including in the Secretary General’s role of Chair of the Nuclear Planning Group. The Nuclear Policy Directorate (NPD) organizes the work of the Nuclear Planning Group, develops and implements NATO nuclear policy, and organizes and leads HQ exercises, policy symposiums, and education and training programs. Ms. Cox chairs the Nuclear Planning Group Staff Group and will chair the NATO-Russia Council Nuclear Experts Group (work currently suspended).
Prior to her NATO assignment, Ms. Cox was a policy analyst in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). She recently completed two years detailed to the National Security Council (NSC) as the Director for Arms Control, where she led the development of U.S. policy on nuclear and conventional arms control treaties as well as issues associated with US-Russia and US-China strategic stability. As such, she was instrumental in developing a new approach to Russia’s violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, managing implementation of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, and restarting bilateral U.S.-Russia Strategic Stability Talks in September 2017.
Prior to joining the NSC, Ms. Cox was Director of Russia Policy and Conventional Arms Control Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy (OSD Policy). She served previously as DoD’s Lead Negotiator for the Treaty on Open Skies, where she was instrumental in negotiating a new framework for certifying and using digital sensors on Open Skies aircraft. Since joining OSD Policy, Ms. Cox has served as the Country Director, Pakistan Policy, with a focus on strategic stability, counter-terrorism and Pakistan-India relations; Country Director, Iran, with a focus on Iran’s nuclear and missile developments; and Policy Analyst, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, with a focus on countering WMD terrorism. Ms. Cox came to OSD Policy from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), where she was the Deputy Country Manager, Republic of Georgia for the Biological Threat Reduction Program.
Ms. Cox has been active in both foreign policy and politics, holding such positions as: Client Manager for Grassroots Enterprise, a bi-partisan political consulting firm; Young Professionals Outreach Coordinator, 2004 General Clark for President Campaign; Program Coordinator, International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); and Research Assistant, Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy (CISTP).
Ms. Cox holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor’s of Science in International Relations from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Ms. Cox entered government as a Presidential Management Fellow.