Lutes, Charles D.

Director, Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction

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Areas of Expertise: Biological and Chemical Defense, Biosecurity, Countering WMD, Deterrence, Missile Defense, Nuclear Issues, Space North Korea, Russia

Mr. Charles D. Lutes is the Director of the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, D.C.  He was previously a Senior Research Fellow at the Center before assuming his current duties.Prior to joining the Center full time in 2013, Mr. Lutes served in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, where he was a senior advisor for Countering WMD and Acting Principal Director for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy.  Mr. Lutes culminated his 28-year Air Force career as Director for Counterproliferation and Nonproliferation on the National Security Council Staff under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.  Mr. Lutes also served as Chief of Strategic Plans and later as WMD Division Chief in the J-5 directorate on the Joint Staff, and was a Senior Military Fellow at NDU’s Institute for National Strategic Studies.  He was a career Air Force pilot with over 3,000 hours in the F-4, T-38, EC-135, KC-135 and C-5 aircraft.

Mr. Lutes holds engineering degrees from Duke University and the Air Force Institute of Technology, an advanced degree in education from The George Washington University and was a National Security Fellow at Harvard’s  John F. Kennedy School of Government.  He is currently pursuing a PhD in Public Policy from The George Washington University.  His current research focuses on biological threats, conflict escalation with nuclear armed adversaries, extended deterrence in East Asia, and disruptive technologies.

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