Adjunct Professor & Senior Research Scholar, School of International and Public Affairs
Adjunct Professor and Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, Richard Nephew is a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Program and affiliated with the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative housed within the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. He is also a research scholar and program director at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. His present research is focused on the use of sanctions for deterrence and impact on present U.S. foreign policy challenges.
From 2013 to 2015, Nephew served as the principal deputy for inaugural Coordinator for Sanctions Policy Dan Fried at the U.S. State Department. In this capacity, Nephew advised Coordinator Fried and other senior State Department officials on a range of sanctions policy issues, including those involving Russia, North Korea, Libya, Syria, and the Islamic State. Nephew also assisted with the development of sanctions strategies to manage challenges as diverse as human rights, terrorism, nonproliferation, regional stability, and cybersecurity.
During this period, Nephew also served as the lead sanctions expert for the U.S. team negotiating with Iran from August 2013 to December 2014.
From 2011 to 2013, Nephew was a director for Iran at the National Security Council (NSC), where he was responsible for the development and execution of the U.S. sanctions strategy toward Iran, as well as for the nuclear negotiations. While at the NSC, Nephew supervised a dramatic expansion of U.S. and foreign sanctions against Iran, including through the development and implementation of six new executive orders signed by President Obama during Nephew’s tenure.
From 2006 to 2011, Nephew served in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the Department of State, first as the senior Iran nuclear officer and, as of 2008, as the Middle East team chief. In this capacity, Nephew was developed both the U.S. approach to negotiations with Iran as well as the U.S. sanctions.