Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation

VCDNP (Austria)

The Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) is an international non-governmental organization established on the initiative of the Austrian Foreign Ministry in 2010 and officially opened in 2011. The Center’s mission is to promote international peace and security by providing a platform for independent analysis and dialogue in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. In order to fulfill its mission, the VCDNP employs conferences, seminars, and other fora to foster results-oriented discussion among international organizations, national governments, non-governmental experts, scholars and civil society. The Center partners with other academic and non-governmental institutions as well as international organizations in conducting research, outreach, education and training on non-proliferation and disarmament. The VCDNP is operated by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Contact information

Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP)

Andromeda Tower
Floor 13/1
1220 Vienna

Point of contact

Elena Sokova

The team

Name, Surname, contact Resume Speciality/Research Focus

Elena Sokova

Executive Director

Elena K. Sokova resumed the Executive Director of the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation position in June 2019. She was the first Executive Director of the VCDNP in 2011-2015 and afterwards served as Deputy Director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (2015-2019). She held several senior research and management positions at CNS prior to her Vienna posting from 1997 to 2011. In 1981-1992 she worked at the Soviet and then Russian Foreign Ministry. Elena K. Sokova served on the Global Agenda Council on Nuclear Security (World Economic Forum) in 2014-2015 and chaired a working group on the elimination of civil HEU established by the Fissile Material Working Group in 2014-2016.
  • Fissile materials security and control
  • International organizations and regimes in non-proliferation and disarmament
  • Nuclear non-proliferation issues in Eurasia
  • Nuclear non-proliferation and international safeguards
  • Non-proliferation and disarmament education and training

Angela Kane

Senior Fellow

Before joining the Center, Ms. Kane served as the United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs until mid-2015. She was responsible for planning, negotiating and conducting the groundbreaking investigation of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria in 2013, which resulted in Syria’s destruction of its chemical stockpiles. Ms. Kane served as the Under-Secretary-General for Management at the UN (2008-2012). Ms. Kane was also responsible for Political Affairs as UN Assistant Secretary-General and served as the Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management. Her field experience includes Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, and also in Indonesia and Thailand.
  • Peace operations and disarmament
  • Political relations and negotiations
  • Multilateralism

Dr Nikolai Sokov

Senior Fellow

Dr Nikolai Sokov was born in Moscow. He graduated from the Department of History of Moscow State University in 1981 and subsequently worked at the Institute of US and Canadian Studies (1981-86) and Institute of World Economy and International Relations (1985-87), both USSR Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the degree of Candidate of Historical Sciences in 1986.

In 1987-92, Dr Sokov worked at the Ministry of Foreign Relations of USSR/Russian Federation. He participated in START I, START II and other arms control negotiations as well as numerous summit and ministerial meetings.

In 1992-96 he was graduate student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and was awarded a PhD in Political Science in 1996.

Dr Sokov joined the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in 1996, where he has worked since. In 2011-14 and since 2019 he works at the VCDNP.

He has published widely, including two dozen books and monographs as well as more than 200 articles. He is regularly invited to speak at various conferences and other public events and has consulted many international organizations (including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization) as well as US governmental agencies (i.e. Departments of State, Defense, and Energy) and various committees of the US Congress.

He taught full-semester at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and short courses at Tomsk State University (Russia) and Odessa National University (Ukraine).

  • Arms control, disarmament and international security
  • Theory and practice of international regimes
  • Comparative foreign and defence policy and military strategies
  • Nuclear non-proliferation: The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
  • Safeguards
  • International cooperation for non-proliferation
  • Great power relations: US-Russia-China
  • Alliance relations
  • NATO
  • Nexus between domestic and foreign policy

John Carlson

Non-Resident Senior Fellow

John Carlson joined the VCDNP as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in July 2019. He holds a number of other appointments including: Member and Senior Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Leadership Network on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament; Member, International Advisory Council, International Luxembourg Forum; and Member, International Verification Consultants Network, VERTIC.

Mr. Carlson worked in the Australian Public Service from 1963 to 2010, principally on energy, nuclear and international relations issues, including 21 years as Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office (1989-2010). Concurrent appointments included: Chairman, IAEA Standing Advisory Group on Safeguards Implementation (SAGSI), 2001-06; Alternate Governor for Australia, IAEA Board of Governors; Australian Sherpa, Nuclear Security Summit, 2010; founding Chair, Asia-Pacific Safeguards Network.

Mr. Carlson is a Fellow of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) and holds the national award of Member of the Order of Australia (AM).


  • Nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and arms control
  • Safeguards and Verification
  • Nuclear governance
  • Nuclear security

Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova

Director, International Organisations & Non-Proliferation Program

Ms. Mukhatzhanova worked previously as Senior Research Associate and NPT Project Manager at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). She served as an expert on the delegation of Kazakhstan to the 2010 NPT Review Conference and the delegation of Chile to the 2015 NPT Review Conference. She has taught workshops and courses on Iran’s nuclear program and on nuclear proliferation trends and trigger events at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey (MIIS). Prior to joining CNS, she was a Media and Outreach Specialist at the UN Development Programme in Kazakhstan.
  • Multilateral non-proliferation regimes
  • International non-proliferation and disarmament negotiations and the role of coalitions
  • Nuclear politics of the Non-Aligned Movement
  • Nuclear-Weapon-free zones
  • Iran’s nuclear program and proliferation theory

Ingrid Kirsten

Senior Research Associate

Before joining the VCDNP, Ms. Kirsten spent 20 years as a diplomat for the Republic of South Africa, including a posting at the South African Embassy and Permanent Mission in Austria. She has also worked as researcher at the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and managed stakeholder relations for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS). Her current focus is the nexus between technical cooperation in nuclear energy and nuclear security, as well as the role of the IAEA.


  • International relations in agriculture and food security
  • Peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear technology
  • Nuclear and conventional arms control

Hanna Notte

Senior Research Associate

Prior to joining the VCDNP, she was a Senior Political Officer with The Shaikh Group (TSG), an NGO focused on track two mediation and informal diplomacy in the Middle East. She completed her doctorate at Oxford University in 2018 on the topic of Russian-US cooperation in the Middle East. Dr. Notte was a visiting researcher in 2015–16 with the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Carnegie Moscow Center in Moscow, Russia. Other visiting research stints have included the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation’s Syria/Iraq office in Beirut, Lebanon and the International Institute for Strategic Studies Middle East office in Manama, Bahrain.


She has been a guest lecturer at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, the American University of Paris and the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Dr. Notte obtained a BA in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University in 2010, an MPhil in International Relations from Oxford University in 2014, and spent two years as a Research Analyst at Goldman Sachs’ London offices. She is fluent in Russian and Arabic.

  • Arms control and security issues;
  • Russia;
  • Middle East;
  • US and European policy;
  • Chemical Weapons.

Federica Dall’Arche

Senior Research Associate

Federica Dall’Arche is a a former policy advisor to the Italian Presidency of The Council of Ministers (Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri).

She graduated summa cum laude in political science at the University of Roma Tre and won a full merit scholarship for an exchange programme at the Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Federica obtained her Master’s degree in Non-proliferation and Terrorism Studies and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIIS), California. In 2014, she won the Michiel Brandt Memorial Prize for best MIIS paper on Human Trafficking and conducted an internship at the Asian-Pacific Center for Security Studies, a U.S. Department of Defense academic institute. She was later the recipient of the United Nations Security Council Monitor Fellowship at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), and of the Non-proliferation and Nuclear Security Fellowship at the Pacific Forum – Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

During her career she has also worked at the International Affairs Institute (Istituto Affari Internazionali, IAI), at Deloitte UK, at the James Martin Center for Non-proliferation Studies (CNS), at the William Tell Coleman Library, and as a freelance collaborator for the online magazine


  • Arms control and the non-proliferation regime;
  • Disarmament;
  • Gender in international security;
  • The European Union and international organisations in arms control and non-proliferation.


Anthony (Tony) Stott

Senior Research Associate

Anthony (Tony) Stott is an international expert on nuclear power infrastructure development, environmental protection and stakeholder engagement. He provides consulting services to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), international NGOs and universities.

Between December 2014 and March 2020, Mr. Stott was employed by the IAEA in the Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section, Division of Nuclear Power. He was Team Leader for Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) missions to several countries embarking on new nuclear power programmes, led national workshops and expert missions on environmental impact assessment and stakeholder engagement, lectured at interregional training courses on nuclear infrastructure development topics, and was Scientific Secretary for technical meetings and the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Power Infrastructure.

Prior to joining the IAEA, Mr. Stott accumulated more than 30 years’ experience in the nuclear industry in South Africa, in the national electricity utility, Eskom. In his last position at Eskom, Senior Manager in the Office of the Group Executive, Mr. Stott acted as an advisor to executive management on nuclear power, a member of the South African delegation on climate change multilateral negotiations and to the IAEA General Conference. He was also an adviser to the Minister of Energy during international negotiations and a nuclear spokesperson for Eskom for many years until he joined the IAEA.


  • Nuclear power infrastructure development
  • Peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technology

Noah Mayhew

Research Associate

Mr. Mayhew is joined the VCDNP in July 2018 as a Research Associate, focusing on nuclear non-proliferation, IAEA safeguards and nuclear verification, arms control, US-Russia relations, and the nexus between nuclear security and the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology. Some of his previous contributions to nuclear discourse have been published by Stiftung Entwicklung und Frieden, Arms Control Today, The Nonproliferation Review, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority. He is a Commissioner on the trilateral Young Deep Cuts Commission. Before joining the VCDNP, Mr. Mayhew completed an internship with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
  • IAEA safeguards, nuclear verification and broader issues of nuclear governance


  • US-Russian relations, broadly and in the spheres of non-proliferation and arms control


  • The history of North Korea’s nuclear programme and prospects for its mitigation

Mara Zarka

Research Associate and Project Manager

Ms. Zarka is responsible for the management and coordination of the VCDNP’s projects under the EU Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Consortium. She also serves as the Center’s Gender Champion Focal Point.


Prior to joining the VCDNP, Ms. Zarka completed an internship at the International Peace Institute, Vienna Office, where she assisted in organizing the 43rd annual IPI Vienna Seminar focusing on the dangerous nexus between crime, conflict and terrorism. She also gained experience interning at the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization at the United Nations in Vienna and working on local political campaigns in the United States.


Ms. Zarka is fluent in English and German, proficient in Spanish and has basic knowledge of French. She holds a Master of Advanced International Studies from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and a BA in International Relations and Psychology from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, USA.

  • IAEA safeguards and verification;
  • Non-Proliferation;
  • Gender;
  • Peaceful uses of nuclear science, technology and applications.

Louis Reitmann

Research Associate

Previously, Mr. Reitmann served as an Export Control Support Officer at Imperial College London and as a founding member of the UK Higher Education Export Control Association (HEECA). There, he helped to boost compliance with export control and investment security regulations and create structures to protect research from misuse for weapons of mass destruction and military purposes. Prior to this, he supported the EU Special Envoy for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation as a Blue Book Trainee at the European External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels.

At the EEAS, Mr. Reitmann contributed to a large-scale EU mine action project, the design of a database on arms exports, and an upgrade to EU communication around disarmament and non-proliferation. Between 2019 and 2021, he worked as an economic and financial crime analyst in the City of London. He has also completed internships with the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).


Some of his previous work has been published by The Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsGlobal Risks, and British Pugwash. Mr. Reitmann has been selected as one of 25 Leaders for Tomorrow by the UN initiative #Youth4Disarmament. He is also a member of the CTBTO Youth Group.


Mr. Reitmann is fluent in German and is learning French. He holds an MSc International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a BA Political Science from the University of Vienna.


  • Export controls;
  • Maritime sanctions;
  • Nuclear weapons issues in East Asia.