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Robert E. Kelley

Distinguished Associate Fellow

Robert E. Kelley

Robert Kelley

Robert Kelley is a veteran of over 35 years in the US Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex, most recently at Los Alamos. He worked in research and engineering before turning to information analysis in the 1980s. He managed the centrifuge and plutonium metallurgy programs at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and later was Director of the Department of Energy Remote Sensing Laboratory, the premier US nuclear emergency response organization. He was also seconded by the USDOE to the IAEA where he served twice as a Director of the nuclear inspections in Iraq in 1992 and again in 2001. Kelley is currently based in Vienna. He has carried out professional travel to more than 20 countries.

Subject expertise

Nuclear energy and fuel cycle, plutonium metallurgy, gas centrifuge design and operation, nuclear weapons design, nuclear emergency response and overhead imagery analysis

Regional expertise

Middle East, South Asia, Africa


BS, Physics, Harvey Mudd College; MS Nuclear Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia.

United States
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Nuclear Engineering, State of California
  • Registered Professional Engineer, Mechanical Engineering, State of California
External publications
  • Fedchenko, V. and Kelley, R. E., New methodology offers estimates for North Korean thermonuclear stockpile, Jane’s Intelligence Review (July 2020)
  • Kelley, R., 'Burma-DPRK cooperation in military affairs', US-Korea Institute at SAIS, section Foreign Affairs, posted online May 5, 2011
  • Kelley, R., 'Critical mass - is Syria pursuing nuclear capability?', Jane's Intelligence Review, posted online Oct 14, 2010
  • Kelley, R, and Puccioni, Allison, 'Atomic revelation - defector reveals Myanmar's nuclear programme', Jane's Intelligence Review, posted online July 20, 2010
  • Albright, D., Brannan P., and Kelley R., 'Mysteries deepen over status of Arak reactor project' (ISIS report, Institute for Science and International Security, Aug 11, 2009)
  • Borstad, G.A., Lime, Jose, Brown, Leslie L., Truong, Bob, Healy, G., Kelley, R., Staenz, K., and Neville, R, 'Satellite hyperspectral imaging in support of nuclear safeguards monitoring' (Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Institute, 2005)