Dr. Marco Di Capua

DOE/NNSA Faculty Chair


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Dr. Marco Di Capua, a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service (SES) is currently the DOE/NNSA Faculty Chair at the College of International Security Affairs of the National Defense University at Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington DC. From 2009 to 2017 he served as the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Research and Development (NA-22; DNN R&D). As Chief Scientist, Marco provided continuity, counsel, and direction to DNN R&D research programs while working with DOE and DNN leadership on S&T strategies to address the nuclear security needs of the U.S for decades to come.

In his career, Marco has successfully bridged science, nuclear weapons, and nuclear security and foreign policy disciplines. Marco established the U.S. DOE China Office, leading the U.S. Department of Energy bilateral nuclear security and energy engagement in China as Energy Counselor to the Ambassador (U.S. Embassy Beijing; 2006 to 2009). In India, closely following the nuclear tests of 1988, as a Commissioned Officer in the Senior Foreign Service (U.S. Department of State), he was the Minister Counselor for Scientific Affairs (U.S. Embassy New Delhi; 2000 to 2005). In his first Foreign Service Officer assignment, he served as the Counselor for Science and Technology at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China (1992-1997). While in Beijing he promoted U.S. non-proliferation goals through the DOE-sponsored China Arms Control Technical Exchange Program, the discovery of incentives to nudge China to sign the CTBT, enabling the U.S. sponsored China Digital Seismic Network and facilitating a high environmental altitude gas sampling program. Marco was also on the team that secured irradiated fuel at the 5 MW Magnox reactor in Nongbyon, DPRK for implementation of the KEDO agreement.

Dr. Di Capua served (1988 to 1990) as a Liaison Scientist for Applied Physics at the U.S. Navy, U.S. Office of Naval Research (London, U.K). Before his Commission in the Foreign Service in 1992, and between assignments abroad, he led research on flash x-ray generators for shock hydrodynamics applications, high-speed electrical measurements, pulsed power electromagnetics, physics of high energy density, electron beam transport and nuclear weapons effects simulation science at the University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (1984-2006) and Physics International Company (now L3 Communications Applied Technologies Pulse Sciences; 1974- 1984). He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Cornell (Engineering Physics and Aerospace) and Princeton University (Ph.D. in Applied Science).