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null Clay Moltz, Ph.D.

Moltz Profile Picture

Contact Info

(831) 656-1039
Office Address:
Glasgow Hall, Room 394

Professor, Academic Associate for Curriculum 254, 255, 695, and 696

Expertise: Space, Nuclear Strategy, East Asia, Russia


James Clay Moltz is a professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), where he also holds a joint appointment in the Space Systems Academic Group. His books include: The Politics of Space Security: Strategic Restraint and the Pursuit of National Interests (Stanford University Press, 2019, 2011, and 2008 editions); Crowded Orbits: Conflict and Cooperation in Space (Columbia University Press, 2024 and 2014 editions); and Asia’s Space Race: National Motivations, Regional Rivalries, and International Risks (Columbia University Press, 2012).  He is also co-author of Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation (ABC-CLIO, 2007 and 2002 editions) and co-editor of Preventing Nuclear Meltdown (Ashgate, 2004) and The North Korean Nuclear Program (Routledge, 2000), as well as two volumes on space policy (Collective Security in Space: Asian Perspectives and European Perspectives, George Washington University, 2008 and 2007). From September 2020 to March 2022, Prof. Moltz served as dean of the Graduate School of International and Defense Studies at NPS. From 2018-20, he served as chairman of the Department of National Security Affairs (NSA) at NPS.  From 2012-16, he was the NSA Department’s associate chair for research, while also directing the Center on Contemporary Conflict (CCC) and the Project on Advanced Systems and Concepts for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PASCC), funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. Prof. Moltz holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. and B.A. (with Distinction) from Stanford University.

Prof. Moltz worked previously in the U.S. Senate, at the University of California at San Diego, and at the Monterey Institute of International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies, where he was the founding editor of the journal Nonproliferation Review (1993–97), director of the Newly Independent States Nonproliferation Project (1997–2003), and the center’s deputy director from 2003–2007. He has served as an advisor to the NASA-Ames Research Center and to the U.S. Department of Energy and has provided expert testimony on space and nuclear issues before the U.S. Congress. Professor Moltz’s academic articles have been published in such journals as Asia Policy, Asian SurveyCurrent History, the Journal of Contemporary China, NatureStrategic Studies Quarterly, and World Politics. His op-eds have appeared in such newspapers as the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. At NPS, his honors include the 2023 David Williams Outstanding Professor Award, the 2015 Carl E. and Jesse W. Menneken Award for Significant Research and Sustained Contributions to the Navy, and the Department of Defense and the 2010 Richard W. Hamming Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement.


Teaching Interests:

Space and International Security

Nuclear Weapons and National Strategies

Russian Foreign Policy

Security in Northeast Asia

International Relations