Siegfried Hecker is an American nuclear scientist. He served as director of Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986-1997. He is currently Professor (Research) Emeritus of Management Science and Engineering and Senior Fellow (Emeritus) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
In the final years of the Cold War, the United States and Russia wanted to ratify the Threshhold Test Ban Treaty that would limit the yield of underground nuclear-weapons testing to 150 kilotons. The two countries worked together to see if they could develop techniques to detect and monitor the explosive yields of underground tests. Hecker worked extensively with his Soviet counterparts on joint verification experiments to determine if sesmic waves could be used to monitor underground nuclear testing. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, he has promoted American cooperation with Russian nuclear laboratories to secure and safeguard ex-Soviet nuclear materials. His current research focuses on nonproliferation and the challenges posed by nuclear India, Pakistan, and North Korea, as well as on Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
In 2009, Hecker received the prestigious Enrico Fermi Award from the U.S. Department of Energy for his scientific accomplishments and contributions to nonproliferation efforts.