Richard H. Speier

Photo of Richard Speier
Adjunct Staff
Off Site Office


B.A. in physics, Harvard University; Ph.D. in political science, MIT


Richard Speier is a member of the RAND Corporation's adjunct staff. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  During 4 years of graduate study he focused on economic and strategic analysis, including work at the RAND Corporation and the Institute for Defense Analysis.

He then entered the Office of Management and Budget, where he helped reshape nuclear and space programs, and later the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, where he analyzed nuclear technologies that contribute to proliferation.  He spent a year at the National War College co-authoring a prize-winning study, "The Bomb in Southwest Asia".

In 1982 he joined the Office of the Secretary of Defense to start the Office of Non- Proliferation Policy. For 10 years he helped design, negotiate, and implement the Missile Technology Control Regime. In recognition of his work on the international negotiations that led to the MTCR, the Secretary of Defense awarded him the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal. Speier is widely credited with being "the father of the MTCR."  He later helped initiate the Defense Department’s Office of Counter-Proliferation Policy.

Speier now consults in the Washington, D.C. area. He has worked with both non-profit and for-profit organizations.  His dozens of writings include a history of the negotiation of the MTCR, a study of nonproliferation sanctions, and articles on the implications of unmanned air vehicles, space launch vehicles, missile defense, and hypersonic missiles.

Research Focus


  • A U.S. Air Force B-52 prepares to carry the X-51 Hypersonic Vehicle out to the range for a launch test from Edwards AFB, California, May 1, 2013

    Hypersonic Missiles: A New Proliferation Challenge

    Within 10 years, hypersonic missiles are likely to be deployed and offered on the international market. But there is time for action by states that do not want hypersonic missiles to flourish in their neighborhoods. It is time to move toward heading off this threat while it is still possible to do so.

    Mar 29, 2018 Georgetown Journal of International Affairs