Zia Mian

Senior Research Scholar and Co-Director, Program in Science and Global Security (SGS)
Bio by Maria Morales-Salgado and Uzair Malik

Dr. Mian is a physicist who has been at Princeton School of Public and International Affairs since 1997. Throughout his career, Dr. Mian has achieved many accomplishments and titles including, but not limited to, Co-director of Princeton University's program on Science and Global security (SGS), Co-chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, Director of the SGS’s Program Project on Peace and Security in South Asia, and being appointed to the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board in Janurary 2022. Dr. Mian has contributed scholarly work through being the co-author of “Unmaking the Bomb,” being an editor of several other books and creating two documentary films on peace and security in South Asia. He has been recognized for his contributions as he was selected as one of the “60 faces of Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,” by the UK campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the American Physical Society’s 2019 Leo Szilard Award, and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. With all of these accomplishments, Dr. Mian is an important player in nuclear science and politics, not only in Princeton but in the world. To learn more about Dr.Mian’s work, please visit the SGS’s site at https://sgs.princeton.edu/team/zia-mian.

Dr. Mian’s Activism Against War and Violence:

Throughout his career, Dr. Mian has continuously been involved in activism in and outside of his work. In particular, Dr. Mian has stood for war prevention as seen in the image below from an anti-war protest at Princeton taken on September 21, 2001, a few days after 9/11. 

Zia Mian gives a speech at the Princeton protest against plans for war against Afghanistan, September 2001.
“Princeton University protests against US plans for war against Afghanistan.” 21 September 2001, Shared by Zia Mian.


Much of Dr. Mian’s work is seen throughout the saved artifacts displayed in his office shown in the image below. One of these artifacts is a poster that was used in anti-war protests such as the one in the previous image, making the poster over twenty years old as of 2022. Dr. Mian takes pride in all of his artifacts, documents, and books as displayed in his office.

Zia Mian in his Office at Princeton
Left: Zia Mian working in his office in Princeton. Right: Zia Mian’s anti-war poster used shortly after 9/11. Photos courtesy of Maria Morales-Salgado and Uzair Malik. 14 April 2022. JPG.


Dr.Mian’s Work at the SGS and Princeton: 

As of today (2022), alongside writing and researching, Dr. Mian contributes much of his time to the SGS and the International Panel of Fissile Materials. The office of Princeton University's program on Science and Global security is located at 221 Nassau St, Princeton, NJ 08542 and has been there for several decades. As a large funder for the Nuclear Princeton organization, the SGS was founded in 1974 by Princeton physicists and focuses on building a safer, more peaceful world, through both national and international policy research. The SGS office creates a collaborative community where everyone is given the opportunity to contribute research they are passionate about. This space can be seen in the image below with Dr. Mian and a few of his coworkers, Sébastien Philippe, Anne Stickells, and Sara Al-Sayed. In Dr. Mian’s words about the SGS, he believes that “these kinds of programs are very important for creating spaces for people to think about how they can do this work of combining scholarship, teaching, and engagement with real world issues in the best way they can.” 

The work they produce at the SGS and outside of the SGS is research that contributes to the goal of a safer and more peaceful world. Some of Dr. Mian’s works are shown below and include but is not limited to “Out of the Nuclear Shadow,” “Unmaking the  Bomb,” “Pakistan’s Atomic Bomb & The Search for Security,” and “Abolishing Nuclear Weapons - A Debate.” To learn more about the work of the SGS, visit https://sgs.princeton.edu/.   

Photos of the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton.
Clockwise from top left: International Panel of Fissile Materials desk plate at Zia Mian’s personal library; Zia Mian with part of his team in a conference room; The SGS brick building located on Nassau Street; Collage of four books found at Zia Mian’s personal library he has made significant contributions in. Photos courtesy of Maria Morales-Salgado and Uzair Malik. 14 April 2022. JPG.


To learn more about Dr. Mian, vist: