Steve Fetter has been a professor in the School of Public Policy since 1988, serving as dean of the School from 2005 to 2009 and as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs of the University since 2013. He currently is on leave to the The White House, where he leads the national security and international affairs division in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Fetter's research and policy interests include nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, nuclear energy and releases of radiation, and climate change and low-carbon energy supply. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Physical Society. He has been a member of the Director of National Intelligence's Intelligence Science Board, the Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, the board of directors of the Arms Control Association, and the board of editors of Science and Global Security. He also served as president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs and vice chairman of the Federation of American Scientists. He has been a member of several committees of the National Academy of Sciences, including the Committee on International Security and Arms Control and committees to assess the effects of nuclear earth-penetrating warheads, internationalization of the nuclear fuel cycle, conventional prompt global strike, geoengineering, and ballistic missile defense.
In 2009-12 Fetter served as assistant director at-large in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House; in 2011-12 he directed OSTP's environment and energy division and in that capacity co-chaired the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability of the National Science and Technology Council, oversaw the U.S. Global Change Research Program, was U.S. representative to the Group on Earth Observations, and served as deputy co-chair of the National Ocean Council. In 1993-94 he served as special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, and he worked in the State Department as an American Institute of Physics fellow and as a Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow. He has been a visiting fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, Harvard’s Center for Science and International Affairs, MIT’s Plasma Fusion Center, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He also served as associate director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, and has been a consultant to several U.S. government agencies.
Fetter is a recipient of the American Physical Society's Joseph A. Burton Forum Award, the Federation of American Scientists' Hans Bethe 'Science in the Public Service' award, and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.
Fetter has written articles for Science, Nature, Scientific American, International Security, Science and Global Security, Nuclear Technology, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Arms Control Today. He has given over one hundred invited lectures, contributed chapters to over twenty edited volumes, and is author or coauthor of several books and monographs, including Toward a Comprehensive Test Ban, The Future of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy, The Nuclear Turning Point, Monitoring Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Explosive Materials, Effects of Nuclear Earth-Penetrator and Other Weapons, and Climate Change and the Transformation of World Energy Supply.
Fetter received a Ph.D. in energy and resources from UC Berkeley in 1985 and a S.B. in physics from MIT in 1981. He was the first member of his family to graduate from high school and the first to attend college.