Steve Fetter has been a professor in the School of Public Policy since 1988, serving as dean of the School from 2005 to 2009, as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs of the University since 2013, and as Interim Dean of the Graduate School since October 2017. He is also acting executive director of the Center for Advanced Study of Language.
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 fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists board of directors, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board, and the board of editors of Science and Global Security. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control and has served on 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 2015-16 Fetter led the national security and international affairs division in the Office of Science and Technology Policy; in 2011-12 he directed OSTP's environment and energy division; and in 2009-12 he served as OSTP's assistant director at-large. In 1993-94 he served as special assistant to Ash Carter when he was 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. 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. He also served as president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs and vice chairman of the Federation of American Scientists.
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 Nuclear Turning Point, 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. Born and raised in central Pennsylvania, he was the first member of his family to receive a high school diploma, and the first to attend college. He enjoys cooking, hiking, bicycling, and kayaking. He has been married since 1980 to Marie Fetter, a nurse-practitioner and certified nurse-midwife at Mary's Center. Their daughter Emily is an attorney in the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement; son Max is a student at the University of Maryland.