A. Paxton, Ph.D.

Senior Director, Global Biological Policy and Programs

Global Biological Policy & Programs (NTI | Bio)

Expertise Biosecurity


Nathan A. Paxton is a senior director for NTI’s Global Biological Policy and Programs team (NTI | bio). In this role, he works to address global catastrophic biological risks, to analyze and shape state intentions on the use of bioweapons and biological materials, and to enhance preventative and global health security efforts.

Prior to joining NTI, Paxton served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME), where he was the senator’s principal policy advisor on global health and health security; international development and assistance; and voting rights, democracy, and campaign finance. With Paxton’s help, Senator King in 2020 introduced the Global Health Security Act, the Senate’s first comprehensive global health security response bill, as well as several other measures to protect the public from infectious disease. Paxton was the principal staffer for Senator King’s first lead-authored bill to become law—the SMASH Act—a measure to strengthen mosquito abatement programs. For nearly two years, Paxton was Senator King’s lead staffer on the Electoral Count Modernization Act—a proposal to solve the 19th century ambiguities that led to the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots—that was the basis of successful efforts to reform the presidential certification process.

Paxton has also been an adjunct professor in the Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, where he taught policy analysis to students studying health and infectious diseases. From 2011-2016, he was Professorial Lecturer at American University’s School of International Service and previously a lecturer at Harvard University where he taught classes on the politics of global health, international development, international relations, and international political theory and philosophy.

In addition to his work in Congress and academic appointments, Paxton has consulted for the “aids2031” project of the Social Science Research Council and for UNAIDS.Paxton received his Ph.D. (Political Science) from Harvard University. He earned master’s degrees from the University of California—Berkeley (M.A., Political Science) and Cambridge University (MPhil, International Relations). Paxton received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, where he did learn to (poorly) milk a cow.

Paxton is a third-generation native of Redlands, California and third-generation graduate of Redlands High School. He is married to a professor of religion and has a wirehaired dachshund, Oscar. He spends a large amount of free time rowing with the DC Strokes Rowing Club (the oldest LGBTQ rowing club in the world), where he also serves as Board secretary.


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