Senior Director, Communications
NTI has lost a valued colleague and dear friend with the passing of Robert E. Berls, Jr., senior advisor for Russia and Eurasia, on November 10, 2021.
Berls served as NTI’s top expert on Russia for two decades. He opened NTI’s Moscow office in 2002 and ran it for seven years before returning to Washington, where he continued to direct or help manage many of NTI’s projects in Russia that have addressed nuclear, chemical, and biological threats. Berls’ extraordinary career spanned military, government, academia, and business, including 26 years in the Air Force and a posting in the 1980s as Air Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
Berls made many significant contributions to building a safer world throughout his career, but he may have been most passionate about his work to help to develop and manage a capacity-building initiative to foster dialogue among young emerging leaders from the United States, Russia, Ukraine, and Europe.
In his memory and to honor and sustain his strong commitment to the professional development of younger people, NTI is establishing “The Robert E. Berls, Jr. Next Generation Fund” to promote understanding and scholarship among U.S., European, Russian, and Asian young professionals and students. If you would like to make a gift to The Robert E. Berls, Jr. Next Generation Fund, you can do so online or by sending a check made out to the “Nuclear Threat Initiative” to our office at 1776 Eye Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006. Please indicate that the gift is for the Berls Fund in the note section of the online form or on your check.
At NTI, we will miss Bob’s wisdom, expertise, and sound judgment—but most of all, his kindness, generosity, and friendship.