Raymond Zilinskas

Ray Zilinskas

In Remembrance of Raymond Zilinskas
We are very saddened by the recent passing of our long-time colleague and friend Dr. Raymond Zilinskas.


Director, Chemical & Biological Weapons
Nonproliferation Program (CBWNP)

Monterey, CA


Dr. Raymond Zilinskas also is a Research Professor at the Graduate School of International Policy & Management (GSIPM) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, where he teaches courses on biological and chemical weapons and arms control and emerging issues in international public health.

Areas of Research

  • Achieving effective international biological arms control
  • Proliferation potential of the former Soviet Union’s biological warfare program
  • Meeting the threat of bioterrorism
  • Improving preparedness and response capabilities of local and state health departments


Dr. Zilinskas worked as a clinical microbiologist for 16 years before commencing graduate studies at the University of Southern California. His doctoral dissertation addressed policy issues generated by recombinant DNA research, including the applicability of genetic engineering techniques to biological weapons development. He has worked at the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment (1981 – 1982), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (1982 – 1986), and the Center for Public Issues in Biotechnology, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. In addition, while at Maryland he was an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of International Health, School of Hygiene and Public Health, the Johns Hopkins University.

In 1993, Dr. Zilinskas was appointed a William Foster Fellow at the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), where he worked on biological and toxin warfare issues. In April 1994, ACDA seconded Dr. Zilinskas to the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) for seven months, during which time he participated in two biological warfare-related inspections in Iraq (June and October 1994) encompassing 61 biological research and production facilities. At UNSCOM headquarters, he set up a database containing data about key dual-use biological equipment in Iraq and developed a protocol to guide UNSCOM’s on-going monitoring and verification program in the biological field.

After the fellowship ended, Dr. Zilinskas returned to the Center for Public Issues in Biotechnology and Johns Hopkins University. In addition, he became a long-term consultant to ACDA (which had merged into the US Department of State), for which he carried out studies on Cuban allegations of U.S. biological attacks against its people, animals, and plants and investigations carried out by the United Nations of chemical warfare in Southeast Asia and the Arabian Gulf region. Dr. Zilinskas currently is a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Defense University.


  • Ph.D. from the University of Southern California
  • Filosofie Kandidat in organic chemistry from University of Stockholm (1963)
  • B.A. in biology from the California State University at Northridge (1962)


CNS Work

View list on separate page



  • Biotechnology E-commerce: A Disruptive Challenge to Biological Arms Control,” Occasional Paper No. 21 (MIIS, March 2015)
  • Stories of the Soviet Anti-Plague System,” Occasional Paper No. 18 (co-author) (MIIS, August 2013)
  • The Soviet Biological Warfare Program: A History (co-author) (Harvard University Press, spring 2012).
  • Encyclopedia of Bioterrorism Defense, 2nd edition (co-editor) (Wiley and Sons, 2011).
  • Encyclopedia of Bioterrorism Defense, 1st edition (co-editor) (Wiley and Sons, 2005).
  • Biological Warfare: Modern Offense and Defense (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1999).