* 1936: Born in the Bronx, New York.
* Carnesale received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering at Cooper Union in New York, and a master's at Drexel University in Philadelphia. His PhD, in nuclear engineering, is from North Carolina State University.
* 1957-62: Martin Marietta Corporation.
* 1962-69 and 1972-74: Professor, North Carolina State University.
* 1969-72: US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Delegate to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I), 1970-72.
* 1974: Joined Harvard University faculty.
* 1978-80: Head of US delegation to International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Evaluation, studying relationship between civilian nuclear power and nuclear-weapon proliferation.
* 1991: Appointed dean, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.