Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, distinguished professor in the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and Senator Richard Lugar are the first recipients of a new international award created in their honor to recognize those advancing the cause of nuclear security.
Announced on August 29th, the Nunn-Lugar Nuclear Security Award is co-sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an international think tank, to mark the occasion of their centennials. It will be awarded biennially.
“To be given an award for nuclear security from the Carnegie Corporation and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, to receive it alongside my friend and partner Senator Richard Lugar, and to have the award named for the two of us, is a thrilling affirmation of much of my life’s work,” said Senator Nunn.
“With its influential work to reduce nuclear dangers before Nunn-Lugar was passed, Carnegie was among the creators,” said Nunn. “I am both honored by the award and excited about the future as these outstanding organizations remind the world again through this award how urgent it is, for the sake of peace and the survival of humanity, that we accelerate our efforts.”
Nunn and Lugar authored the bi-partisan 1991 Nunn-Lugar Act which established the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR). The program sought to help states of the former Soviet Union safeguard and dismantle their enormous stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, related materials, and delivery systems. CTR has contributed to the deactivation of more than 7,500 nuclear warheads, neutralized chemical weapons, safeguarded fissile materials, converted weapons facilities for peaceful use, mitigated bio-threats, and redirected the work of former weapons scientists, and engineers, among other efforts.
“I cannot think of two individuals more deserving of this recognition than Senators Nunn and Lugar,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation. “Not only is the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program one of the most important pieces of legislation in the latter half of the 20th century, it is also one of the most important nuclear security measures taken by the world up to that point. We all owe Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar an enormous debt of gratitude.”
A U.S. Senator from Georgia from 1972 through 1996, Nunn is co-chairman and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. His vision guides The Sam Nunn Bank of America Policy Forum which has been held biennially since 1997 by The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech. He was honored as the first recipient of the Georgia Tech Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage in March 2011.