Carnegie Corporation Trustee Senator Sam Nunn and Senator Richard G. Lugar Honored With Tenth Annual Heinz Awards
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The Heinz Family Foundation awarded Senators Sam Nunn and Richard G. Lugar, along with five other honorees, the Tenth Annual Heinz Awards. The two senators were honored with the foundation’s Chairman’s Medal, which is awarded on occasion to recognize a record of especially notable achievement.
Recognizing the lingering post-Cold War threat posed by stockpiles of nuclear weapons, in 1991 U.S. Senators Richard G. Lugar and Sam Nunn forged a bipartisan congressional coalition that ultimately authorized $500 million for the purpose of dismantling Soviet weaponry, which, at the time, numbered tens of thousands of nuclear warheads. Senator Lugar, a five-term senator from Indiana, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has since introduced legislation that would expand the original program beyond the former Soviet countries. He serves as co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative along with Senator Nunn, who retired from the Senate in 1996. Senator Nunn also serves as chief executive officer of the Initiative, a nonprofit organization that works to reduce the global threat from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
“I'm particularly honored that the transforming idea Senators Nunn and Lugar stewarded through Congress was conceived at a Carnegie Corporation-sponsored Aspen retreat on Russia,” says Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation. “We have always believed these congressional retreats offer lawmakers an opportunity to meet with scholars on critical international issues and to have the time to think through new policy options. This award from the Heinz Foundation not only honors the two senators but the concept behind these meetings.”
In making the award, the Heinz Foundation noted that the Nunn-Lugar program has been credited with deactivating over 6,000 warheads and destroyed 515 ballistic missiles, 441 ballistic missile silos, 115 bombers, 400 submarine-launched missiles, 408 submarine missile launchers and 27 strategic missile submarines. Believing the United States must have the ability to identify all weapons of mass destruction and the capabilities to guard and systematically destroy them, the two senators hope that the success of Nunn-Lugar will be replicated in such global hotspots as North Korea and Iran and help reduce tensions in Pakistan and India.
Nominations for the Heinz Awards are submitted by an invited Council of Nominators, all experts in their fields, who serve anonymously. The Heinz Foundation Board of Directors selects award recipients for the Heinz Awards upon review of the jurors’ recommendations.