Press Release

Nuclear Arms Control Leaders Receive Prestigious Rumford Prize from the American Academy


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sam Nunn, and prominent physicist and arms control expert Sidney D. Drell, will be honored with one of the nation’s oldest awards at a program here on Sunday, October 12.

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences will present its Rumford Prize to the four in recognition of their ongoing efforts to reduce the global threat of nuclear weapons. As part of the program, Shultz, Perry, Nunn, and Drell will speak about their decades of experience confronting the nation’s most vexing national security issues and their collective work to reduce the risk of use, and prevent the spread of, nuclear weapons.

The American Academy’s Rumford Prize, established in 1839, recognizes contributions that advance the good of mankind in the fields of heat and light, broadly interpreted. Previous winners include Thomas Alva Edison, for his investigations in electric lighting; Enrico Fermi, for his studies of radiation theory and nuclear energy; and Charles H. Townes, for his development of the laser.

“The four men we honor today have been at the heart of American national security policymaking,” said Academy Chief Executive Office Leslie Berlowitz. “They now lend their considerable expertise and reputations to move the world on a path away from nuclear weaponry. In an age of increased risks of proliferation and rising dangers posed by terrorists or rogue states, the need for their leadership has never been greater.”

The Academy will present the Rumford Prize to former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, who has collaborated with Shultz, Drell, Nunn, and Perry, at a later date.

In addition to the presentation of the Rumford Prize and remarks by the recipients, the program on Sunday includes a symposium featuring several of the nation's leading voices on nuclear energy and nonproliferation, including Richard Meserve, former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Robert Rosner, director of Argonne National Laboratory; Richard K. Lester, MIT professor of nuclear science and engineering; Scott D. Sagan, co-director of the Center for International Security at Stanford University; and Steven E. Miller, director of the International Security Program at Harvard University.

Berlowitz noted that the Academy is conducting a major study on the Global Nuclear Future with the aim of identifying ways to manage the global spread of nuclear energy so that it does not result in an increase in weapons proliferation or nuclear terrorism. The Academy project brings together constituencies that do not typically communicate with one another – such as nuclear engineers and social scientists, nuclear industry leaders and environmentalists, and policymakers and regulators – to foster an interdisciplinary and international network of experts on the topic of nuclear energy and security.

Bios on the Rumford Award recipients follow:

Sidney D. Drell is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus and Deputy Director Emeritus at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He is a member of the Boards of Governors of Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. He served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 1993–2001 and on the Science Advisory Committee from1966–1971. He is also a member of JASON. He received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1984, the Enrico Fermi Award in 2000, the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in 2001, and the Heinz Award in 2005. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1971.

Sam Nunn is Cochairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. He served as U.S. Senator from Georgia from1972–1996, and was Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He also served on Intelligence and Small Business Committees. He was a Georgia State Senator from1968–1972. He is Distinguished Professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Chairman of the Board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and a retired Partner at King & Spalding. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1997.

William J. Perry is Michael and Barbara Berberian Professor at Stanford University, with a joint appointment at the School of Engineering and the Institute of International Studies. He is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and Codirector of the Preventive Defense Project, Institute for International Studies. He was Secretary of Defense from 1994–1997, Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1993–1994, and Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering from 1977–1981. He was Laboratory Director for General Telephone and Electronics from1954–1964, Founder and President of ESL from 1964–1977, Executive Vice President of Hambrecht & Quist from 1981–1985, and Founder and Chairman of Technology Strategies and Alliances from1985–1993. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1997. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1989.

George P. Shultz is Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He was Secretary of State from1982–1989, Chairman of the President’s Economic Policy Advisory Board from1981–1982, President of Bechtel Group, Inc., from1974–1982, Secretary of the Treasury in 1972, Director of the Office of Management and Budget in 1970, and Secretary of Labor in 1969. He is Chairman of the JPMorgan Chase International Council, Chairman of the Energy Task Force at the Hoover Institution, and Chairman of the MIT Energy Initiative External Advisory Board. He was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1989. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1970.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. Current Academy research focuses on science and global security; social policy; the humanities and culture; and education. With headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Academy’s work is advanced by its 4,600 elected members, who are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business and public affairs from around the world. (