Commentary

Stimson’s 25th Anniversary: A Quarter Century Of Impact And Innovation

in Program

Photo, left to right: Nobuko Sasae; Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, Embassy of Japan to the United States; Barry Blechman, Co-Founder, Stimson; Ashton B. Carter, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense; Sadako Ogata, former President, Japan International Cooperation Agency, former U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees; Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State; Ellen Laipson, President and CEO, Stimson; Michael Krepon, Co-Founder, Stimson; Ambassador Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., Chairman of the Board, Stimson

Ambassador Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr., Chairman, Stimson: 

Excerpted remarks as prepared for delivery on the occasion of
the Stimson Center’s 25th anniversary

Japanese Ambassador’s Residence, Washington DC

Tonight we pause with our friends and colleagues to mark the passage of 25 years since Barry Blechman and Michael Krepon founded a small security studies institute focused on the dangers of nuclear weapons.

They named the center in honor of Henry L. Stimson, that very able and dedicated public servant of an earlier generation, who believed in pragmatic idealism: the conviction that progress toward security, peace, and stability requires not just high aspirations but practical steps and earnest engagement with the rest of the world.

The Stimson Center, in celebrating its first quarter-century, can look back with satisfaction at the many ways it has applied Henry Stimson’s philosophy in forging effective approaches to address security challenges facing America and the world. 

Our approach involves asking questions and listening to the voices of many distinct communities. Stimson is non-partisan and inclusive — in our center diverse stakeholders can search for common ground in a place that welcomes candor and creativity. Our approach often produces consensus-shifting outcomes.

These attributes — and a highly talented team of analysts led by our President and CEO Ellen Laipson — have repeatedly marked Stimson as a trusted policy resource on many issues. From our recent commission on defense strategy in a budget-constrained environment to the drones task force whose recommendations were widely praised here and around the world; from our longstanding program to stabilize India-Pakistan relations to our space security project; from our highly innovative study of the Mekong River Basin and the impacts of upstream dams on the lives and livelihoods of 60 million people, to our work on civilians in conflict and challenges facing U.N. peacekeeping. From the Maghreb to the Gulf, Iran and Iraq through Central, South and Southeast Asia to the Taiwan Straits and northeast Asia — notably including Japan, the Stimson Center is producing visionary and important work, anticipating dangers and purposefully working toward durable, lasting solutions.

Tonight we honor three superlative public servants — Dr. Ashton Carter, Senator Timothy Wirth, and Madame Sadako Ogata — each of whom embodies Stimson’s pragmatic and idealistic approach and whose achievements reflects the inclusive, nonpartisan, and visionary ethos at the heart of Stimson’s mission. 

Photo credit: Ricky Passarelli

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