Stimson Center Co-Founder Michael Krepon received a lifetime achievement award from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace today for his work to reduce nuclear dangers. The award was presented at the Endowment’s 2015 International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. before 800 attendees. Krepon was recognized for demonstrating “exceptional creativity, integrity, humanity and amity,” and for making “major intellectual contributions to critical debates” on nuclear issues as well as for mentoring rising talent in the United States, Pakistan, and India.
“I am grateful to the Carnegie Endowment for this award,” said Michael Krepon. “There are no easy victories in this business. Every accomplishment comes with great struggle to overcome long odds. The Stimson Center is a great place to shorten the odds.”
Krepon co-founded the Stimson Center in 1989, a Washington-based think tank, which he ran until 2000. During this period, Stimson led nongovernmental efforts to promote nonproliferation by championing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the indefinite extension of the Nonproliferation Treaty, and the Chemical Weapons Convention. Stimson incubated policy initiatives that were subsequently embraced by U.S. presidents, including the Treaty on Open Skies that permits cooperative aerial inspections over hotspots like Ukraine and Russia. Fellow Stimson Co-Founder Barry Blechman steered a Stimson task force, including General Andrew Goodpaster and Paul Nitze, to promote a rethinking of the role of nuclear weapons and the wisdom of seeking to eliminate them after the demise of the Soviet Union.
“I’m thrilled by this well-deserved recognition of Michael’s sustained commitment to reducing nuclear dangers, especially in South Asia,” said Stimson President and CEO Ellen Laipson. “His tenacity and creativity have made a lasting contribution to how we — and thoughtful people in India and Pakistan— understand the threats, and what to do about them.”
After stepping down as President and CEO of Stimson, Krepon taught in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia as a Diplomat Scholar until 2010. During this time he continued to direct Stimson’s programming to reduce nuclear dangers in South Asia and to prevent a dangerous military competition in space. Krepon has been a champion of confidence-building and nuclear risk-reduction measures between India and Pakistan and a code of conduct for responsible space-faring nations.
From 1979 to 1981, Krepon worked on U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms control at the State Department in the Carter administration. Prior to that, he worked on Capitol Hill where he staffed successful amendments to eliminate funding for a new generation of chemical weapons — a necessary step before the negotiation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Krepon has written and edited twenty books focused on nuclear nonproliferation, space security, and reducing nuclear dangers in South Asia.
“Michael Krepon founded the Stimson Center and ran it for 11 years. The Stimson Center, in my mind, is the biggest, small think tank in Washington,” said Co-Director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment James Action. “[Michael’s] research is widely respected across the spectrum.”
“Setting up an independent think tank without an endowment is a very daunting task. Barry Blechman, who’s here, and Michael set about to do that with the Stimson Center 25 years ago. Making one and setting up one that lasts 25 years is an even more significant and difficult to achieve accomplishment and they’ve done that.” said Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace George Perkovich. “The Stimson Center is flourishing and has provided so many opportunities for young scholars to enter the field to get significant publications underway, to become known nationally and internationally, and for many ways has been an incubator for talent.”
The Stimson Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to enhancing international peace and security through a unique combination of rigorous analysis and outreach. Founded in 1989, Stimson is celebrating a quarter-century of building effective security solutions through pragmatic research and innovative analysis.