Barry Blechman’s ’63 interest in nuclear disarmament may have taken hold in his senior year at Queens College. “I remember being in the cafeteria reading in the New York Times about the Cuban Missile Crisis,” he says. “There was a picture of the Pentagon all lit up at night and the article was about how officials were sleeping in their offices to manage the crisis. I thought, ‘Gee, that sounds really neat! I’d like to do something like that.’” Then a little more seriously he observes, “Avoiding nuclear war seemed like something worth doing.”
Avoiding war has been the focus of much of Blechman’s career. In addition to service in the Departments of State and Defense and at the Office of Management and Budget, he is a veteran of several think tanks. He also founded one, Defense Forecasts (later DFI International Inc.), a strategic research and consulting company in Washington, DC, and co-founded another, the non-profit Henry L. Stimson Center. The latter takes its name from the American statesman who, having overseen development of the atomic bomb as secretary of war under Franklin Roosevelt, dedicated the rest of his life to abolishing nuclear weapons.
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