Jeffrey LewisNunn Lugar Prize

The Carnegie Corporation of New York and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace are celebrating their 100th birthdays by creating a $50,000 prize to recognize individuals or institutions dedicated to advancing the cause of nuclear security.  The prize is named after it’s first two recipients — Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar.

Click after the jump to read the press release, along with a letter CNS sent congratulating them.

For Further Information:

Carnegie Corporation of New York Office of Public Affairs
(212) 207-6273

Sam Nunn, Richard Lugar First Recipients of Nuclear Security Award Created in Their Honor

New York and The Hague, August 29, 2012—U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn are the first recipients of a new international award created in their honor to recognize individuals or institutions dedicated to advancing the cause of nuclear security.

The award is cosponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an international think tank, to mark the occasion of their centennials. Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation, and Corporation trustees presented the award to Senator Lugar and former Senator Nunn at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

The Nunn-Lugar Award for Promoting Nuclear Security will be awarded every two years by Carnegie Corporation and the Carnegie Endowment to an individual or institution whose work has resulted in clear, discernible progress toward strengthening global security and peaceful co- existence among nations by preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and reducing the risk of their use. The award, which carries a $50,000 prize, is a tribute to Andrew Carnegie, who dedicated much of his philanthropy to the goal of achieving world peace and built the Peace Palace as a symbol of his faith in the ultimate realization of that goal.

The award ceremony is being held at the Peace Palace on the eve of its centennial. To honor that centennial, the Yale Global Constitutionalism Seminar is meeting this year in The Hague for the first time. The seminar is an annual gathering of the world’s leading jurists brought together by Yale Law School and the Gruber Foundation to freely and confidentially discuss the most important legal issues of the day. Those attending this year’s seminar include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan; Geert Corstens, president of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands; Robert Post, dean of Yale University’s law school; and other prominent international jurists and scholars.

Senator Richard Lugar and Senator Sam Nunn authored the Nunn-Lugar Act in 1991, establishing the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program (CTR). The program sought to help the states of the former Soviet Union safeguard and dismantle their enormous stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, related materials, and delivery systems.

The CTR program reduced the spread of nuclear weapons by helping former Soviet republics meet arms-control treaty requirements such as START (the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). With CTR funding, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus became non-nuclear weapons states. The program also helped to improve the safety and security of facilities housing biological weapons under the Cooperative Biological Threat Reduction program.

Since its creation, CTR has contributed to the deactivation of more than 7,500 nuclear warheads, neutralized chemical weapons, safeguarded fissile materials, converted weapons facilities for peaceful use, mitigated bio-threats, and redirected the work of former weapons scientists, and engineers, among other efforts.

“I cannot think of two individuals more deserving of this recognition than Senators Nunn and Lugar,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation. “Not only is the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program one of the most important pieces of legislation in the latter half of the 20th century, it is also one of the most important nuclear security measures taken by the world up to that point,” he said. “The passage of this landmark legislation was the beginning of Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar’s quest for global action to reduce nuclear danger and build support for ending reliance on nuclear weapons, avoiding their spread and eventually, eliminating them as a threat to the world. We all owe Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar an enormous debt of gratitude.”

Jessica Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment, said, “Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar displayed clear-eyed and bipartisan leadership to quickly mobilize U.S. government energy and resources. They worked with Russia to contain the risk of loose nukes in a cooperative manner almost unimaginable today. Individuals and leadership do matter. That is why it is important to honor these two gentlemen who helped begin and then steadfastly promoted a model of cooperative security.”


August 29, 2012

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

I am delighted to call to your attention the award bestowed today on U.S. Senator Richard Lugar and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn for the extraordinary contributions they have made in advancing the cause of nuclear security (Read the News Release). The new award, cosponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was presented to Senators Nunn and Lugar in a ceremony at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. The Nunn-Lugar Award for Promoting Nuclear Security was created in honor of the two senators, and new recipients will be designated every two years. The award carries a $50,000 prize.

Carnegie Corporation and the Carnegie Endowment are to be congratulated for creating this new and very timely award. It is particularly fitting that Senators Nunn and Lugar are the first recipients of the prize, given their truly pioneering work in reducing nuclear dangers and promoting global security. Their extraordinary leadership in recognizing the major post-Cold War threat to world peace and in conceiving, legislating, and sustaining an unprecedented program to reduce this threat is nothing less than remarkable. They deserve our enduring gratitude for making the world a safer place for future generations.

Congratulations to them for their achievements and on the occasion of their prestigious award.

Bill Potter


  1. jeannick (History)

    It is heartwarming to see two good politicians get some rewards, beside doing their little bit to save the planet
    they saved uncle Sam billions of dollars and zillions of worries , the U.S. civilian nuclear industry also profited handsomely from cheap fuel

    incidentally ,Richard Lugar got his reward from the republican party , he got tossed out .

    probably being the past mentor of a young congressman from Illinois with a funny name had a bit to do with it

  2. rationalist (History)

    50k is an insultingly small amount compared to the amount of value they created.

    Consider that a terrorist nuke in a major city would cause $100billion in damage at least. If they reduced the chance of that that by even 1% they deserve millions at the very least.

    • Jeffrey (History)

      Hey, tell me about it. I can’t even get funding for this site!