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Nuclear weapons expert Graham Allison to speak at Wake Forest University


September 23, 2009

Graham Allison, one of the world’s foremost authorities on nuclear weapons and nonproliferation efforts, will speak at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Scales Fine Arts Center’s Brendle Recital Hall at Wake Forest University.

His talk, “Atomic Matters: The Fragility of the Nuclear Order,” is part of the Voices of Our Time speaker series. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Over the past three decades, Allison has been a leading U.S. national defense and security analyst. He served in the Reagan and Clinton administrations, was a founding member of the Trilateral Commission, and served as a director of the Council on Foreign Relations and on a number of committees addressing terrorism and nuclear weapons proliferation.

As assistant secretary of defense under Clinton, Allison directed programs that resulted in the safe return of more than 12,000 tactical nuclear weapons from former Soviet republics and the elimination of more than 4,000 strategic nuclear warheads previously aimed at the United States. He has the sole distinction of having twice been awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest civilian award given by the Department of Defense.

He is currently director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Allison’s book, “Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis,” published in 1971 and revised and reissued in 1999, has more than 400,000 copies in print. His most recent book, “Nuclear Terrorism: The Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe,” was selected by The New York Times as one of the “100 most notable books of 2004,” and is in its third printing.

The Charlotte native attended Davidson College and Harvard College, where he received a bachelor’s degree. He also received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oxford University and a doctorate from Harvard.

Voices of Our Time is an annual guest speaker series that exposes students, the Wake Forest community and the general public to some of the world's leading thinkers — including scholars, scientists, writers, business and public policy leaders, activists and religious leaders — for discussions on the important national and international issues of our time.  It was established in 2006 by Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch.

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


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