On March 11, 2009 Jonathan Fanton and other members of the MacArthur Board met with former Senator Richard Lugar to discuss the new Obama administration and direction of the country more generally.
Introduction of Senator Richard Lugar
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
7:45 – 9:00 a.m.
The MacArthur Board is holding its March meeting in Washington to talk with members of the new Administration, many of whom have received grants from us in the past. Yesterday we met at the State Department with Bill Burns and Ann Marie Slaughter. On the domestic side, we met with Shaun Donovan and Peter Orszag; tomorrow we will speak with Arne Duncan. At the White House we spoke with Valerie Jarrett
But we recognize that the new Administration must work closely with Congress to achieve all that it hopes to accomplish. So we welcome the opportunity to talk off the record with you, knowing that you share many of our passions. Welcome back.
I will dispense with the formal introduction except to remind us of when we have worked together.
MacArthur has a long standing interest in reducing the dangers of weapons of mass destruction through its Peace and Security Program, which dates back to when Jerome Wiesner was on our Board.
We recognize your vision and leadership in establishing a set of programs at the end of the Cold War that continue to pay dividends for international peace and security. Under the 1991 Nunn-Lugar Act, which launched the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, the U.S. and Russia have deactivated 7,504 strategic nuclear warheads, eliminated 1375 intercontinental and submarine launched ballistic missiles, upgraded security at 24 nuclear weapons storage sites, and built and equipped 16 biological monitoring stations. Perhaps most importantly, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus are nuclear weapons free as a result of cooperative efforts under the CTR program.
We are very proud to have supported experts such as Ash Carter and Graham Allison, who helped you and Senator Nunn conceive and shape this historic program. We are also pleased to have fostered a new generation of outside government experts devoted to carrying the work forward, such as Matt Bunn.
You are an active supporter and long time participant in the Aspen Congressional Roundtable – a program that MacArthur and other foundations have supported to provide opportunities for members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to meet with scholars and other experts to explore international and domestic issues.
We mainly want to hear what you want to tell us. Along the way, we hope you might comment on:
Will we be able to return to the tradition of a bipartisan foreign policy?
What the new President can accomplish in foreign policy.
How the Congress is working with the new Administration;
Your thoughts on the economy and future steps necessary to stimulate a recovery – and when that might come;
Insight into policy initiatives on issues of particular interest to us like housing, metropolitan regions, education, disarmament, human rights;
Senator Lugar will speak for 10 or 15 minutes and then we will open it up to a general discussion.