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John Zipperer
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House Speaker Pelosi Appoints Dr. Gloria Duffy to Congressional Commission on U.S. Strategic Posture

(APRIL 13, 2022; SAN FRANCISCO) — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has appointed Dr. Gloria Duffy, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for cooperative threat reduction under President Clinton, and current president and CEO of The Commonwealth Club, to a new Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. The bipartisan Commission was mandated by the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act passed in December 2021. Its work will include a strategic threat assessment, and it will make recommendations to Congress on the most appropriate strategic posture for the United States, the most effective nuclear weapons strategy for the country’s strategic posture and stability, the role of non-nuclear weapons in strategic stability and the roles of arms control and non-proliferation policy.

Duffy, an expert on the former Soviet countries and arms control, has an extensive background in national and international security. During her time as deputy assistant secretary of defense following the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, she negotiated with Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, providing assistance to their governments under the Nunn-Lugar program to dismantle their weapons of mass destruction. Duffy’s efforts, together with her colleagues, led to the elimination of 7,000 nuclear weapons. For her work, Duffy received the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Public Service in 1995 and the Nunn-Lugar Trailblazer Award in 2016.

Most recently, in 2021-22 Duffy has been a member of the Senior Steering Committee for the bipartisan Strategic Stability Working Group at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C.

Duffy said of the appointment, “I am deeply honored by Speaker Pelosi’s decision to appoint me to this important commission. The Speaker’s leadership is vital to our country, in this as in so many other areas.

“At a time when Russia has invaded Ukraine and when Vladimir Putin has implied that Russia could use nuclear weapons, the questions the Commission will consider are profound. I look forward to a rigorous examination of the many issues—from our strategic relationship with NATO to the size and structure of our nuclear forces to the future of missile defenses and the role of negotiations—the Commission is charged with considering. I look forward to contributing to recommendations that will best protect our security and that of our allies, friends and the global community, in this challenging environment.”

The Commission is charged with evaluating current U.S. nuclear weapons policy and strategy and providing recommendations for the most suitable future strategic posture. It is also to recommend military capabilities and force structure to support its recommended strategic posture, as well as the necessary nuclear infrastructure. Included in its consideration will be the role of missile defenses, cyber-defenses, kinetic and non-kinetic weapons and space systems, as well as the role of nonproliferation and arms control policies. A prior Congressional Commission on the U.S. Strategic Posture, chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. William J. Perry, reported to Congress in 2009.

Beginning her career in the 1970s at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, CA conducting research for the U.S. Department of Energy on Soviet nuclear exports and nonproliferation policies, Duffy worked at the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C. in the late 1970s and edited its magazine, Arms Control Today. She was a fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Arms Control in the 1980s and 1990s, and team-taught a Stanford course on international arms control. She served in the early 1980s as the first CEO of the San Francisco-based foundation, Ploughshares Fund.  In the 1980s and early 1990s, Duffy founded and led Global Outlook, a Palo Alto research institute on international security issues. She has published a textbook on arms negotiations and a book on nuclear arms control treaty compliance and dispute resolution, and a number of other reports and articles on national security, arms control, verification and negotiation.  She has testified before Congress on arms control compliance and cooperative threat reduction.

Duffy has served on or chaired the boards of a number of international security organizations. Among these are Stanford’s Freeman-Spogli Institute, Arlington VA-based CRDFGlobal, the Middlebury Institute’s Center for NonProliferation Studies in Monterey, Ploughshares Fund and the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. In the 1980s, she helped the Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation craft its International Peace and Security funding program, which for 35 years was the largest funder of nongovernmental work in the field.  

Beyond her work on nuclear weapons issues, Duffy has served for 26 years as the president and CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California, headquartered in San Francisco. The Club, the largest and oldest public affairs forum in the nation, hosts nearly 500 programs each year ranging over politics, culture, society and the economy. She is a trustee of Occidental College, in Los Angeles, which she attended as an undergraduate. She holds an M.A., M. Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

Other appointees to the Commission include Rose Gottemoeller, former deputy secretary general at NATO and former under-secretary of state for arms control and international security; Leonor Tomero, deputy assistant secretary for nuclear and missile defense policy at the start of the Biden administration; John Hyten, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Strategic Command chief; Madelyn Creedon, the former number two official at the National Nuclear Security Administration and current professor at The George Washington University; Jon Kyl, former congressman and senator; Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, former administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration under President Trump; Rebeccah Heinrichs, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute; Marshall Billingslea, another senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former special presidential envoy for arms control.

The Commission is charged with submitting its report to Congress by Dec. 31, 2022.