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Henry Kelly Appointed President of the Federation of American Scientists

Henry Kelly Appointed President of the Federation of American Scientists
05-16-2000

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Henry Kelly, currently assistant director for technology in the White House Office of Science and Technology, will take office as president of the Federation of American Scientists on June 1, replacing Jeremy J. Stone, who completes on that date 30 years of service as FAS's chief executive officer.

Stone has already been working part-time since Nov. 1 as president of a new organization he has created devoted to peace and security, titled Catalytic Diplomacy. Kelly will also become the chief executive officer of the Federation of American Scientists Fund, as Stone was; the FAS Fund is the tax- deductible research and education arm of FAS.

Kelly, 54, was trained as a physicist at Harvard University. He has had broad work experience, including positions at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (three years), the Solar Energy Research Institute (two years), the Department of Energy (two years) and the Office of Technology Assessment (11 years) before his seven-year stint in the White House. In his current position, he has played a central role in the development and implementation of science and technology projects throughout the federal government. This has included negotiating and implementing major administration research partnerships targeting technologies aimed at breakthroughs in the environmental performance of automobiles (PNGV) housing (PATH) and the production of fuels and feedstocks from renewable biological sources.

He convened the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee and helped translate their advice into a large expansion and refocusing of federal information technology research. And he was instrumental in creating major federal programs in learning technology for children and adults, including an executive order accelerating use of instructional technology for training federal civilian and military employees. He worked to support the Comprehensive Test Ban in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and the White House and a range of nuclear disarmament issues at ACDA.

Officials on the FAS search committee reported warm endorsement of Kelly for the position. Stone, who has known Kelly for many years, said he was "perfect for the position, an energetic, well-trained scientist and activist, with uniquely broad and relevant Washington experience, and a kind and likeable person who would get on well with staff, officials, members and funders." Kelly, he reported, had "impressed the FAS staff with his sincere interest in their projects and his desire to move FAS forward" and had cautiously, and skillfully called upon relevant foundation staffers to confirm their readiness in their continuation to fund FAS under the new leadership.

Chairman of the Federation of American Scientists Fund, Frank von Hippel, has known Kelly since 1974. Kelly, then on the staff of the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, organized OTA's Peer Review of the claim put forward by then-Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger that a Soviet attack on U.S. nuclear missiles and bombers was "thinkable" because it would kill only 15,000 to 25,000 people. Following the OTA Peer Review, the Department of Defense revised its fatality estimate to up to 20 million. Von Hippel "looks forward to having Kelly devoting some of his enormous talents once again to raising the level of the nuclear weapons policy debate."

Asked about his decision to accept the position, Kelly said, "I'm honored and excited by the opportunity to serve as president of the Federation of American Scientists. FAS has a heroic 50-year record of bringing reliable information, clear thinking and practical agendas for action to public policy debates. The solid foundation established by Jeremy Stone and a superb FAS staff makes me confident that we can continue this mission. I want to build on FAS' solid work in space and arms control and establish programs in a few new areas. One that is of great interest to me personally is using emerging information technologies to make instruction on any subject accessible and affordable to every person on the globe. Since the FAS was founded the dangers of misused technology have become more subtle while the opportunities have become more spectacular. The need for the organization has never been greater." 

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) conducts analysis and advocacy on science, technology and public policy, including national security, nuclear weapons, arms sales, biological hazards, secrecy and space policy. FAS is a privately funded non-profit policy organization whose board of sponsors includes half of America's living Nobel laureates. FAS was founded as the Federation of Atomic Scientists in 1945 by members of the Manhattan Project who produced the first atomic bomb, to address the implications and dangers of the nuclear age. FAS is the oldest organization dedicated to ending the worldwide arms race, achieving complete nuclear disarmament, and avoiding the use of nuclear weapons, and much of its work has been in nuclear arms control and disarmament. However, throughout its history FAS publications and projects have addressed a wide range of science and society issues, including those of population, energy, agriculture, medical care and ethnic conflict.

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