Sam Nunn

Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Biography: 

Sam Nunn is an Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution (2012–13) and cochairman and chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. He served as a United States senator from Georgia for 24 years (1972–96) and has retired from the law firm of King & Spalding.

Raised in the small town of Perry in middle Georgia, he attended Georgia Tech, Emory University, and Emory Law School, from which he graduated with honors in 1962. After active duty service in the US Coast Guard, he served six years in the US Coast Guard Reserve. He first entered politics as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives in 1968.

During his tenure in the US Senate, Senator Nunn served as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He also served on the Intelligence and Small Business Committees. His legislative achievements include the landmark Department of Defense Reorganization Act, drafted with the late Senator Barry Goldwater, and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which provides assistance to Russia and the former Soviet republics with which to secure and destroy their excess nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

In addition to his work with NTI, Senator Nunn has continued his service in the public policy arena as a distinguished professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech and as chairman of the board of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

He is a board member of the Coca-Cola Company and General Electric Company.

He is married to the former Colleen O’Brien and has two children, Michelle and Brian, and two grandchildren.

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Recent Commentary

Steady Hands

by George P. Shultz, Sam Nunnvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nurture a free, independent Ukraine but engage with Russia—America can, and must, do both.

Nuclear bomb's tell-tale mushroom cloud
Featured Commentary

Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Risks

by George P. Shultz, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunn, William J. Perryvia Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Every American president since the end of World War II has sought to come to grips with the unique security risks and challenges associated with nuclear weapons.

Rockets
Featured Commentary

Deterrence in the Age of Nuclear Proliferation

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunnwith Hoover Institutionvia Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 7, 2011

The doctrine of mutual assured destruction is obsolete in the post-Cold War era...

A Safe, Reliable Arsenal

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunnvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nuclear weapons research and maintenance must continue, even as the world works to make nuclear arms obsolete. By George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn.

Defusing the Bomb Culture

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunnvia Hoover Digest
Thursday, April 17, 2008

The growing effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. By George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, and Sam Nunn.

A World Free of Nuclear Weapons

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunnvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ending the threat of nuclear arms. By George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunn.

Featured Commentary

A World Free of Nuclear Weapons

by George P. Shultz, William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger, Sam Nunnvia Wall Street Journal
Thursday, January 4, 2007

Nuclear weapons today present tremendous dangers, but also an historic opportunity. U.S. leadership will be required to take the world to the next stage -- to a solid consensus for reversing reliance on nuclear weapons globally as a vital contribution to preventing their proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.