Council Celebrates Fourth Annual Drinan Peace and Human Rights Award

Left to Right: Council Executive Director John Isaacs, Drinan Award recipient Rep. Barney Frank, former Congressman Thomas Downey

On June 2, 2009, members, staff, and friends of Council for a Livable World and its sister organization and research center, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, along with several members of Congress came together to honor two peace and human rights advocates with the 2009 Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Awards.

In 2008, the Council and Center began a new tradition, presenting the award to several advocates annually. The 2009 recipients were Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Ambassador Robert Gallucci. Approximately 60 Council supporters joined for food, drinks, lively discussion, and – most importantly – to honor these two gentlemen.

Council Executive Director John Isaacs provided the evening’s welcome and served as emcee for the event, which included remarks by both award recipients and both award presenters, former Congressman Thomas Downey and the Council and Center’s Leonor Tomero.

Council Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Leonor Tomero presents an award to Amb. Robert Gallucci.

Himself an active advisor in previous arms control talks and current National Advisory Board Member of Council for a Livable World, former Congressman Thomas Downey shared several personal anecdotes about their overlapping time serving in Congress and presented the evening’s first award to Congressman Barney Frank. Frank’s honoring with the award was a fitting tribute to both his work and the work of the late Father Drinan– Congressman Frank holds the seat former held by Father Drinan. Last year, Frank recommended cuts to nuclear weapons programs, and this year, despite his time spent on leadership to find solutions for the economy, he has been leading the fight to reduce the military budget and invest more money in programs like education and healthcare.

Leonor Tomero, a former student of the Ambassador at Georgetown University and now Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Council and Center, then presented the evening’s second award to Ambassador Robert Gallucci. She joked that, due to high student demand, she had actually needed to win a lottery to join his class during her graduate career. On more serious notes, she lauded Gallucci for his courage and willingness to take unpopular stands like opposing the dangerous and Council-opposed U.S.-India Nuclear Deal.

Ambassador Robert Gallucci speaks after receiving the 2009 Drinan Award.

Amb. Gallucci was honored for his leadership on peace and security issues and graciously accepted the award. He is currently the Dean of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and will soon become president of the MacArthur Foundation. His career in arms control and non-proliferation has included service as U.S. Special Envoy, Ambassador responsible for negotiating a 1994 agreement that significantly affected North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, and Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs.

Truly a celebration of peace advocates and supporters in general – and particularly Rep. Frank and Amb. Gallucci – the evening was once again a fitting tribute to Father Drinan and his legacy.

Previous award recipients include Father Robert F. Drinan, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Congressman John Hall, and actor Richard Schiff. For more information on these recipients or the Drinan Awards, please visit our website.

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