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George Perkovich

George came to the Foundation in 1990, after having served as a foreign policy advisor and speechwriter to Senator Joe Biden [D-Del]. Prior to that George had been a Jones Foundation grantee at the World Policy Institute where he wrote on U.S.-Soviet arms control issues. He received a Ph.D. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia (1997), a M.A. in Soviet Studies from Harvard (1986), and a B.A. in Politics with double honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz (1980).

He first became interested in nuclear weapons-related problems in 1982 when he was director of Student Pugwash and attended a Pugwash Conference in Warsaw, Poland. The conference occurred on the anniversary of the Gdansk agreements between Solidarity and the Polish government; during the conference massive demonstrations were held in Warsaw. George walked around in the midst of the demonstrations and police counter-measures, choking on tear-gas but otherwise marveling at how many people continued their daily commute or shopping as history was being made around them. This normal human life would not survive a nuclear war. George decided at that point to do graduate work in Soviet Studies and specialize on nuclear arms control and security issues.

After the Soviet Union collapsed George turned his attention to South Asia. Soon this turned into an infatuation with India and a project to write the history of India’s nuclear weapon program in his spare time. This resulted in India’s Nuclear Bomb, published by the University of California Press in late 1999. Foreign Affairs called the book “an extraordinary and perhaps definitive account of 50 years of Indian nuclear policymaking,” and the Washington Times called it an “important… encyclopedic…antidote to many of the illusions of our age.” The book also received outstanding reviews in India, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. Most recently, India’s Nuclear Bomb won the American Historical Association’s Herbert Feis Award for the outstanding work of history of 2000 by a non-academic.

George’s work also has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Atlantic Monthly, the World Policy Journal, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications.

George is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is married and has a 14 year-old son.

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