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Frank von Hippel

Frank von Hippel, a theoretical physicist, is a Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and co-principal investigator with Harold Feiveson of Princeton's Program on Nuclear Policy Alternatives. From September 1993 through 1994, he was on leave as Assistant Director for National Security in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and played a major role in developing U.S.-Russian cooperative programs to increase the security of Russian nuclear-weapons materials. Prior to September 1993 and since January 1995, he has served as chairman of the research arm of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), where he directs a non-governmental U.S.-Russian cooperative research project on the technical basis for new arms-control and nonproliferation initiatives. He also chairs the editorial board of Science & Global Security; and is a member of the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

von Hippel received his B.S. degree in physics from MIT in 1959 and D.Phil. in theoretical physics in 1962 from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. During the following ten years, while his research focus was in theoretical elementary-particle physics, he held research positions at the University of Chicago, Cornell University and Argonne National Laboratory and served on the physics faculty of Stanford University.

In 1974, von Hippel's interests shifted to "public-policy physics." After spending a year as a Resident Fellow at the National Academy of Science, during which time he organized the American Physical Society's Study on Light-water Reactor Safety, he was invited to join the research and in 1984 the teaching faculty of Princeton University.

During the late 1970's, von Hippel's research focused on technical questions relating to the containment and mitigation of nuclear-reactor accidents, alternatives to recycling plutonium in nuclear-reactor fuel, and the potential for major improvements in automobile fuel economy. Since the early 1980's his research has focused on developing the analytical basis for: deep cuts in the U.S. and Soviet/Russian nuclear stockpiles, verified nuclear-warhead elimination, a universal cutoff of the production of unsafeguarded fissile materials and a comprehensive nuclear-warhead test ban.

von Hippel has served on advisory panels to the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and on the Boards of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Federation of American Scientists (chairman) and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

In 1977, von Hippel shared with Joel Primack the American Physical Society's 1977 Forum Award for Promoting the Understanding of the Relationship of Physics and Society for their book, Advice and Dissent: Scientists in the Political Arena. In 1989, he was awarded the Federation of American Scientists' Public Service Award for serving as a "role model for the public interest scientist." In 1991, the American Institute of Physics published a volume of von Hippel's selected works under the title, Citizen Scientist as one of the first three books in its "Masters of Physics" series. In 1993 he was awarded a 5-year MacArthur Prize Fellowship. In 1994, he received the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences' Hilliard Roderick Prize for excellence in Science, Arms Control and International Security. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and on the Board of Directors of the Arms Control Association.

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