NEW YORK, December 7, 2006 — Dr. Randall C. Forsberg, an internationally recognized authority on arms control and security issues, has been appointed the first holder of the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair in Political Science at The City College of New York (CCNY).
The Spitzer Chair was established last year through a $2.1 million gift from Bernard Spitzer, ’43, a prominent New York real estate developer, and his wife, Anne, Adjunct Professor of English Literature at Manhattan Marymount College. Their son, Eliot, was elected Governor of the State of New York last month.
Dr. Forsberg, who joined the CCNY faculty at the start of the Fall 2006 semester, is Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies (IDDS), a role in which she will continue to serve. Established in 1980, IDDS is a policy research and advocacy center that studies military policies, defense spending, arms control and advocates for alternatives to war. The Institute has relocated to the City College campus from Cambridge, Mass., where it was previously based.
“As a leading authority on arms control and defense issues, Randall Forsberg’s presence adds an important new dimension to our already substantial expertise on public policy matters,” said Dr. Gregory H. Williams, President of The City College of New York, in announcing the appointment. “We are grateful to the Spitzers for their generosity, which has enabled us to attract a national leader in this vital area of international importance.”
“If it hadn’t been for the existence of City College, I might never have gotten a college education,” said Mr. Spitzer. “It is with that in mind that I established the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Chair to attract a leading national scholar to the school’s political science department.”
Dr. Forsberg said she was drawn to City College, in part, because of its diverse student body. “My work is global in nature and incorporating the perspectives of students from around the world can serve only to enrich its context.”
She plans to establish a research and writing program at City College that will engage students in the study of security issues. “Defense is the largest component of the federal budget, and, yet, no one is working on security issues,” she pointed out. “There is a real need for coursework in this area, especially at the undergraduate level.”
Through IDDS, Dr. Forsberg publishes the Arms Control Reporter, a monthly reference journal that tracks countries’ positions on arms control and arms control treaties, and edits Arms Watch, a database on global production and trade in large weapons such as defense aircraft, ships, tanks and missiles.
In addition, Dr. Forsberg has authored or co-authored seven books on arms control and defense policy topics, contributed articles to Scientific American, International Security, Technology Review and other journals and delivered over 1,000 public lectures on peace, arms control and disarmament issues in the United States and other countries.
Dr. Forsberg has advised two U.S. Presidents on arms control. In 1995, President Bill Clinton appointed her to the Director’s Advisory Committee of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and in 1989 she briefed President George H. W. Bush and senior foreign policy and security advisors on U.S.-Soviet weaponry issues.
In 1988, she co-chaired a conference with Yevgeny Primakov, a Soviet academician who later became the Soviet Union’s Foreign Minister, at which she and other U.S. representatives met with Soviet defense and foreign policy officials to discuss confidence-building measures to reduce the risk of conventional war in Europe. Soviet Premiere Mikhail Gorbachev later adopted many of the recommendations.
More recently, Dr. Forsberg participated in conferences on North-South Korean and U.S. relations hosted by the South Korean Institute for Strategic Studies, the South Korean National Defense University and a coalition of peace groups. Dr. Forsberg received her B.A. at Columbia University and holds a Ph.D. from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1983, she received a five-year MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her work in defense studies and arms control.
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