Ambassador Butler to lead nuclear disarmament group

Ambassador Richard Butler AC, Penn State's Distinguished Scholar of International Peace and Security and a faculty member of the School of International Affairs, has been named Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative, effective January 1, 2011.

Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., founding Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI) called Ambassador Butler, "one of the world's leading authorities on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, with a record of solid achievements in those fields. He will be an outstanding leader of MPI, and takes up the role of Chairman at a crucial moment in work to rid the world of nuclear weapons."

Through the Middle Powers Initiative, eight international non-governmental organizations are able to work primarily with "middle power" governments to encourage and educate the nuclear weapons states to take immediate practical steps that reduce nuclear dangers, and commence negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Prior to joining Penn State, Professor Butler has held numerous senior Australian posts, including Deputy Representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the OECD; Ambassador for Disarmament (Geneva); Ambassador to Thailand and Cambodia; Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (New York); and Governor of Tasmania. In 2003, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honor.