The Sidel-Levy Award for Peace, which recognizes an APHA member who has made outstanding contributions to preventing war and promoting international peace, was presented to Paul Walker, PhD.
Walker is director of the international Environmental Security and Sustainability Program for Green Cross International and its US national affiliate, Global Green USA. He has worked throughout his career to eliminate nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and promote peace throughout the world through firm diplomacy, sound science, advocacy and education.
Walker and the Environmental Security and Sustainability Program have helped facilitate the safe elimination of more than 50,000 metric tons of chemical weapons, dozens of nuclear submarines and hundreds of nuclear warheads and launch systems over the past 16 years.
Prior to his work with the Environmental Security and Sustainability Program, Walker was a staff member of the Armed Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as senior advisor to the chairman, Rep. Ron Dellums, and the full committee, in the immediate post-Cold War period. While at the House Committee, Walker helped establish and implement the US Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR or “Nunn-Lugar”) Program which has to date committed over $10 billion to the nonproliferation and elimination of Cold War weapons of mass destruction. He also is former acting director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., former research director with the Union of Concerned Scientists and former researcher with the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
Walker has worked, lectured and published widely on international security, threat reduction, non-proliferation and weapons demilitarization for more than three decades. While at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the mid-1970s, Walker helped establish the Boston Study Group with five colleagues to examine how best to restructure US military and foreign policy along more diplomatic and cooperative lines.. The group produced the book, The Price of Defense: A New Strategy for Military Spending, which argued that a sizeable reduction in military spending and realignment of military strategies would produce much better security.
Walker worked as National Education Director for the Physicians for Social Responsibility and helped mobilize the medical community against federal nuclear policies. Among his many efforts to fight weapons of mass destruction, he has worked with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague to help facilitate the nonproliferation and safe elimination of chemical weapons in Albania, India, Iraq, Libya, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. He also helped establish the Fissile Materials Working Group (FMWG) in support of President Barack Obama’s 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., and 2012 Summit in Seoul, South Korea addressing the nonproliferation of weapons-grade fissile materials.
“Paul Walker is one of the most impressive advocates for peace and practitioners of peacemaking that I have ever known,” said David J. O’Brien, professor of faith and culture at the University of Dayton. “For his life-long work on national and international security, and for his remarkable work of connecting policy-makers and scholars across international boundaries, he should rank among our most honored public intellectuals.”