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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Glenn Schweitzer

Nuclear Engineer, Scientist, DirectorWashington, DC

Listen to Glenn Schweitzer's Oral History on Voices of the Manhattan Project

Glenn Schweitzer is the director of the Program on Central Europe and Eurasia at the National Academy of Sciences. Schweitzer has had a distinguished career in international scientific cooperation, focusing on nuclear energy, international scientific affairs, the United States, and Russia. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Engineering at the United States Military Academy and his master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

He has served as a foreign service officer, a civil service officer, and a nongovernmental specialist. He began as a Foreign Service Officer in Yugoslavia before moving on to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and then the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Under the United States government, Schweitzer has served as a senior staff scientist for marine affairs in the Office of the Vice President, the Director of USAID’s (United States Agency for International Development) Office of Science and Technology, the Director of EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) Office of Toxic Substances, and the Director of EPA’s Environmental Monitoring Systems Laboratory.

Schweitzer later worked for EPA at the Nevada Test Site. From 1992-1994, he served as the first director of the newly created International Science and Technology Center in Moscow. This center was an intergovernmental organization established by the United States, numerous European countries, Japan, and Russia to provide support for redirection of former Soviet Union scientists for civilian research inquiries. In 1999, Schweitzer helped develop and facilitate relationships between the U.S. National Academies and the Iranian Academies of Sciences and Medicine and many other research centers throughout Iran. In 2009, he served as a nonresident Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Environment of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).

Schweitzer is the author of twelve books focused on international scientific affairs and the author of multiple reports under the National Research Council. His 1999 report, “The Pervasive Role of Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy,” directly led to the creation of the Office of the Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State. He is the recipient of awards from various institutions including: The Department of State, USAID, college universities and organizations, and EPA. In 2010, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) awarded him with the Science Diplomacy Award, and described him as “A tireless advocate for international science cooperation and the role of science in foreign relations.”

Glenn Schweitzer's Timeline
1961 Earned his M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from the California Institute of Technology.
1963 Served as the first science officer stationed with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
1985 Became the Director for Central Europe and Eurasia of the National Research Council.
1989 His book, Techno-Diplomacy: U.S.-Soviet Confrontations in Science and Technology, is published.
1991 His book, Borrowed Earth, Borrowed Time: Healing America’s Chemical Wounds, is published.
19921994 Worked on a special assignment for the Department of State as the First Executive Director of the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow, Russia.
1997 His book, Experiments in Cooperation: Assessing U.S.-Russian Programs in Science and Technology, is published.
1998 His book, Super-Terrorism: Assassins, Mobsters, and Weapons of Mass Destruction, is published.
1999 His report, “The Pervasive Role of Science, Technology, and Health in Foreign Policy,” is published.
2000 His book, Swords into Market Shares: Technology, Security, and Economies in the New Russia, is published.
2002 His book, A Faceless Enemy: The Origins of Modern Terrorism, is published.
2004 His book, Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation, is published.
2006 His book, America on Notice: Stemming the Tide of Anti-Americanism, is published.
2007 Received the National Academies President’s Award.
2009 Began working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.
2010 Awarded the AAAS Science Diplomacy Award.
2010 His book, US-Iran Engagement in Science, Engineering, and Health (2000-2009): Opportunities, Constraints, and Impacts, was published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It was then subsequently published in Farsi by the University of Tehran Press.
2012 His book, Containing Russia’s Nuclear Firebirds, was published by Georgia Press.
2017 His book, US-Iran Engagement in Science Engineering, and Health (2010-2016): A Resilient Program but an Uncertain Future was published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
2016 His book, Moscow DMZ: The Story of the International Effort to Convert Russian Weapons Science to Peaceful Purposes, is published.

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