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FAS Public Interest Report
The Journal of the Federation of American Scientists
Summer 2003
Volume 56, Number 2
FAS Home | Download PDF | PIR Archive
Front Page
Nuclear Terror: Ambling Toward Apocalypse
21st-Century Physics: Grand Challenges
The Afghan Housing Crisis: Can New Technology Make a Difference?
Congress Permits Research on Smaller Nuclear Weapons
Molecular Manufacturing: Start Planning
Progress Report for FAS Learning Technology Initiatives
Challenging Conventional Wisdom on Arms Exports
How Well did TOPOFF2 Prepare Us?

Staff News

FAS bids farewell to Tamar Gabelnic

On May 2nd, FAS bid farewell to Arms Sales Monitoring Project (ASMP) Director Tamar Gabelnick. After 5 years of tireless service and inspired leadership, Tamar left FAS (and the United States) to live in France with her husband, Pierre-Yves, and her 6-month-old daughter, Emma. Tamar was appointed acting director of the ASMP just a few short months after she arrived at FAS in April 1998, and took over as project director the next year. Despite her relative inexperience with the arcane and opaque world of arms transfers and US defense trade policy, Tamar quickly established a reputation among academics, policymakers and the media as a knowledgeable and articulate source of expertise on the arms trade and US military aid. As a result, Tamar was able to generate and shape debate on these oft-ignored issues through numerous television and radio appearances, articles in leading scholarly and trade publications and through quotes in most of the nation's major newspapers. Her forthcoming book, entitled Challenging Conventional Wisdom: Debunking the Myths and Exposing the Risks of Arms Export Reform, epitomizes her knack for identifying important issues dominated by special interests and shaping the debate on them through timely and persuasive analysis.

Tamar's quiet charisma, passion for arms control and human rights and quick mastery of the export control minutia made her a natural leader in the community of NGOs that work on defense trade policy. Tamar led several coalition groups working on conventional weapons control, including the Arms Transfer Working Group and the Small Arms Working Group. By the end of her tenure at FAS, Tamar's expertise and leadership skills had attracted international attention. In 2001, she was invited to serve on a small steering committee of influential NGOs from around the world that is leading efforts to draft and promote an international Arms Trade Treaty.

While many people know and respect her work, only the few who had the privilege of working under her fully appreciate all of her many gifts - her warmth, her sense of humor, her inexhaustible patience, and her inclination to treat her employees as partners rather than subordinates. She will be both long remembered and deeply missed at FAS.

Tamar will continue to work as a consultant to arms control and human rights organizations from her new base in France.

…and Michael Levi

After two extraordinary years at FAS, Michael Levi has left his post at Strategic Security Project Director to become the Science and Technology Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution. He leaves the Project dramatically reshaped to meet the requirements of the 21st century.

Michael's work at FAS has included landmark work on radiological weapons that was presented before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, debunking longstanding myths about nuclear earth penetrating weapons, and providing a practical strategy for securing fissile materials. All of Michael's work has demonstrated not only his remarkable grasp of highly technical subjects, but also an ability to identify key security and policy issues that can benefit from scientific insight. Michael communicates his perspective in a vigorous and energetic style that is accessible to a broad audience but never wavers in its technical precision. His articles in Scientific American and The New Republic, op-eds in The New York Times and other major papers and many appearances on radio and television have enlightened the national debate and built support for sensible security policy.

Everyone at FAS has learned from Michael and has enjoyed the excitement of working with someone whose learning curve often seemed perpendicular. We'll remember Michael's ability to challenge cherished beliefs of friends and opponents while keeping their respect. We'll remember his relentless search for practical, actionable ideas. We'll remember his unwavering search for what was honest, and what was right.

We wish him the best of luck at Brookings and hope that we can continue to collaborate.

FAS welcomes new Biology Issues Director

Stephanie Loranger joined the FAS team in March 2003 as the Biology Issues Director. Stephanie received her bachelors of science in biology at Boston College in May 1997. She received her Ph.D. in Biology and Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Molecular Cell Biology at Washington University in August 2002. Her Ph.D. thesis titled: "The Role of Palmitoylation in trafficking of the t-SNAREs SNAP-25 and Syntaxin 11" combined cell biology and biochemistry with some neuroscience to elucidate the trafficking pathways of an important class of proteins involved in membrane fusion. Her work was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Stephanie's work in graduate school was complemented with an interest in science policy, and she actively promoted a discussion of science and society at Washington University. She was also instrumental in encouraging and establishing career resources for graduate students and post-docs. Before joining FAS, Stephanie consulted for the NCI and EPA for 6 months. Stephanie remains a contributing member of both the American Society of Cell Biology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At FAS, she will divide her time among several issues, including: the Digital Human, the Learning Federation, biological weapons, training and preparedness for WMD attacks and the responsible use of science and technology.

FAS welcomes the following Nobel Laureates to the Board of Sponsors:

  • Riccardo Giacconi
  • Joseph Stiglitz
  • Paul Berg
  • Ferid Murad
  • Robert Furchgott
  • Daniel Tsui