Distinguished Scholar of International Peace and Security
M.Ec., Australian National University
B.Ec., University of Sydney
A recognized expert in nuclear arms control and disarmament, Ambassador Richard Butler AC is Penn State's Distinguished Scholar of International Peace and Security. An Australian, 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 UN (New York); and Governor of Tasmania. In 2003, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), Australia's highest civilian honor. In 1995, he was appointed by the Prime Minister of Australia as Chairman of the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. At the UN, Ambassador Butler was Vice Chair of the World Summit on Social Development (the "Copenhagen Consensus" process); President of the Economic and Social Council; and Chair of the Working Group that created UNAIDS. In 1997, Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed him Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commission to disarm Iraq (UNSCOM).
Ambassador Butler was named chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative in January 2011, which is an organization that works 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.