Council for a Livable World

Council for a Livable World
The Hans Bethe Center is located on Capitol Hill, in Washington D.C. and houses the Council for a Livable World and the Center for Arms control and Non-proliferation.

Council for a Livable World is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, advocacy organization dedicated to eliminating the U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons. Its defines its mission as advocating for "progressive national security policies and helping elect congressional candidates who support them."[1] The Council was founded in 1962 as the Council for Abolishing War by Hungarian nuclear physicist and socialist advocate Leó Szilárd. Its research organization, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, provides research to members of Congress and their staffs.


Policy influence and lobbying

Every election cycle, the Council endorses congressional candidates who are arms control advocates and who support the Council's outlook on national security issues. Since its inception, the Council has helped elect 120 U.S. arms control advocates to the Senate and 203 to the House of Representatives. Council supporters raised over $1.3 million in 2010. Candidates seeking endorsements are required to answer questionnaires on issues and to defend their positions in interviews. The Council endorses candidates for the House of Representatives through PeacePAC. The Council endorsed both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in their first runs for U.S. Senate seats.

The Council has influenced U.S. arms control and national security policies for almost fifty years by working on or supporting several issues including:

  • Ratifying the Chemical Weapons Convention and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Conventional Forces in Europe, Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (start) and the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START)
  • Establishing a U.S. nuclear testing moratorium in 1992
  • Banning biological weapons and terminating chemical weapons programs
  • Limiting the deployment of the MX missile and B-2 bomber
  • Blocking deployment of National Missile Defense by the Clinton administration
  • Eliminating funding for the nuclear "Bunker Buster" and "Reliable Replacement Warhead," two new generations of nuclear weapons

Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award

In 1970, Father Robert Drinan became the first Roman Catholic priest to be elected to the United States Congress. He served five terms as a congressman before an edict by Pope John Paul II instructed all Catholic priests to withdraw from electoral politics.

Since 2006, Council for a Livable World and its research center and sister organization, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, present the Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award to individuals who exemplify the late Father Drinan's commitment to peace and human justice. The award broadly focuses on U.S. politics, political science, physical science, biology, peace studies, and peace and human rights activism.

Board of directors


  • Ira Lechner, Chairman of the Board
  • Gary Collins, President
  • John Isaacs, Executive Director
  • Jerome Grossman, Chairman Emeritus
  • Ivo Spalatin, Secretary-Treasurer


  1. ^ Council for a Livable World Profile Page on

External links

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