Senator Lugar was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976 and won a fifth term in 2000. He currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Before running for the Senate, Lugar served two terms as the mayor of Indianapolis (1968-75).Lugar received his B.A. from Denison University in Granville, Ohio and was a Rhodes Scholar.
As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Senator Lugar has made significant accomplishments regarding nuclear nonproliferation policy issues is his drafting of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, CTR, with Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.). In November, 1991, the Senate voted 86-8 in favor of this legislation which received broad support from even the most prominent opponents of U.S. foreign policy. Congress allocated $400million of Department of Defense funds for the Nunn Lugar Act in assistance to Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other NIS nuclear sites for the purposes of: 1) the transportation, storage, safeguarding and destruction of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the dismantlement of missiles and launchers; 2) the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and, 3) the prevention of diversion of weapons-related scientific expertise.
In addition to his efforts to improve the security of nuclear materials abroad, Lugar has also focused on improving American public diplomacy in the Islamic world as an necssary component for winning the war on terror. In his opening statement for a hearing on Public Diplomacy on February 27, 2003, Senator Lugar pointed to America's prowess in marketing, advertising and publci relations as sources for economic success and useful strategies to improve the American image abroad.
Senator Lugar argues that the success of American public diplomacy must rely on clarity and honesty in explaining the views of the United States and coordination with broader efforts for democratization and international developement. Furthermore, Lugar points to the need to expand resources devoted to public diplomacy from the aggregate budget of $1.2billion; which is less than half of the advertising budget for some of the most prominent American companies such as Pepsi and Ford Motors.
1. Amy Woolf, “Nuclear Weapons in Russia: Safety Security and Control Issues�?. CRS Report for Congress, April 11, 2003. Order Code IB98038. pp.6.
During the August Recess of 2005, along with Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Richard Lugar who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee went on a strategic trip to Russia to inspect the nuclear facilities there and were detained for three hours at a airport in the city of Perm, near the Ural Mountains during their departure for Ukraine, where they were scheduled to meet the President and the Speaker of the House of Ukraine. Later on, they were released after a brief dialogue between U.S. and Russian officials and the Russians later apologized for this incident.
Speeches and Articles on Public Diplomacy
- Junkyard Dogs of War By Richard G. Lugar and Barack Obama, Washington Post December 3, 2005
- Strengthen Diplomacy for the War on Terror Foreign Service Journal (July/August 2003)