Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Remembering Larry

Years ago I was a graduate student in the Political Science Department of the University of Michigan. One day as I was waiting for an elevator a man approached me and called me by name. I had no idea who he was. He introduced himself - he was Professor Lawrence Scheinman and he asked if I would like a summer research job. Being the typical hungry student I replied "Yes" immediately. Then, almost as an afterthought, I asked him "Doing what?" "Working on international safeguards" he responded. "International WHAT??" I asked.

And so began my professional journey in the nuclear realm although I did not know it at the time. As it turned out, Professor Scheinman's faculty office was next door to my Faculty Advisor who had told Larry I was looking for a job.

I spent the summer working in a small office on the outskirts of the University's main campus, discovering the definition and characteristics of the international safeguards system as applied by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) located in Vienna, Austria. I also had the opportunity to get to know the good-humored, energetic and hard-working Professor Scheinman a bit.

Not long after my summer job ended, my Faculty Advisor accepted a position at a university in California and I suddenly lost a key member of my Doctoral Committee overseeing my Ph. D. dissertation work. Fortunately for me, Professor Scheinman agreed to join my Committee. Even after he departed for a faculty position at Cornell University, Larry remained involved in overseeing my efforts to produce an acceptable dissertation. In the acknowledgements portion of my dissertation I wrote "Special thanks also go to the members of my dissertation committee, particularly to Professor Lawrence Scheinman for introducing me to the concept and policy of international safeguards..."

In 1976 I joined the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) in Washington, D.C. It wasn't long before I encountered Larry again. He was back and forth from Cornell to Washington on one nuclear-related issue after another. For the next thirty years we remained in touch in unpredictable ways as we both dealt with the challenges of nuclear non-proliferation work. Larry was driven by this work. He was committed to and passionate about it. He was the consummate academic, insistent on getting the facts right. He was also a thoughtful policy analyst, intent on crafting policy approaches that were effective and durable. And he was my friend for many, many years. Out of the blue he would call me, racking my brain on so many different nuclear issues that I could hardly keep track. But before we would launch into professional pursuits, we always took time to swap reports on our families and I could always hear the pride in his voice when he would tell me what his sons were doing.

Looking back now I realize how great a debt of gratitude I owe him for being my teacher, my mentor and my dear friend. I remember the last time we were colleagues together on a project dealing with the IAEA sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation. We were in several meetings together and conferred regularly by phone for months. He was his usual jovial, hard-working self, anxious to contribute meaningfully to maintaining and strengthen the security of our world. He was such a positive force for good and his impact was profound.

I am among the many who will miss him so much.

Thank you for everything Larry.