Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government (KSG), received a special award on June 5 from the president of Kazakhstan in recognition of his work to remove nuclear weapons from Kazakhstan and for his support of KSG students from that country. Ambassador Kanat Saudabayev of Kazakhstan presented the award to Allison, who also chairs the Caspian Studies Program, which supports and assists students and fellows from the Caspian region.
In a private reception at the Belfer Center following the diploma ceremony at KSG, the Kazakhstan ambassador bestowed upon Allison a medal called the Order of Dostik, or friendship, and delivered a tribute from Kazakstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
As assistant secretary of defense in the first Clinton administration, Allison received the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service for “reshaping relations with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to reduce the former Soviet nuclear arsenal.” His efforts resulted in the safe return of more than 12,000 tactical nuclear weapons from the former Soviet republics and the complete elimination of more than 4,000 strategic nuclear warheads that were left in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus after the Soviet Union had collapsed.
In his remarks at the award ceremony, Ambassador Saudabayev said, “This order is not just in recognition of Professor Allison’s past contribution in helping Kazakhstan get rid of the horrific legacy of the Cold War, but also for his work to develop the future of Kazakhstan in the form of our human resources.”