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2022 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award: Joseph P. "Pat" Harahan 

The Society is pleased to bestow the 2022 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Award, our most prestigious service award which recognizes outstanding contributions to the study the history of the federal government, to Joseph P. Harahan.

Harahan retired in 2010 after 35 years of federal service, serving from 1998 to 2010 as Senior Historian at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and from 1990 to 1998 as Senior Historian at the Department of Defense On-Site Inspection Agency, special assistant to the Historian of the Air Force, and staff historian at the Air Force's Strategic Air Command. Harahan's DTRA histories and writings about inspection regimes for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) and Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaties, as well his 2015 book on Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction, are methodical and intensely-researched narratives of complex bilateral and multilateral arms control regimes. They are essential for historians working on the topics of nuclear arms control, non-proliferation, threat reduction, and nuclear policy. They are also indispensable to any policymaker seeking to replicate the successes—and avoid the pitfalls—of the inspection regimes associated with these landmark Cold War agreements.

Biography: Pat Harahan

As the Cold War drew to its close, I was hired as a public historian to document, research, and write a historical report on how the United States government was preparing for and then conducting arms control inspections under the Intermediate-Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1989. A bilateral treaty with the Soviet Union, this precedent-setting arms reduction treaty mandated the elimination of 2,700 nuclear missiles and facilities, all carried out in the presence of arms control inspection teams. Adventurous, I participated as an inspector on U.S. teams monitoring the destruction at remote, restricted military bases in the Soviet Union, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. The book, On-Site Inspections under the INF Treaty (Washington, 1992), was translated and published in a Russian edition in 1996.

No sooner had the majority of the missile eliminations been completed under the INF Treaty, than a series of new, comprehensive treaties were signed, ratified, and poised for implementation—the Conventional Arms Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty (CWC), Open Skies Treaty, and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). As the historian for the U.S. government's inspection agency, I was involved in researching, teaching, and inspecting each new treaty. A second writing project led to the publication of On-Site Inspections under the CFE Treaty (1996). Subsequently translated into Russian, it was published as an electronic book (2000).

Ever adventurous, I went on inspections, and conducted interviews with military and diplomatic officers in the United States, Russia, Germany, France, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Poland, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, and at NATO headquarters. Since contemporary history has many audiences, I was invited to speak on the history in Russia at the Military Academy of the General Staff, the International Division, Russian General Staff, Frunze Military Academy, and Vystral Peacekeeping Academy. In Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Great Britain, Germany, and China I spoke on the experience of implementing these treaties at various research institutes, military academies, and conferences.

Both of these research projects, and several subsequent ones, led to my writing a comprehensive narrative history of how the governments of the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus negotiated and implemented a large-scale, multi-billion, multi-year cooperative threat reduction effort to secure and then reduce strategic nuclear weapons in order to meet START Treaty reduction quotas: With Courage and Persistence: The United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs (Washington, 2015).

My research and experiences have reinforced a conviction that carefully researched and vetted narrative histories of multinational arms reduction treaties and nonproliferation programs have an audience with policymakers, operational staffs, and public researchers in many nations.

Education: University of Virginia, BA, 1962, University of Richmond, MA, 1967, Michigan State University, PhD, 1972


Assistant Professor, University of Richmond, 1970 - 1972

Assistant Fulbright Professor, University of Genoa, Italy, 1972 - 1974

Staff Historian, Strategic Air Command, USAF, 1974- 1981

Special Assistant, Chief of Air Force History, Hq. USAF, 1981- 1990

Senior Historian, On-Site Inspection Agency, Department of Defense, 1990- 1998

Senior Historian, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, DoD, 1998- 2010

Retired: 35 Years federal service

Publications, Books:

Author, selected chapters, History of Strategic Air Command.

Co-Editor, Air Force History Series, 10 volumes

Author, On-Site Inspections Under the INF Treaty, (Washington, 1993) with illustrations, maps, charts, appendices, and index, 256 pp.

Co-Author, On- Site Inspections Under the CFE Treaty, (Washington, 1997) with maps, charts, tables, appendices, bibliography, and index, 369 pp.

Author, Creating the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, (Washington, 2002) illustrations, charts, appendices, and index, 98 pp.

Editor, Defense’s Nuclear Agency, 1947-1997 (Washington, 2003) with charts, tables, appendices, and index, 485 pp.

Co-Author, Responding to War, Terrorism, and WMD Proliferation: History of DTRA, 1998-2008

(Washington, 2009) wit illustrations, charts, tables, and appendices, 156 pp.

Author, With Courage and Persistence: The United States, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine and the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs (Washington, 2015) with maps, illustrations, bibliography, and index, 460 pp.

Selected Conference Papers and Articles:

Author, “Eliminating Ukraine’s 43rd Strategic Rocket Army, Using International Cooperation, Technology, and Management”, Congress of International Military History, Berlin, Germany, 2013. Author, “Formulating Arms Control Policy and Implementing Arms Control Treaties: the INF Treaty Experience, 1998-2001”, conference, CIA and Foreign Policy, Dublin, Ireland, 2009.

Author, “After the Soviet Union’s Collapse: Emerging Nations Using Arms Control Treaties as Symbols of Sovereignty”, Potsdam, Germany, 2007.

Author, “Development and Growth of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program”, William Jefferson Clinton Conference, Hofstra University, 2005.

Author, “Rethinking Government Responsibilities to WMD Terrorism”, conference Searching for Common Ground in South Asia, Stockholm, 2005.

Author, “Comparative History of U.S. and USSR Strategic Air and Naval Forces, 1950-1992”, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 2003.

Author, “The Post-Cold War Peace of Europe”, George W. Bush Conference, Hofstra University, 1997.

Author, “Monitoring the Conventional Arms Forces in Europe Treaty. 1992-1995,” conference, International Commission of Military History, 1995.

Author, “The CFE Treaty and Europe’s Security Structure, 1992-1995”, Society for Military History, 1995. Author, “Implementing Arms Control Treaties in the Commonwealth of Independent States and Eastern Europe” conference, Association of Third World Studies, 1994.

Author, “Comparative History of Arms Control Treaties from World War I to the Contemporary Era”, International Commission on Military History, 1993.

Author, “Recent Arms Control Treaties: Accounting for Documentary Record”, National Council on Public History, 1992.

Author, “Recent US-USSR-Europe Arms Control Treaties: New Federal Records, New Interpretations,” American Historical Association Meeting, 1991.

Lecture and Briefings:

University of Virginia, Harvard University, Tufts University, Johns Hopkins University, Ohio University, Ohio State University, Michigan University, Notre Dame University, University of Illinois, James Madison University, American University, Air Force Academy, US Naval Academy, US Army Academy, Wilson Center, Brookings, and CSIS.

Professional Associations: Society for History of the Federal Government, 1985- 2022, American Historical Association, 1990- 2022, National Council on Public History, 1985- 2000, and the International Commission on Military History, 1992- 2015.


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