Nuclear Control Institute Founder Leventhal Dies

Posted April 11, 2007 at 3:59pm

Paul Leventhal, a one-time Capitol Hill staffer who founded the Nuclear Control Institute in Washington, D.C., died April 10 at his home in Chevy Chase, Md. Leventhal was 69. [IMGCAP(1)]

In 1969, Leventhal came to the Hill to serve as press secretary to Sen. Jacob Javits (R-N.Y.), and remained in Washington to work on nuclear issues in politics.

Leventhal also served as special counsel to the Senate Government Operations Committee from 1972 to 1976 and as staff director of the Senate Nuclear Regulation Subcommittee from 1979 to 1981. Additionally, Leventhal served as co-director of the bipartisan Senate special investigation of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident from 1979 to 1980.

In 1981, Leventhal founded the NCI and served as its president for 22 years, during which time he organized the institute’s International Task Force on Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism as well as its conference in South America on averting a nuclear arms race between Argentina and Brazil in 1989.

In June 2002, Leventhal was given the title of founding president, and for the past several years he directed a Web-based program for the NCI.

Leventhal was awarded a number of titles in the academic field. In 1988, Leventhal received the Alumni Medal from his alma mater, Franklin & Marshall College. With a concentration on nuclear weapons proliferation, Leventhal was a research fellow at Harvard University’s Program for Science and International Affairs as well as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1976 to 1977. In 1991, Leventhal served as the distinguished visiting fellow at Cambridge University’s Global Security Program.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon Tanzer Leventhal, his two sons, Josh and Ted, and two grandchildren. Memorial services are pending at the Edward Sagel Funeral Home in Rockville, Md.

— Andrea Kemp