- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

From the Director

| Summer 2013

The Boston Marathon is at the heart of a day rich in meaning for the Boston community: it is the oldest race of its kind in America; it occurs on Patriots Day, recalling the roots of our nation; it coincides with a Red Sox Day game; and the city celebrates the end of winter as hundreds of thousands support the runners along the route.

The marathon terror attack of April 15 cut into our community at its most vulnerable. That made the suffering of the victims even more intolerable for all Americans. And this was no doubt the intention of the attackers.

For decades, the Belfer Center has developed policy ideas to help prevent such terrorism, and, when it does occur, to mitigate its destructive impact. The Center’s impact was evident in the week following the attack; our Juliette Kayyem was one of the leading national analysts interpreting what happened and why.

Kayyem has been part of the Kennedy School and the Belfer Center since 2001, as a lecturer and then as executive director of the Belfer Center. With colleagues Richard Falkenrath and Dutch Leonard, she led a project on how to prepare for terrorist attacks.

On the day of the marathon bombings, Kayyem was cited as one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists for commentary for her columns on national security for the BostonGlobe. That national recognition underscores the quality of thinkers produced by the Belfer Center on these security issues.

The day after the suspects were identified, Belfer Fellow Simon Saradzhyan crafted an op-ed for the Boston Globe that explained the context of the North Caucasus insurgency. Drawing on his 15 years in Moscow analyzing these complex issues, Saradzhyan gave readers prescient insights.

The Center has long studied risks of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons that can cause mass destruction. Gary Samore, new executive director for research, carries on this legacy: he served as President Obama’s director for WMD counterterrorism for four years.

The Center’s U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism further strengthens our reach, led by Senior Fellow Will Tobey. Former Executive Director for Research Kevin Ryan, now leading a new defense and intelligence project, has spearheaded the Elbe Group of retired senior Russian and American officials who seek ways to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism.

In these ways and more, from local to national to global levels, the Center remains determined to combat terrorism in all its devastating forms. As the dramatic events unfolded in Boston, I was proud not only of the resilient response of our city, but also of the support the Belfer Center community was able to offer.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Allison, Graham. From the Director.” Belfer Center Newsletter (Summer 2013).