Ploughshares Fund Welcomes New Legislative Specialist

February 2, 2010

(Washington, DC)  “With so many decisions about the future of U.S. nuclear weapons policy facing Congress and the Administration right now and in the coming months, we are delighted to add a strong policy advocate to our team,” said President Joseph Cirincione as he announced the appointment today of Robert Leonard as Ploughshares Fund’s new Government Affairs Representative.  “Rob will manage and implement our relations with Congress and the administration, and track policies relevant to the nuclear security agenda.”


Leonard’s experience on Capitol Hill includes five years as a senior foreign policy and legislative advisor to two Members of Congress.   He was responsible for foreign policy and defense issues for the late Representative Robert T. Matsui (D-CA), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and a member of the House leadership. He was also senior policy advisor for foreign policy and legislative procedure for Representative Doris O. Matsui (D-CA). Finally, as committee staff on the Speaker’s House Rules Committee, he worked daily with leadership and committee offices to shepherd the legislative agenda through successful floor consideration.

“Of everything that sets Ploughshares Fund apart from all other foundations addressing nuclear security issues, perhaps the most striking is the presence on staff of our own lobbyist,” said Executive Director Naila Bolus.   “Rob follows in the footsteps of Terri Lodge, who managed our legislative strategy for many years until she joined the staff of Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, the lead negotiator for the START follow-on agreement.”

Prior to his work on Capitol Hill, Leonard was one of the initial employees at Outside the Classroom, Inc., helping to build it from a small start-up to a leader in the field of college health education.   He has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Justice from Duke University, and a Master’s degree in International Security Policy from Columbia University. 

"Ploughshares' reputation for innovative thinking and bold action precedes it. I couldn't be more honored to contribute my expertise alongside Joe, Naila, and the rest of the Ploughshares Fund team,” said Leonard, “especially at such an incredibly important moment for U.S. nuclear weapons policy."