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"The Arms Control Association’s work is an important resource to legislators and policymakers when contemplating a new policy direction or decision."

– General John Shalikashvili
former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Tony Fleming

2019 Arms Control Person(s) of the Year Nominees Announced

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For Immediate Release: December 12, 2019

Media Contacts: Kathy Crandall-Robinson, chief operations director, (202) 463-8270 ext. 101; Tony Fleming, director for communications, (202) 463-8270 ext. 110

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—Since 2007, the Arms Control Association has nominated individuals and institutions that have, in the previous 12 months, advanced effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions and raised awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons.

In a field that is often focused on threats and challenges, our Arms Control Person(s) of the Year contest aims to highlight the many positive initiatives that help improve international peace and security.

This year's nominees are listed below. All of the nominees have, in their own way, provided leadership to help reduce weapons-related security threats during the past year.

A full list of previous winners is available here.

The ballot and list of 2019 nominees is available at armscontrol.org/acpoy. Voting will take place between December 12, 2019 and January 8, 2020. The results will be announced on January 10, 2020.

The 2019 nominees are:

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The Arms Control Association is an independent, membership-based organization dedicated to providing authoritative information and practical policy solutions to address the threats posed by the world's most dangerous weapons.

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Group of 4,000 Anonymous Google Employees Urging Company Not to Be “In the Business of War" Voted 2018 Arms Control Persons of the Year

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For Immediate Release: January 10, 2019

Media Contact: Tony Fleming, director for communications, (202) 463-8270 ext 110

(Washington, D.C.)—A group of 4,000 anonymous Google employees opposing the company's work on a Pentagon project using artificial intelligence (AI), which could be used to improve drone targeting, was chosen as the 2018 Arms Control Persons of the Year for 2018.

Due to the employees’ actions, which included an internal petition to company management, Google ended its work on Project Maven when the contract expired and announced it would focus on “socially beneficial” AI and avoid work that causes “overall harm.”

More than 1,200 individuals from over 70 countries voted in this year’s iteration of the online contest.

Nine individuals and groups were nominated by the staff and board of the Arms Control Association for their leadership in advancing effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament solutions or for raising awareness of the threats posed by mass casualty weapons during the course of 2018.

“Technological developments that remove or reduce direct human control over lethal weapon systems could change the nature of warfare and undermine global security. Not only do governments need to work harder to develop new rules to mitigate the risks, but researchers at private institutions and tech companies have a responsibility to step-in, when necessary, to ensure their projects are used responsibly,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

“The initiative of this group of concerned Google employees helped to change company culture and policy for the better and is an example for others to follow,” he said.

Further details on the Google employees’ response to the company’s involvement in Project Maven were reported last year in a series of articles by Kate Conger published in Gizmodo.


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The runners-up in the vote for the 2018 Arms Control Persons of the Year were the founders and co-chairs of the International Gender Champions Disarmament Impact Group: Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva Michael Gaffey, Permanent Representative of Namibia to the United Nations in Geneva Sabine Böhlke-Möller, Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research Renata Dwan, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva Rosemary McCarney and Founder/Executive Director of [email protected] Caitlin Kraft-Buchman. The impact group developed specific aims for expanding knowledge about the importance of gender issues and practical actions for bringing gendered perspectives into disarmament discussions.

The second runner-up was South Korean president Moon Jae-in. He was nominated for promoting improved Inter-Korean relations and a renewed dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang on denuclearization and peace that has led to a number of significant steps to decrease tensions, including a North Korean moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear testing, a halt to U.S.-South Korean military exercises, and steps to avoid military incidents along the demilitarized zone that divides North Korea and South Korea.

Online voting was open from Dec. 7, 2018, until Jan. 7, 2019. A list of all of this year's nominees is available at https://armscontrol.org/acpoy/2018

Previous winners of the "Arms Control Person of the Year" are:

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