SIR programs in 2001



November 21, 2001
Speaker: George Bunn
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: Guarding Nuclear Reactors and Materials from Terrorists and Thieves.

[George Bunn]George Bunn was the first general counsel for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA: 1961-1969), helped negotiate the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and later became U.S. ambassador to the Geneva Disarmament Conference. He has also taught at the U.S. Naval War College and the University of Wisconsin Law School, and served as dean of that law school. He has a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and spent a year there as a graduate student in physics and a teaching assistant in mathematics before changing his career goal and entering law school at Columbia University. In his almost twenty years as a Washington lawyer, he worked for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and a major Washington law firm, as well as for ACDA. In recent years, he has spoken at many international conferences dealing with the proliferation of nuclear weapons, including the October 1999 Vienna conference of the countries that had signed or ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty where he was the spokesman for participating non-governmental organizations.

Following is a list of Professor Bunn's research interests and publications: 1.The nuclear non-proliferation regime based upon the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 2. The theory and practice of achieving arms control including non-treaty methods. 3. Whether Russia succeeded to the arms control obligations of the Soviet Union. 4. Physical protection of nuclear material from theft and sabotage.


October 17, 2001
Speaker: Ramon H. Myers
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution Curator of East Asian Collection
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: Future Prospects for Sino-American Relations

Dr, Meyers, a scholar long devoted to studies of China, will give us his perspectives on what might lie ahead in dealings with the United States. His emphasis has been in the field of economics, a key factor in our near future policies with China.

His experiences in China include service as a member of the U.S. Wheat Studies Delegation to the Peoples' Republic of China in 1976, and as a visiting professor of economics at National Taiwan University in 1990-91.

More than 100 articles and book reviews on China and East Asia by Dr. Meyers have been published. Subjects of his major works include Japanese imperialism over China, the Chinese peasant economy, Taiwanese history, U.S. policies with "two Chinese states", and Chinese Communism.

Before joining the Hoover Institution, he received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington.


September 19,2001
Speaker: None
Intro by:
Subj.: Celebration of SIR Branch 35 30th anniversary


August 15, 2001
Speaker: Nick Prassas, Investment Advisor with Linsco/Private Ledger
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: Managing the Stock Market Madness

Nick Prassas has advised corporate, governmental and private clients on over $7 billion in financings for some of the most complex public works projects in California, Hawaii, and Alaska. Nick's diversity of clients and financial experience have included hospitals and health-care systems, schools (K-12), higher education institutions, affordable housing, real estate and other project finance, water and sewer systems, utility districts, and sports stadium and arena finance. Noteworthy projects include:

  • Retained as advisor for the L.A. Raiders relocation.
  • Nationally-noted sports stadium and arena finance expert. Among his projects are the Arco Arena, home of the Sacramento Kings, America West Arena, home of the Phoenix Suns, and the Rose Garden, home of the Portland Trailblazers.
  • Financial advisor and investment banker for the County of Maui, and the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii, for the last ten years.
  • Financed a $25 million elementary school for an Inuit village, located on the Bering Sea. In appreciation, the Mayor of Kotzebue, Alaska invited Nick on the annual fall caribou hunt.
  • Negotiated the last federal divestiture of a major hydroelectric facility for the State of Alaska. The contract and financing ultimately required an Act of Congress.
Recently, Nick has focused his practice on the financial goals and issues of charitable organizations and the individual investor. He specializes in individual and company portfolio management, with an emphasis on retirement and estate plans. He is a Registered Principal and Investment Advisor with Linsco/Private Ledger, Member NASD/SIPC, and is also insurance licensed.


June 20, 2001
Speaker: Jack Leathers
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: Gentleman Rebel from the Dark and Bloody Ground

Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner was a thoroughly decent, civilized, and loved man -- and a popular post-war governor of Kentucky. Jack Leathers will outline the fascinating history of the Kentucky territory in which General Buckner was raised and later fought. Jack's description of this hero's exemplary character, and his relationships with friends and enemies through the Civil War period, warms the spirit and provides a colorful insight to some happenings of the time.

Jack Leathers, one of our own Branch 35 members, is Past President and Past Program Chairman of the Peninsula Civil War Round Table.

Jack is retired from banking, having served Lloyds Bank of California in charge of their corporate lending program in San Francisco. He was a B-47 pilot under General Curtis LeMay in WWII. He is a graduate, in Finance, of UC Berkeley.


May 16, 2001
Speaker: Jim Swinfard
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: SS Jeremiah O'Brien, Liberty Ship

Mr. Swinfard is a volunteer with the National Liberty Ship Association, which operates the Jeremiah O'Brien at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

The ship is the last surviving of over 2,700 Liberty Ships, and was designated a Historical Mechanical Engineering Landmark in 1984 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Jim will tell us about her construction, her heroic and productive life on the high seas, and her present and future. SIRs Branch 25 rates his presentation among the very best.

Mr. Swinfard came to San Francisco in 1943 at age 10. After his education there and a tour of duty in the Coast Guard, he became a policeman. He served as a Police Captain in San Francisco for 17 years before his retirement in 1987. Presently, he is a volunteer with the Red Cross and the Peninsula Medical Center in addition to the National Liberty Ship Memorial.


April 18, 2001
Speaker: Charles Cook
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: Flying a B-17 Over Germany in WWII

Mr. Cook's story is a reminder of the awesome responsibilities thrust upon very young men in an intense war. The extreme good fortunes he and his crew experienced make his telling of amazing adventures a fascinating and easily appreciated program. We will be reminded of a few of the hard conditions and tragic losses of those days, but the perspective from one so blessed seems almost humorous in spots. These strong memories were earned three years before Dr. Cook obtained his first college degree, a BS in Electrical Engineering at the U. of Nebraska.

Charles Cook has since had a world of professional experiences. After earning a Ph.D. in physics and math, he began work with SRI, eventually serving as Senior Vice President. His 27 years with SRI ranged from molecular physics and magnetically levitated high-speed trains through a variety of technical research, business and management responsibilities.

His next six years with Bechtel further expanded the variety of his involvements -- from artificial intelligence through international planning. He became especially interested in systems of manufacturing. Since 1987, Dr. Cook has been a consultant, a president/founder of a manufacturing company, a volunteer executive in international and domestic services, a graduate school teacher, and a management consultant in the Peoples Republic of China.

Throughout his career he has actively participated in professional societies and in civic organizations. In the 60's, he was President of the Los Altos School Board.


June 20, 2001
Speaker: Jack Leathers
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: American Civil War


March 21, 2001
Speaker: Richard T. Schlosberg III, President and CEO David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: An Overview of the Packard Foundation

David and Lucile Packard's Foundation provides hundreds of millions of dollars annually to nonprofit organizations in areas of conservation; population; science; children, families, and communities; arts; and effectiveness and philanthropy of organizations. Mr. Schlosberg, President of the Foundation since 1999, will describe its program.

Mr. Schlosberg brings an extremely accomplished background to his position, and to our podium: He was appointed Publisher/CEO of the Denver Post in 1983, and was later advanced to Executive Vice President of Times Mirror and Publisher/CEO of the Los Angeles Times. Eventually, as a Director, he became responsible for six of the company's newspapers with $2B revenue.

Under his leadership, the Los Angeles Times earned the Pulitzer prize for its coverage of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, among many journalistic honors received, and produced nine Pulitzer finalists. His Denver Post, in 1985, won the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for its treatment of missing children.

His public services include leadership with the National Air and Space Museum and Pomona College, and have earlier involved Public Television, United Way, Junior Achievement, and Salvation Army.

Mr. Schlosberg was an Air Force pilot, and is a veteran of Vietnam. He graduated from the US Air Force Academy and earned an MBA at Harvard.


February 21, 2001
Speaker: Richard F. Staar
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: Russian Foreign Policy

[Richard F. Staar]

Richard F. Staar is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. He served as U.S. ambassador to the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) negotiations from 1981 to 1983 in Vienna, Austria. His areas of specialization include the Federation of Russia and East-Central Europe, military strategy, national security, arms control, and public diplomacy.

His current research in terests involve Russiaís armed forces, transition to democracy in Poland, and conventional arms reduction.

His most recent publications are The New Military in Russia: Ten Myths That Shape the Image (Naval Institute Press, 1996), and he edited Transition to Democracy in Poland (St. Martinís Press, revised edition 1998).

He is proficient in several languages and served as interpreter for Alexander Solzhenitsyn when the Nobel laureate visited the Hoover Institution on two occasions.

He has lectured in eighteen foreign countries and achieved the rank of colonel (06) in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He was awarded the presidential Legion of Merit in 1983.

He received an A.B. degree with Phi Beta Kappa distinction from Dickinson College, an A.M. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan. Dickinson awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1998.


January 17, 2001
Speaker: DAVID R. MORSE, Chief of Communication - NASA/Ames Research Center
Intro by: Leland Means

Ames' Roles in NASA's Past and Future

Ames' aeronautical research accomplishments since 1939; Ames' extension into space exploration and research in recent decades; and its major programs of the present and future will be reviewed by Mr. Morse. Current programs are fascinating and broad: Life's origin, evolution and destiny in the universe is a major theme. Another is aviation system capacity and safety. Yet another is in "Information Technology" -- especially in applying computers in decision-making processes.

David Morse joined Ames' staff in 1986 after serving six years managing contracted research in remote sensing and ecosystems ain recent decades; and its major programs of the present and future will be reviewed by Mr. Morse. Current programs are fascinating and broad: Life's origin, evolution and destiny in the universe is a major theme. Another is aviation system capacity and safety. Yet another is in "Information Technology" -- especially in applying computers in decision-making processes.

David Morse joined Ames' staff in 1986 after serving six years managing contracted research in remote sensing and ecosystems at the lab. He has since served as assistant to the Director of Ames and has led in a variety of major public affairs programs, including the record-breaking open-house at Ames in 1997 which hosted a quarter million visitors. He served as Public Affairs Officer for two of Ames well-known space projects, and has represented Ames in regional economic planning. He is responsible for communications

This page last updated: Tuesday, October 02, 2001.