Richard Lugar

CSIS Counselor

Dick Lugar left the U.S. Senate in January 2013 as the Senate’s most senior Republican and the longest-serving member of Congress in Indiana history. He was the Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member and former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. He was first elected to the Senate in 1976. Senator Lugar volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1957 and served as an intelligence briefer for Admiral Arleigh Burke, chief of naval operations. He served two terms as the mayor of Indianapolis, as well as three terms on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations—including two as vice chair—and served as president of the National League of Cities. Senator Lugar has been a leader in reducing the threat of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. In 1991, he forged a bipartisan partnership with then–Senate Armed Services chairman Sam Nunn to destroy weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. To date, the Nunn-Lugar program has deactivated more than 7,500 nuclear warheads. As chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Senator Lugar built bipartisan support for 1996 federal farm program reforms, ending 1930s-era federal production controls. He initiated a biofuels research program to help decrease U.S. dependency on foreign oil and led initiatives to streamline the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reform the food stamp program, and preserve the federal school lunch program. Senator Lugar also launched the Lugar Energy Initiative. Before entering public life, he helped manage the family’s food machinery manufacturing business in Indianapolis with his brother, and he continues to manage his family’s 604-acre Marion County corn, soybean, and tree farm. Senator Lugar has been recognized with numerous awards and honorary degrees. He attended Denison University and Pembroke College at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar, studying politics, philosophy, and economics.