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Herbert York, national security leader and former UCSD chancellor, honored with Clark Kerr leadership award

Marie Felde, Media Relations

Berkeley - Herbert F. York, a leader in national security issues and UC San Diego's first chancellor, will be awarded this year's Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education at a dinner tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 27) at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Clark Kerr Award is the highest honor bestowed by UC Berkeley's Academic Senate. It was established in 1968 to honor individuals who have made an extraordinary contribution to the advancement of higher education.

York, known for his commitment to social responsibility in the advancement of science and public policy, was recruited as UC San Diego's first chancellor. He held that post from 1961-64 and again led the campus as acting chancellor from 1970-72. He was awarded the Atomic Energy Commission's Ernest O. Lawrence Memorial Award in 1962 and is the founder of the University of California's Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.

York, a professor emeritus of physics at UC San Diego, is currently serving as founding chair of the UC San Diego Diversity Council and is a member of the UC President's Council on Nuclear Laboratories.

"Herb York was a genius in helping to create the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at moving (UC) San Diego ... to an all-around research university of the first rank," said Clark Kerr, former UC president and UC Berkeley professor emeritus of business administration, who will preside over the awards ceremony with UC President Richard Atkinson and UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl.

York came to UC Berkeley in 1943, at the age of 21, to serve as a scientist on the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb. Six years later, he earned a doctorate in physics from UC Berkeley. In 1953, he became the first director of the UC-managed Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

During the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, he served in a variety of positions in Washington, D.C., including advisor on arms and disarmament to six U.S. presidents. From 1979-1981, he was ambassador and chief negotiator for the comprehensive test ban negotiations under President Jimmy Carter.


Presentation of the award will be at 7:15 p.m. in the Faculty Club at UC Berkeley.