THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON NAMES BILL RICHARDSON TO SERVE AS U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TO THE FORTY-SECOND SESSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY GENERAL CONFERENCE
The President today announced his intent to nominate Bill Richardson as U.S. Representative for the Forty-Second Session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference.
Secretary Bill Richardson, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is currently the Secretary of Energy. Previously, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Secretary Richardson has worked to free hostages and prisoners from Croatia, Burma, Cuba, Iraq, North Korea and Sudan, and negotiated the peaceful transfer of power in the former Zaire, now the Domocratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to his work at the United Nations, Secretary Richardson served New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District for eight terms. As a member of the U.S. Congress, he held one of the highest ranking posts in the House Democratic Leadership serving as Chief Deputy Whip. As a senior member of the Commerce Committee, he took a leadership role in the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. Secretary Richardson also was a member of the Natural Resources Committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Helsinki Commission on Human Rights, and chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Secretary Richardson received a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.A. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. In addition, he has received a number of honorary degrees and has been presented with many honors and awards during his career, such as Mexico's highest honor given to non-citizens, the Aztec Golden Eagle award.
As U.S. Representative for the Forty-Second Session of the IAEA General Conference, Secretary Richardson will approve the IAEA 1999-2000 program and budget. The IAEA will consider a full range of items related to the IAEA safeguards, nuclear safety, and technical cooperation activities. The Secretary of Energy traditionally leads the U.S. delegation to the IAEA General Conference. The General Conference is a major international event, bringing together ministerial-level representatives from 120 countries. Some of the key issues which might be discussed at the General Conference include: transparent and irreversible United States-Russian nuclear materials protection, control, and accountability in the former Soviet Union, conversion of Russian plutonium production reactors, and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty.