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Richard A. Meserve is senior of counsel in the Washington, DC, office of Covington & Burling LLP, president emeritus of the Carnegie Institution for Science, and former chair of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Early in his career, after obtaining a PhD in applied physics from Stanford and a JD from Harvard Law School, he served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun and as legal counsel to the president’s science advisor. He has served on and chaired numerous legal and scientific committees, including many convened by the National Academies. Among other activities, he is the former president of the board of overseers of Harvard University and chair of the International Nuclear Safety Group (chartered by the International Atomic Energy Agency). He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves on its council. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (and member of its council and trust), a fellow the American Physical Society, and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.