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Gloria Duffy
Gloria Duffy is President and CEO of The Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s largest and oldest public affairs forum. She served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and Special Coordinator for Cooperative Threat Reduction during the first term of the Clinton Administration, negotiating the denuclearization and dismantlement of weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet countries of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. She holds Ph.D., M. Phil. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University and an A.B. magna cum laude from Occidental College.

Dr. Duffy has founded and headed two international affairs organizations, Global Outlook and the World Forum of Silicon Valley, and has served in positions at the Rand Corporation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ploughshares Fund, the Arms Control Association, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Stanford University. She is the author/editor of two books, International Arms Control Issues and Agreements (Stanford University Press, 1983) and Compliance and the Future of Arms Control (Ballinger, 1987).

Dr. Duffy has served on or chaired the boards of two-dozen national and community organizations, including: the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation, She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Dominican University of California, the Board of Trustees of Occidental College, the International Advisory Board of the Freeman-Spogli Institute of International Studies at Stanford University and the Board of Directors of Ploughshares Fund.

Dr. Duffy is the recipient of awards including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Entries by Gloria Duffy

The Tesla Way

(3) Comments | Posted January 13, 2016 | 8:00 PM

My husband Rod and I are electric car aficionados, for all the obvious environmental reasons. Rod had his first custom electric car built in the early 1990s. It was a Porsche 914 with the gas engine and components removed and replaced with golf cart batteries. A gas car conversion like...

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Water Wars: From the Top of the Watershed

(3) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 6:05 PM

California continues to struggle with the drought, and the state has placed emergency restrictions on water use. In June, the State Water Resources Control Board rescinded the permits of some of California's water rights holders to divert water from springs and streams in watersheds all over the state. This includes...

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Giving Asylum to the Chronically Mentally Ill?

(3) Comments | Posted May 29, 2015 | 11:25 AM

A couple of miles from our home in Santa Clara, the sprawling campus of the former Agnews mental institution now houses Oracle Corporation and the upscale Rivermark Village housing and retail development. Agnews, which opened in 1885 as an "insane asylum," was less prejudicially known as a "center for the...

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The Defenders Lodge

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 9:22 AM

Stories of successful human endeavors are always welcome around the holidays. One of the best stories I've encountered in the year past is the saga of the Defenders Lodge.

The veterans hospital in Palo Alto is the regional center in our area where veterans receive medical treatment. The...

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Colleges in the Real World

(2) Comments | Posted May 30, 2013 | 1:49 PM

On college campuses across the United States, controversies are brewing about sexual assault and harassment. At Amherst, the University of North Carolina, and most recently at Swarthmore and my alma mater Occidental College, students and former students are alleging that college administrators are not proactive enough in discouraging, investigating or...

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My Life With Guns

(57) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 6:52 PM

In the 1960s, our family bought a cattle ranch in a remote area of Oregon. The ranch manager and other locals had guns, so pretty soon my father started buying guns, and then he introduced my 10-year-old brother to them.

The function of guns on our ranch was dubious....

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Logic, Guns and Mental Illness

(455) Comments | Posted February 1, 2011 | 11:11 PM

Earlier this week, The Commonwealth Club held a town hall meeting on the shootings in Tucson, and the lessons to be learned for public policy. To a person, participants thought the issues that emerge from Tucson have to do with mental illness and guns, not with the tone of U....

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Eyes on the Real Prize

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2009 | 2:43 PM

It certainly was an "October surprise" when the Norwegian Nobel committee awarded President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. The immediate reaction was to wonder what this would mean - for the President's agenda at home and abroad, and for the American people.

The US is entering a season of key...

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Ethical Explosion Over Scotland

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2009 | 8:12 PM

The dilemma underlying many ethically challenging issues is selecting the better of two competing moral goods -- or opting for the least bad between two negative choices. Scotland's release of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, convicted of killing 270 people in 1988 by placing a bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103, was...

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Rethinking the Value of Work

(3) Comments | Posted September 22, 2009 | 8:00 PM

A few years ago, just as the dot-com recession was beginning to ease, I gave one of my least well-received commencement speeches. It was to graduates of the College of Marin.

My message to these community college graduates was to take a lesson from the previous few years, during which...

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Bad News Bears - Economic Fear-Mongering by the Media

(65) Comments | Posted April 3, 2009 | 3:27 PM

The U.S. economy is still suffering, and some serious strategic and structural changes are needed in business and government to address the underlying causes of the crisis.

But in the spirit of FDR's comment about fearing fear itself, I believe the U.S. media is making this crisis far worse than...

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Is Leon Panetta the Right Choice for CIA Director?

(2) Comments | Posted January 9, 2009 | 4:01 PM

I believe Leon Panetta is an inspired choice. Why? What the intelligence community needs most at this time is a firm management hand and strong ethical guidance, and Mr. Panetta has both. Not only has he managed the Office of the President as Chief of Staff for President Clinton, but...

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