America lost one of its most formidable national security practitioners and most inspiring patriots Friday evening with the untimely passing of Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, PhD. In the course of a career spanning nearly forty years, Dr. Pry served with distinction first in the executive branch of the federal government as a Verification Analyst in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1984-1985) and as an Intelligence Officer in the Central Intelligence Agency specializing in Soviet nuclear forces and doctrine (1985-1995).
Subsequently, Peter Pry was a Professional Staff Member on the House Armed Services Committee from 1995-2001. In that capacity, he played a decisive role in enacting legislation in 2001 establishing the blue-ribbon Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP). He went on to serve as the Commission’s Staff Director, under its formidable Chairman, Dr. William Graham.
With Dr. Pry’s tireless help, the EMP Threat Commission produced multiple reports, briefings and congressional testimonies that constitute the most authoritative and comprehensive analyses of the grave vulnerabilities associated with our most critical of critical infrastructures – America’s electric grid. It was Dr. Pry’s life’s work to have the Commission’s recommendations concerning steps necessary to “harden” the grid fully implemented.
Peter Vincent Pry was also a staff member of two other congressionally mandated commissions: the Commission on the New Strategic Posture of the United States (2006-2008) and the Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States (2008-2009).
At the time of his passing, Dr. Pry was the Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board dedicated to achieving protection of the United States from electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber-attack, mass destruction terrorism and other threats to civilian critical infrastructures on an accelerated basis. In addition, Dr. Pry was the Director of the United States Nuclear Strategy Forum, another advisory panel to the Congress, which is focused on developing policies to counter weapons of mass destruction. He was also a Senior Fellow of the Center for Security Policy.
As part of his tireless advocacy for protecting the electric grid, Dr. Pry authored nine books (including The Long Sunday and Blackout Wars) and countless essays and op.eds. He also gave innumerable TV and radio interviews and appeared in a number of documentary films, including a newly released one narrated by Dennis Quaid entitled “Grid Down, Power Up.”
Peter Vincent Pry was a founding member of and inspiration for the Center for Security Policy’s Secure the Grid Coalition. Like him, the Coalition is dedicated to task of protecting every American by ensuring that what is formally known as the “bulk power distribution system” upon which virtually all of us are critically dependent is finally made resilient to all hazards, including EMP, as well as reliable.
Dr. Pry has been properly described as truly a national treasure. He will be sorely missed by all those who love freedom and dedicate their lives, as he did so nobly and effectively, to securing it.
Peter Vincent Pry is survived by his wife, Ruth, and son, Frank.
To learn more about the important work of Dr. Pry to secure the grid, visit griddownpowerup.com.