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Setsuko Thurlow has been appointed by the Government of Japan as a special communicator for a world without nuclear weapons. She was born and raised in Hiroshima and experienced the atomic bombing at the age of 13. She remembers vividly the 6th of August 1945, the day the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and the hardships she and many survivors endured physically and mentally thereafter. Subsequent to the atomic bombing, she started attending a local Christian church in Hiroshima in the hope of finding meaning in her life. Professionally, she practiced social work in the USA and Canada.
As a survivor of the atomic bombing, she is strongly committed to tell the story of Hiroshima. Most survivors are getting old and many are passing away, leaving a smaller number of Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) to tell their stories. Ms. Thurlow feels it is imperative to tell the younger generations of that terrible day and its aftermath. This is one of the reasons why she joined a non-governmental organization called "Hibakusha Stories" which passes the legacy of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to a new generation, and empowers them with tools to build a world free of nuclear weapons. She is married with two sons and two granddaughters and currently lives in Canada. She has devoted over 40 years of her life to nuclear disarmament.
Photo Credit: Emilie McGlone, Peace Boat
Theresa Hitchens has been Director of UNIDIR since January 2009. Previously, she was director of the Center for Defense Information and led its Space Security Project, in cooperation with Secure World Foundation. The author of Future Security in Space: Charting a Cooperative Course, she has written on space and nuclear arms control issues for a number of journals and publications. She serves on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Theresa has had a long career in journalism, with a focus on military, defence industry and NATO affairs. She was Director of Research at the British American Security Information Council, a think tank based in Washington and London. Prior to that, she was with Defense News from 1988 to 2000, including five years as the newspaper's first Brussels bureau chief from 1989 to 1993, and as the Editor from 1998 to 2000. From 1983 to 1988, she worked at Inside Washington Publishers, covering issues from nuclear waste to electronic warfare and military space.