(SEPTEMBER 7—WASHINGTON) It is with profound sadness that the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation (CACNP), and its sister organization Council for a Livable World (CLW), release a statement on the passing of beloved friend and Center Board Secretary Philip E. Coyle. Mr. Coyle died peacefully September 2.
Mr. Coyle, a Senior Science Fellow at the Center, was a renowned expert on U.S. and worldwide military research, development and testing, national security policy and defense spending. Recently, his work focused heavily on analysis of ground-based midcourse defense.
Center Board Chair Edward Levine said the following:
“There are brilliant people who make sure that you recognize their brilliance. Much rarer are the brilliant people who measure their worth not in recognition, but in their ability to improve the work of others. Phil Coyle was one of those rarer individuals. He was as happy working with our interns and junior staff as he was with Members of Congress or top Pentagon officials. He brought to any problem his scientific background and his deep bureaucratic expertise. But he also brought to bear a desire to make others succeed and a sense that quiet reasoning was more powerful than screaming outrage. Phil will not be replaced. But his example will remain as a model for the rest of us to emulate: how to take strong, principled positions without also making enemies.”
Executive Director and former nine-term Congressman John Tierney said the following:
“During my time in Congress when Phil was often called upon as an expert witness on the subject of testing and evaluation of defense programs, including missile defense, to these last six years as CLW and CACNP Executive Director when Phil served as Secretary of the Board and Senior Science Fellow, there has not been a more honest, sincere, and kind person to work with. He was a terrific colleague, friend and mentor to me, and to others, who was always willing to share his time and expertise as well as his very informed opinions. His much loved and admired wife, Martha Krebs, has the sincere appreciation for sharing Phil’s time and attention with us, and our sincere condolences for her profound loss.”
Through his affiliation with the Center, Mr. Coyle authored and co-authored myriad op-eds, and was quoted in a variety of outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The National Interest, POLITICO, Defense One and The Hill. He also co-authored a book, The Challenges of Nuclear Non-Proliferation, which was released in 2015.
After Mr. Coyle left the Clinton administration in 2001, where he served as Assistant Secretary of Defense and Director, Operational Test and Evaluation in the Department of Defense, he first joined the Center’s Board of Directors. He returned to the Center’s board after serving in the Obama administration as Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, and served as the Board Secretary until his passing.
His loss will be felt by many both professionally and personally.