- - Friday, November 4, 2011

Robin Copeland, a former Energy Department official who took part in several significant disarmament programs, died suddenly Sunday. She was 46.

Ms. Copeland worked at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for the Energy Department and U.S. Agency for International Development from 1995 to 1999 and from 2004 to 2006, respectively. An energy specialist, she worked on several programs that helped stem the spread of deadly arms from the former Soviet Union, a family member said.

She wrote a major study for the U.S. government’s efforts to prevent weapons, technology and scientists related to Russia’s 12 closed nuclear cities from proliferating outside the country, and she worked helping Russia on chemical weapons destruction.

One family friend who asked not to be identified said Ms. Copeland was a dedicated professional and that “history will judge later her big contribution to the cause of peace.”

During the George W. Bush administration, Ms. Copeland developed and implemented the U.S. program to bring Russian doctors to train with U.S. doctors in Africa involved with HIV/AIDS treatment and care.

She also took part in contractor efforts to monitor Libya’s nuclear and missile programs after Tripoli gave up its weapons-of-mass-destruction programs after 2003.

Ms. Copeland was born April 25, 1965, in Daytona Beach, Fla., and grew up in Darien, Conn. She graduated from Southern Methodist University, attended the John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley, Calif., and St. Andrews University in Scotland.

She also held numerous private-sector positions in the oil and gas industry as well as being a specialist on nuclear energy and on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

She is survived by her brother, Bill Copeland; mother, Jane Fitzpatrick; and father, Jack Copeland.

A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Friday at the Mount Vernon Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6219 Villa St., Alexandria.

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