Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP associate Inna Pletukhina was recently honored with an European Women’s International Leadership Award 2023 for her work in the field of international nuclear law and nuclear security. The annual award celebrates the achievements of women who forge career paths in areas traditionally dominated by men and who inspire other women like them to raise their voices and develop their potential.

Created in 2019 and celebrated annually on International Women’s Day, the European Women’s International Leadership Awards are given out to eight women each year for their achievements in humanitarian work, political activism, business, law, journalism, and arts. This year among the eight laureates were Martine Moise, the former First Lady of Haiti and the widow of President Jovenel Moise; Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director of Friendship NGO in Bangladesh; and Nuray Erden, a former Turkish lawyer who makes art masterpieces accessible to the visually impaired. The ceremony is hosted by the Brussels EU Representation of the State of Hesse, and awards are presented by Members of the European Parliament.

“Hearing the amazing stories of these incredible women, my fellow laureates, is a lesson in courage,” said Pletukhina in her speech at the ceremony. Reflecting about her own work in the nuclear field, she added, “Many would ask me about my experience [in] nuclear security, as a woman; and the question always confused me, because I was not advancing the mission as a woman nor leading my team or engaging my partners as a woman. I prioritized what was at stake, because that transcended any individual characteristic or gender.”

Pletukhina is an associate on the Energy and Infrastructure team at the firm’s Washington, DC office. She brings to the firm extensive experience in the international nuclear sphere, including her most recent tenure at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). At the IAEA’s Office of Legal Affairs, Pletukhina executed the IAEA’s first International Conference on Nuclear Law: The Global Debate, aided in the publication of the IAEA’s first ever book on nuclear law, and facilitated six partnerships between the IAEA and academic institutions around the world to increase education and professional development opportunities in international and national nuclear law. Previously, Pletukhina served as a communications officer in the IAEA’s Division of Nuclear Security and wrote numerous articles on nuclear security. She collaborated with operators, regulators, and national governments’ stakeholders around the world on nuclear security while at the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. In 2021, Pletukhina was featured in “Women Leading the Way” by the International Journal of Nuclear Security.

Pletukhina regularly engages with students from various academic institutions around the world, sharing her experiences in the nuclear field and specifically her experience as a lawyer focused on nuclear. Most recently she participated in a panel discussion hosted by University of Calgary’s Energy Law Club, and she is invited to lecture at the World Nuclear Association’s World Nuclear University Summer Institute 2023.