The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and to work to build the trust, transparency, and security that are preconditions to the ultimate fulfillment of the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s goals and ambitions.
The danger posed by nuclear and biological weapons looms as potentially the most consequential issue facing our nation and the world. For this reason, it has been, and continues to be, NTI’s focus. The threat of nuclear terrorism, fueled by the spread of nuclear materials, know-how and weapons, has brought us to a nuclear tipping point. Meanwhile, the biological threat, in many ways, is more precarious and complex, as it is inextricably tied to the vast, positive opportunities in biotechnology.
We all face the very real possibility of the world’s most deadly weapons falling into dangerous hands.
As an independent yet trusted partner, NTI has been able to push the envelope of traditional thinking within global bureaucracies and expert communities and stimulate new ways to address threats from weapons of mass destruction.
One of NTI’s hallmarks is our operating model. Recognizing that governments have most of the resources and authority in the large-scale work of threat reduction, NTI emphasizes leverage. It’s not just what NTI can do throughout the world. It’s what we can persuade others to do. We use our voice to raise awareness and advocate solutions; undertake direct action projects that demonstrate new ways to reduce threats; and foster new thinking about these problems.
Examples of this model include our:
- Creation of the now-independent World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), to promote best practices for nuclear materials security globally.
- Creation of a Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance, building unprecedented cooperation for biosecurity and health among the Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian public health authorities.
- Participation in securing weapons-usable materials at the Vinca Reactor in Belgrade, which led to the creation of the U.S. Government’s program to convert similar reactors around the globe.
- Support for Kazakhstan to secure and dispose of its legacy stockpile of highly enriched uranium.
- Establishment of an IAEA-administered international nuclear fuel bank, to create options for countries seeking the peaceful use of nuclear energy without creating proliferation threats.
In addition, NTI has a reputation for developing communications initiatives that reach and persuade a range of audiences: from officials around the globe to ordinary Americans concerned about the future safety and security of their children. These initiatives include producing two films, Nuclear Tipping Point and Last Best Chance.
Founders Ted Turner and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn serve as co-chairs of the board of directors, which includes members from China, India, Japan, Jordan, Pakistan, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Board members include a former U.S. secretary of defense, members of the legislative bodies of the United Kingdom and the United States, a member of the Jordanian royal family, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, a world-renowned nuclear physicist, the former commander of U.S. strategic nuclear forces, and other international security experts.
The organization’s activities are directed by Nunn and President Joan Rohlfing and informed by the advisors to the board of directors, who are leading figures in science, business, and international security.
Over the past ten years, NTI has received funding from individual American philanthropists, including Warren Buffett, Fred Iseman, Peter G. Peterson, George Russell, and Ted Turner. We have also received significant support from foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, the Skoll Global Threats Fund and the Google Foundation.
NTI is a tax-exempt public charity, under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Watch a seven-minute video that highlights NTI’s work in its first 10 years.
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A non-governmental initiative to facilitate global cooperation and capacity among public health experts and communities, to enhance health security