Charles Curtis Stepping Down as NTI President, Will Remain Advisor and Board Member; Joan Rohlfing Named New President

Charles Curtis Stepping Down as NTI President, Will Remain Advisor and Board Member; Joan Rohlfing Named New President

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Charles B. Curtis will be stepping down as President and Chief Operating Officer of Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) effective December 31, 2009. The NTI Board of Directors has named Joan Rohlfing, NTI’s Senior Vice President, to replace him. Curtis, who has been President of NTI since its founding in January 2001, will remain an advisor to NTI and a member of its Board of Directors.  

“Charlie has provided extraordinary leadership as the first and only President of NTI,” said NTI Co-Chairman Sam Nunn. “He has been at the center of every accomplishment – large and small – from NTI’s inception. He has brought wisdom, judgment, leadership, and vision to our work. Throughout his distinguished career, he has helped make the world a safer place.”  

Rohlfing has served as NTI’s Senior Vice President since its founding in 2001. Previously, Rohlfing and Curtis joined Senator Nunn in leading a scoping study in 2000 to determine whether a private, non-profit organization could play an effective role in reducing the dangers from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.  

“NTI has had tremendous success in its nine years, and Joan has worked closely with me, Charlie and our Board to oversee and implement many of our concrete achievements, including our direct action projects and our efforts to inform leaders and the public about the global threats we face,” said Senator Nunn. “I am delighted that she will help lead NTI during this critical time for our nation and the world.”  

In addition to serving as Senior Vice President, Rohlfing is Director of NTI’s Nuclear Security Project, which coordinates the work of George Shultz, Bill Perry, Henry Kissinger and Sam Nunn in their efforts to reverse reliance on nuclear weapons globally as a vital contribution to preventing their proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.  

Before joining NTI, Rohlfing served in a number of senior positions with the U.S. Department of Energy, including Senior Advisor for National Security to the Secretary of Energy and Director of the Office of Nonproliferation and National Security. She took a nine-month assignment in New Delhi, India, in the wake of nuclear tests in South Asia, to advise the U.S. Ambassador on nuclear security issues. Ms. Rohlfing also has served on the staff of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee and at the U.S. Department of Defense.  

Curtis will continue to advise NTI on several key nuclear issues, including fuel assurances and the security of nuclear materials around the globe. Before joining NTI, Curtis served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the United Nations Foundation and was a partner in Hogan & Hartson, a Washington based law firm. He served as Under Secretary and, later, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy from February 1994 to May 1997. He also served as Acting Secretary of the Department. He was Chief Operating Officer of the Department and, among other duties, had direct programmatic responsibility for all of the Department's energy, science, technology and national security programs. Curtis served as Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 1977 to 1981 and has held positions on the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.  

“Charlie is an outstanding leader and friend, and I will always be grateful for his effective leadership and his wise counsel,” said NTI Co-Chairman Ted Turner. “Charlie and Joan have been a terrific team, and I am delighted we will have the benefit of their guidance in the years ahead.”  

NTI is a charitable organization working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. NTI is governed by an international Board of Directors with members from 10 countries and is co-chaired by philanthropist Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn.

For more information, please visit


Stay Informed

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest on nuclear and biological threats.

Sign Up


My Resources