About Us


Our Purpose

Ploughshares Fund exists because we and our supporters fundamentally believe people everywhere have the right to a safe and secure future free from the threat of nuclear weapons. It is the only fund singularly focused on reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.

The Ploughshares Fund Story

Started in 1981, Ploughshares Fund has had a significant impact on the reduction of nuclear weapons. The below video illustrates our history.


What We Do

For over four decades, Ploughshares Fund has supported the most effective advocates and organizations in the world to reduce and eventually eliminate the danger posed by nuclear weapons.

Ploughshares Fund has a unique, time-tested approach to grantmaking. It has been crafted and refined over the last four decades and we believe Ploughshares Fund has been the most effective organization dedicated to the eventual eradication of nuclear weapons.

We act as the hub of a diverse set of thought leaders, innovators, and campaigners. Through our grant-making, we facilitate advocacy efforts to maximize the collective impact of our grantees’ work to avert and eventually eliminate nuclear threats. Our team brings widespread attention to the nuclear threat, while also providing seed funding and support to explore strategies by our well-vetted grantees, allowing innovative ideas and initiatives to take root, grow, and thrive.

While our grantees and partners have made significant progress in reducing risk and nuclear stockpiles over the last four decades, the threat of nuclear war remains very real. The clearest example being Russia’s unprompted war against Ukraine and frightening threats and ability of Russian President Vladmir Putin to use nuclear weapons.


  • There are over 13,000 nuclear weapons in existence that are publicly acknowledged. Over 90 percent are in the United States and Russia, with the remainder in China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
  • Russia controls over 6,000 nuclear weapons and Vladmir Putin and his agents have issued thinly veiled threats regarding the use of so-called tactical nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine. The least horrific of these weapons is more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
  • Talks to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons have stalled, and Iran is now closer than ever before to having the capability to make a bomb if it chooses to do so.
  • North Korea continues its nuclear weapons efforts, including recent tests of ballistic missiles potentially capable of reaching Europe and the United States mainland.
  • Under the banner of “deterrence” and against the backdrop of other pressing domestic needs, the United States continues to modernize and develop new nuclear weapons, increasing its nuclear weapons budget year over year — over $1 trillion over the next three decades.


Ploughshares Fund has:

  • Funded American and Soviet scientists who first demonstrated the feasibility of verifying a treaty banning nuclear weapon tests.
  • Stopped the development of controversial and unnecessary nuclear weapons technologies like the 'bunker buster' in the post-9/11 era.
  • Brought together 30 organizations in a campaign to win ratification of the 2010 New START Treaty, reducing US–and Russian–deployed strategic weapons.
  • Supported crucial diplomatic efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, including the historic 1996 treaty to ban all nuclear tests.
  • Helped secure the 2015 Iran Deal, which presented an opportunity for us and our grantees to work towards long-term stability and conflict resolution in the Middle East.


Ploughshares Fund is led by Board Chair Terry Gamble Boyer, President Dr. Emma Belcher, and Managing Director & Chief Development Officer Elizabeth Warner. A core tenet of Ploughshares Fund is encouraging a more diverse group of people into the nuclear field with differing backgrounds, identities, and perspectives because diversity is an essential component for challenging assumptions and status quo thinking at a critical time for our world’s safety and security.

Together, we make a difference 

Only together can we rid the planet of nuclear threats. We can’t do it alone. Our supporters have been indispensable partners over the past 40 years. And as a public foundation, we’re accountable for every dollar spent in this effort. So please join us in making sure we are all safe from nuclear weapons today, tomorrow and for generations to come.