All Good Things

Joe Cirincione on his retirement from Ploughshares Fund


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In a special episode of Press The Button, we announce the planned retirement of Ploughshares Fund president Joe Cirincione. 

“I'm going to step down as the president of Ploughshares Fund effective July 1st,” Cirincione told co-host Michelle Dover. “It's been a great thirteen years here at the helm of Ploughshares. The places I've gone, the things I've seen, the people we've helped.” 

“But all good things have to come to an end. And this has been one of the best things in my life.” 

Joe Cirincione became only the second president of Ploughshares Fund following the passing of its founding president, Sally Lilienthal. Cirincione's career spans over four decades as a foreign policy analyst, national security staffer in Congress, and a frequent expert commentator in print and on air. Prior to his tenure as president of Ploughshares Fund, Cirincione served as director of nuclear policy programs at the Stimson Center, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and as vice president for national security at the Center for American Progress. 

“I came in at a particular moment in the organization's history,” said Cirincione. Mapping out the “new struggles and new challenges ahead,” he argued that it is important for those in leadership positions to periodically create space for fresh faces and perspectives.  

“It is tough to climb all the way up from the base,” Cirincione explained. “It gets tight in these top positions. And I feel that we have a responsibility to move over and make room for new generations.” 

“We’re at another special moment in policy right now,” he said. The failures of the Trump administration have left a policy vacuum on nuclear issues that Congress and the presidential campaigns are competing to fill. Simultaneously, the emergence of the new mass movements and increasing budget pressures mean that nuclear weapons reform is becoming a political and financial necessity. 

Seizing this new moment is an ambitious undertaking, explained Cirincione. But Ploughshares Fund is responding to all of these developments. “I am planning to run through the tape here,” said Cirincione. “I’m not going to be sitting back watching spring training and eating caramel corn.” 

“I want to leave my successor in the best possible shape to complete our mission.” 

Listen to the rest of the interview here.

About Press the Button: in addition to "The Interview" in which Joe Cirincione sits down with prominent thinkers, legislators, activists, and grantees working on nuclear weapons issues for a short, illuminating conversation, episodes have two other segments: "Early Warning" — a round-up of the most pressing nuclear news in 7 minutes, roughly the same amount of time the US president has to authorize a nuclear weapons launch in the event of an incoming attack on the United States; and the "Q&A"   — a segment where Joe answers questions submitted by our listeners. 



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