Grantee Spotlight: Laicie Heeley

Laicie Heeley is the creator of Things That Go Boom and Inkstick Media, two flagship programs in the nuclear security field

Ploughshares Fund is proud to sponsor the work of Laicie Heeley, a fellow at the Stimson Center’s Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense Program. Over the past year, Ploughshares Fund has supported Heeley in launching two flagship programs in the nuclear security field with the new podcast, Things That Go Boom, and blog, Inkstick Media.

Created through a partnership with Public Radio International, Things That Go Boom is a unique podcast in the current American moment. As the podcast’s description states, “One year ago, Donald J. Trump became the President of the United States. Since then, it seems like the world has exploded. North Korea, Russia, Charlottesville. The threats are all around.”

Heeley uses the platform to examine “the ins, outs, and whathaveyous of what keeps us safe,” in a unique and interesting way. With an extensive background in nuclear security, having previously worked at Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Heeley is able to engage the audience with a captivating narrative, despite the technical subject matter.

Public Radio International has been so pleased with the initial episodes and the public reception to them, that they have already renewed the show for a second season.

Meanwhile, Heeley’s new blog Inkstick, supports the content of the podcast with incisive and easy to understand analyses of current events in the national security field. This is made even more valuable in a shrinking “blogosphere” for nuclear issues, where this project has helped to fill the voids left by the dissolution of blogs such as Time’s Battleland and Wired’s DangerRoom.

Having Heeley at the helm of both projects also injects a rare but crucial female voice into what is otherwise a largely male-dominated collection of online resources and spoken-word content in this field. At a time when women’s voices are playing a crucial role in US politics, we have been proud to help give Heeley the tools needed to make a major impact in our field and bring these issues to the larger public as a whole.

You can listen to Things That Go Boom on Public Radio International’s website and iTunes and can read her coverage of all things national security related at We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Reducing, and eventually eliminating, nuclear threats will take time and dedication. But it can be done if the people rise up and demand it. Stay up to date on the latest nuclear weapons issues and analysis from Ploughshares Fund, and learn how you can help elevate peace and security worldwide.