Nation's Largest Nuclear Security Funders Hire Erika Gregory to Lead New Initiative

August 21, 2014

San Francisco ­ Five of the nation¹s largest funders of nuclear security and non-proliferation have hired Erika Gregory to lead a new, collaborative initiative aimed at bringing innovation into the 70 year old nuclear field. The funder collaborative, comprised of Carnegie Corporation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ploughshares Fund and Skoll Global Threats Fund, aim to drive more attention to their common goal of increasing nuclear security and decreasing risks from nuclear weapons.

"Beliefs and policies around nuclear weapons are still shaped by the Cold War context," said Philip Yun, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Ploughshares Fund. "Ploughshares Fund is pleased to host this initiative in our San Francisco office and we anticipate that Erika will be able to bring in 21st century approaches and partnerships with innovative players in technology, social media and the arts."

For the past 9 years, Gregory has served as the CEO and President of San Francisco based consulting firm Collective Invention, leading social innovation efforts in education, community and economic development, and sustainability. In addition to her work at Collective Invention, Gregory has been instrumental in the development of tools and methodologies that support social innovation. She has coached boards and leadership teams across Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States, focusing on the role of leadership in fostering innovation culture. Erika has designed and managed projects for senior leaders and their direct reports in government ministries, industry consortia and Fortune 100 clients.

"There are concrete steps that we can take now to improve nuclear security, making the whole world safer. What could possibly be more important?" said Gregory, who will continue as Chair of the Collective Invention Board. "I am thrilled to bring the tools and methods of social innovation to this profoundly important mission, and I¹m honored to have the support of such an extraordinary consortium as I do."

The new partnership is designed to bring positive disruption to the arena of nuclear security, increasing the effectiveness of the community¹s ability to address these threats and bringing new energy to existing efforts. The collaborative includes expertise and contributions from five foundations who share a strong interest in increasing the effectiveness of current efforts in the nuclear arms control and nonproliferation field. 

Over a two-year pilot phase, the nuclear innovation collaborative will invest $2 million in grant making and direct activities to introduce innovation into the nuclear security arena. This initiative does not take significant funds away from current investments nor does it alter the priorities of each foundation¹s individual nuclear grantmaking strategy.

Gregory will be housed at Ploughshares Fund in San Francisco, CA.


About Carnegie Corporation of New York

Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's agenda focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.

About the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, and philanthropy, as well as grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. A full list of the Hewlett Foundation's grants can be found in its online grants database.

About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. 

About Ploughshares Fund

Ploughshares Fund organizes, funds and innovates projects to ensure that a nuclear weapon can never be used again.  For more information, please visit

About the Skoll Global Threats Fund

The Skoll Global Threats Fund confronts global threats imperiling humanity by seeking solutions, strengthening alliances, and spurring actions needed to safeguard the future. Skoll Global Threats Fund is headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, please see