Ploughshares Fund Welcomes New Board Members: Kennette Benedict, Samuel A. Heins, Jill Werner

May 4, 2012

Ploughshares Fund is pleased to welcome three new members to its board of directors: Dr. Kennette Benedict, Samuel A. Heins and Jill Werner. Benedict, Heins and Werner join a group of concerned former officials, philanthropists, academics and public figures including Michael Douglas, former Senator Chuck Hagel, Dr. Gloria Duffy, former Congressman and Admiral Joe Sestak (D- PA) and Dr. Reza Aslan who lead and advise Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, as the group works towards the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.

“Ploughshares Fund depends on the expertise and experience of our board to inform our strategies and direction,” said Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund. “We are excited to have the business savvy, legal expertise and deep knowledge of philanthropy, nuclear policy and human rights that Sam Heins, Dr. Kennette Benedict and Jill Werner will bring to our work.”

“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome three such talented and experienced individuals to our board of directors,” said Philip Yun, the group’s Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. “Their passion and expertise in law, business and philanthropy will complement the already strong skills and experiences of Ploughshares Fund board members.”

About Benedict
A distinguished scholar and philanthropist, Dr. Kennette Benedict is the Executive Director and Publisher of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, an award winning magazine established in 1945 by scientists, engineers and other experts who had created the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. Previously, Benedict was Director of International Peace and Security at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where she also served as Senior Advisor to the President, and managed grantmaking on issues of international peace and security, as well as a program in Russia. Dr. Benedict also taught organizational decision making and women’s leadership in politics at Rutgers University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Benedict has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College and the Compton Foundation, and currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Stanley Foundation. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute of Strategic Studies. She received her A.B. from Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University.

About Heins
Samuel D. Heins is a lawyer and human rights advocate. In 1982, he founded, organized and served as the first Board Chair for the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, an organization that provides legal monitoring and aid on rights issues including education, women’s rights, immigration and refugee issues, and the death penalty. In 1985, he co-founded the Center for Victims of Torture to provide health services, research and advocacy for victims of torture, where he continues to serve as a board member. He was recognized for his ongoing human rights efforts in 1987 with the Minnesota Governor’s Honor Award for International Human Rights Activities and in 2008 with the Advocates’ Don and Arvonne Fraser Human Rights Award. In 2011, he also served as a Private Citizen Member of the U.S. Mission to the U.N. Human Rights Council. In addition, Heins is a senior partner at the firm of Heins Mills & Olson, where he has served as lead counsel in various securities fraud and antitrust actions securing awards totaling in excess of $3 billion. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Endowment Campaign of the University of Minnesota Law School as well as on the board of the ACLU of Minnesota. Heins earned a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Minnesota, and was awarded the school’s Regent’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010. 

“Ploughshares Fund has assembled such depth of knowledge and smart, practical responses for the profound issues it confronts,” said Heins, “that it is a great honor and opportunity to have the privilege of Board membership.”

About Werner
Jill Werner is Co-President and CEO of Federated Linen and Uniform Services, a family-owned business with over 900 employees nationwide. Werner has been actively involved in philanthropy through the Werner Family Foundation, where she serves as Vice President, and serves as a board member at the Los Angeles Parks Foundation, the Clare Foundation and Vassar College. Additionally, Werner was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa to serve on the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners. She was appointed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the California Economic Strategic Panel. She received her B.A. in Economics from Vassar College and her MBA from Columbia University.

"I am honored to have been asked to serve on the Board of the Ploughshares Fund,” said Werner. “I look forward to working with the other members of this extraordinary organization towards the goal of the elimination of nuclear weaponry."

About Ploughshares Fund
Since 1981, Ploughshares Fund has led and supported a community of experts, advocates and analysts to implement smart strategies to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. In 2010, Ploughshares Fund spearheaded the successful campaign of over 50 non-governmental organizations to win the Senate approval of the New START treaty. The group is currently concentrating on efforts to right-size the nuclear weapons budget to be more consistent with the needs of our 21st Century military; to continue U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons reductions in a way that benefits both nations’ national security objectives; and to promote diplomatic resolution of Iran’s nuclear program.