Senator Chuck Hagel joins Ploughshares Fund Board

March 27, 2009

Former U.S. Senator and champion of nuclear disarmament becomes newest Ploughshares Board member

Ploughshares Fund President Joseph Cirincione announced today that Senator Chuck Hagel has joined  the foundation’s Board of Directors. “Senator Hagel is revered by colleagues on both sides of the aisle and around the world,” said Cirincione.  “He has served his country in Vietnam, in the Senate, and now as a champion of global engagement and a new direction in American security policy.

In the last Congress, he co-authored with then-Senator Barack Obama the most comprehensive non-proliferation legislation in many years, a bill that formed the foundation of the Obama-Biden administration’s nuclear policy.  As Ploughshares Fund intensifies its efforts this year to build a bipartisan consensus for new nuclear policies, we are extraordinarily fortunate to have Senator Hagel’s leadership added to the board.”

Chuck Hagel was elected to the United States Senate in 1996 from the state of Nebraska, and served two terms until his retirement early this year.  A Republican, Senator Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations; Banking; Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence, and chaired numerous subcommittees addressing finance, international trade and climate change.

In his 2008 book, America: Our Next Chapter, Senator Hagel detailed his enlightened, common-sense proposals for a new American security policy.  He writes, “The world needs to establish a new global consensus on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation, one that is relevant to the realities and challenges of the 21st century rather than to the Cold War.  As the world's largest nuclear power the United States has a responsibility to lead in that effort.  There is no other way.”

In accepting the invitation to join Ploughshares Fund's board, Senator Hagel said, “Nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament represent challenges as great as anything else we will face in the 21st century.   We have a framework of opportunity over the next few years to propel these issues to the forefront of global concern and action.  By funding so much good work by so many dedicated groups and individuals, and bringing all of it together in such a cogent, lucid way, Ploughshares Fund is catalyzing the momentum, courage and leadership to make the most of this transformational moment.”  He added, “I am grateful for what Ploughshares Fund continues to do, speaking not only as a former member of the U.S. Senate, but as a father, as a citizen of this country and, most importantly, as a citizen of the world.”

Senator Hagel is currently a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and is Chairman of the Atlantic Council.

Ploughshares Fund is the largest grantmaking foundation in the United States focusing exclusively on security and peace issues.  As a public foundation, Ploughshares Fund is also a leader in advocating for a new direction in U.S. nuclear policy, with a newly-opened office in Washington, DC.  Since it was founded in 1982, Ploughshares Fund has made grants totaling more than $64 million to thousands of organizations and individuals around the world.