Chain Reaction: A Bold Future

Chain Reaction: A Bold Future




The history of nuclear weapons is wrought with heedless warnings and failed safeguards. Norms against nuclear proliferation and use that have defined global security for decades are now at risk, and we face the most challenging and complex geopolitical environment since the founding of Ploughshares over 40 years ago.

Ploughshares is uniquely positioned to guide the nuclear field through these crises using the lessons learned from our decades of experience and applying strategies to uncover new, longer-lasting solutions to the world’s greatest problem. Together, through innovative thinking, we can envision a bold future in which nuclear weapons can never be used again.

A series of events so related that each one initiates the next is known as a chain reaction. Every year we gather leaders in our field, devoted partners, and new advocates to generate bold ideas and strategies to advance policies to reduce the threat of nuclear weapons. You—and every new ally you introduce to Ploughshares—represent critical innovators of change.

Monday, June 24, 2024

In-person at The Commonwealth Club World Affairs
110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco
5-8pm PT (Doors open at 4:45pm PT)
$150 per person

LIVE via Zoom
5-6:30pm PT / 7-8:30pm CT / 8-9:30pm ET


William (Bill) D. Hartung as emcee. Hartung is both a renowned expert in the nuclear field and a comedian in New York City and Washington, DC. He is a senior research fellow at The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military Industrial Complex, and a member of Ploughshares’ Field Building Advisory Committee.

Keynote interview with Annie Jacobsen, New York Times best-selling author of Nuclear War: A Scenario. Jacobsen has also written seven other books on sensitive national security issues. She was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize Finalist and writes for and produces TV shows such as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series. Legendary Entertainment LLC has optioned Nuclear War for a new project under the direction of Dune director Denis Villeneuve.

Timely conversation on nuclear weapons and the crisis in the Middle East with Barbara Slavin, distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center and a lecturer in international affairs at George Washington University. Slavin founded and directed the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and led a bi- partisan task force on Iran. The author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation, she is a regular commentator on US foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS and C- Span.

Preview of the award-winning documentary, First We Bombed New Mexico. Remarks by Lois Lipman, Director, and music by Paul Pino. The documentary tells the story of thousands of New Mexicans, primarily Hispanic and Native Americans, who were exposed to radioactive fallout without being warned. The documentary has been screened at film festivals nationwide and won over a dozen awards including The Best of Fest Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, The Activist Award at the Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival, and The Best New Mexico Documentary Feature at the Santa Fe International Film Festival.

Sally Lilienthal Sponsor – $20,000+
A Sally Lilienthal Sponsorship honors the legacy of our founder. A gift of $20,000 allows us to make grants that respond to urgent needs, such as those that deepen and expand relationships with communities impacted by the production, use, and testing of nuclear weapons. Includes entry for 12 guests at the main event and entry for two at the VIP reception in-person in San Francisco.

Advocate Level Sponsorship – $10,000
As an Advocate, you support activities to better understand and shift public perspectives about nuclear weapons. For example, $10,000 is the average cost to survey nuclear weapons issues, such as polling on current plans to modernize the US nuclear triad from now to 2032 for $756 billion. In addition, Advocates receive eight tickets to the main event and entry for two at the VIP reception in-person in San Francisco.

Activist Level Sponsorship – $5,000
An Activist Level sponsorship helps educate and support the next generation working to eliminate nuclear weapons. A gift of $5,000 covers the cost of two fellowships to develop new voices focused on the interconnection of nuclear weapons and other issues and training for talking to the public about the importance arms control. Includes entry for six guests at the main event and entry for two at the VIP reception in-person in San Francisco.

Analyst Level Sponsorship – $2,500
As an Analyst, you help to demonstrate the benefits of safer nuclear policies. For example, $2,500 covers the cost of one educational briefing for policymakers and their staff on critical topics like the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act or RECA. In addition, Analysts receive four tickets to the main event and entry for two at the VIP reception in-person in San Francisco.

President’s Ticket – $1,000
As the president of Ploughshares Fund, Dr. Emma Belcher is reinvigorating the nuclear weapons policy field with a bold vision for peace and security. Show support for her leadership with a President’s Ticket.

VIP Ticket – $250
VIPs are invited to join select Chain Reaction speakers, members of the Ploughshares Fund Board of Directors, and event sponsors for a special pre-program reception from 4-5pm PT and to stay for the program and post-program reception.

General Admission Ticket – $150
Includes entry for one for the program and post-program reception, as well as the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting “A Bold Future” that is less reliant on nuclear weapons for our collective safety and security.

Virtual Single Ticket – Free
Participation by Zoom is free! If you’re able, there is a suggested donation of $250 - please consider supporting Chain Reaction by making a gift.

Special thanks to our Chain Reaction Committee, the group of volunteers who make this event possible with their input and inspiration.

Chain Reaction Committee

Pamela Hamrick, Chair
Philip Ames
Tannaz Banisadre
Connie Foote
Don Mordecai
Stephen Sarewitz

Host Committee
Chairwoman's Circle
In celebration of the inspiring leadership of outgoing Board Chair Terry Gamble Boyer
Phil Ames
Emma Belcher
Kennette Benedict
Skyler Brown
Kate Ditzler 
John Feikema
Connie Foote
Stuart Gasner 
Samuel Heins
Gretchen Hund
Tabitha Jordan
Amy McGrath
Doug Michelman
Don Mordecai
Scott Sagan
Margaret Winslow 

Sally Lilienthal Sponsors
In memory of Mary Lloyd Estrin
Robert and Jennifer Waldron Civic Fund

James B. Blume and Kathryn W. Frank
John and Mary Feikema
Connie Foote
Gretchen Hund
Purple Lady Fund, Barbara J. Meislin
Margaret Winslow 

Kennette Benedict
William Donnelly
Angela and Jeremy Foster
Victoria Lilienthal and Thomas Dreyer 
Amy McGrath
Robert and Marcia Popper
Sujitpan Bao Lamsam and Scott Sagan
Roselyne Chroman Swig 

John Bowers and Linda Stevens
Skyler Brown
Mathea Falco
Stuart Gasner and Kate Ditzler 
Dorothie and Martin Hellman
Grace Hughes
Thomas C. Layton and Gyöngy Laky
The Oppenheimer Project

Speakers and Performers 

Dr. Emma Belcher is president of Ploughshares Fund. Previously she spent nearly a decade at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where she led the foundation’s Nuclear Challenges grantmaking program. Belcher has served as a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, an advisor in Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on national security and international affairs, and a public affairs officer at the Australian embassy in Washington, DC.

Terry Gamble Boyer is a writer and philanthropist. Along with her husband Peter, she cofounded the Caldera Foundation that concentrates on energy and the environment. Passionate about leaving a more just, secure, cleaner world for future generations, Terry is also the author of three novels: The Water Dancers, Good Family, and The Eulogist.

William D. Hartung is a Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He is the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex (Nation Books, 2011) and the co-editor, with Miriam Pemberton, of Lessons from Iraq: Avoiding the Next War (Paradigm Press, 2008). His previous books include And Weapons for All (HarperCollins, 1995), a critique of U.S. arms sales policies from the Nixon through Clinton administrations.

Annie Jacobsen is the author of Nuclear War: A Scenario. She is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times best-selling author. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons. Jacobsen’s books have been named Best of the Year and Most Anticipated by outlets including The Washington Post, USA Today, The Boston Globe, Vanity Fair, Apple, and Amazon. She has appeared on countless TV programs and media platforms—from PBS Newshour to Joe Rogan—discussing war, weapons, government secrecy, and national security. She also writes and produces TV, including Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series.

Lois Lipman field produced many award-winning stories for CBS News 60 Minutes, globally —from India, Gaza, Israel, and Guantanamo Prison to Paris and Saint Petersburg.  Her films won an Emmy, Peabody, and Best Documentary of the Year from American Women in Television and Radio for "Til Death Do Us Part: Dowry Deaths in India"- a social justice film that led to the first arrests and convictions for this crime against women in India.  Lois also worked internationally on documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 – UK, and PBS.  She earned her MFA  from American University in Washington DC and her BA from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.
After teaching at the Universities of Maryland and Toledo, Lois returned to New Mexico and committed to making "First We Bombed New Mexico" to shine a light on the unacknowledged tragic consequences of Robert Oppenheimer’s Trinity Bomb and to witness Tina Cordova’s fight for justice for her people.

Paul Pino was raised on the family ranch outside Carrizozo, New Mexico where he was taught to honor family, community, and the environment by his parents Presiliano and Esther Pino.

At 18, Paul joined the army and served for two years during the Vietnam War.  He is now a member of Veterans for Peace.  He received his BA in psychology and MA in special education from the University of New Mexico and went on to have a successful career as a high school special education teacher and then as principal of Transition Services with Albuquerque Public Schools where he helped students with disabilities to live independently. Through the Tularosa Basin Downwinder Consortium (TBDC) Paul learned about the harm done by the Trinity Bomb detonated near his family ranch in 1945 and has become a member of the TBDC steering committee.

Barbara Slavin is a distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center in Washington and a lecturer in international affairs at George Washington University. Prior to joining Stimson, she founded and directed the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council and led a bi-partisan task force on Iran. The author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation (2007), she is a regular commentator on US foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS and C-Span.

Elizabeth Warner is Managing Director and Chief Development Director at Ploughshares Fund. She has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and fundraising. Prior to joining Ploughshares Fund in 2012, Elizabeth served as the Major Gifts Officer at Paul Newman’s Camp Boggy Creek, a summer camp for children with life-threatening and chronic illnesses.