Chain Reaction 2020

Chain Reaction: Securing Our Future

Monday, June 8, 2020 | Live via Zoom

You’re invited to Ploughshares Fund’s annual gala, Chain Reaction. Registration is free.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the need to reprioritize the policies that keep our citizens safe. We will examine threats to our global community — nuclear weapons, climate change, and now pandemics — with some of the top experts and political leaders in the nation. We will explore trends and transitions in national security and challenge the politics of US foreign policy and government budgets.

Chain Reaction: Securing Our Future
Monday, June 8, 2020 | Live via Zoom
8pm ET / 7pm CT / 5pm PT


A series of events so related to each other 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 a nexus of ideas, opportunities, and strategies to advance nuclear policy and promote the elimination of nuclear weapons. We hope you’ll join us this year – and each year following – and be a key ingredient in our formula for change.


Joe Cirincione’s final speech as President of Ploughshares Fund, kicked off by a touching tribute from Advisor Michael Douglas. 

Welcome message by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

A keynote panel by the Science & Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

Governor Jerry Brown, Executive Chairman of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and former Governor of California

Rachel Bronson, President and CEO, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Asha George, Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense

Sharon Squassoni, Director of Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists

Former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry in conversation with Ploughshares Fund Director of Policy Tom Collina about their upcoming book The Button. A video message from Beyond the Bomb, featuring Tristan Guyette, Molly Hurley, and fellows from advocacy group the BombSquad, a Women's Initiative grantee. Additional speakers to be announced.



Rachel Bronson

Nancy Pelosi—52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives and two‑time history‑maker as the first woman and the first person to serve three terms in this second‑in‑line to the presidency role. For 33 years, Speaker Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California’s 12th District, in Congress.

Rachel Bronson

Rachel Bronson—President and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, overseeing the publishing programs, management of the Doomsday Clock, and a growing set of activities around nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies. Her writings have appeared in publications such as Foreign PolicyForeign AffairsThe National InterestThe New York TimesThe Washington PostHuffington Post, and The Chicago Tribune, and she has appeared as a commentator on numerous radio and television outlets, including National Public Radio, CNN, al Jazeera, the Yomiuri ShimbunPBS NewsHour,” “The Charlie Rose Show,” and “The Daily Show.”

Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown—Executive Chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and historic, four-term former Governor of California (1974, 1978, 2010, 2014).  Governor Brown also serves as chair of the California-China Climate Institute at UC Berkeley and is on the board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Joe Cirincione

Joe Cirincione—President of Ploughshares Fund and co-host of Press the Button, a weekly podcast from dedicated to nuclear policy and national security. He has worked on nuclear weapons policy in Washington for over 35 years and is considered one of the top experts in the field and is a nationally-recognized contributor on MSNBC.

Tom Collina

Tom Collina—Director of Policy at Ploughshares Fund and co-author with Secretary Bill Perry of a new book, The Button. With 30 years of experience working on nuclear weapons issues and missile defense, he is an expert researcher, analyst, advocate, and national-media contributor, and he has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and regularly briefs Congressional staff.

Michael Douglas

Michael Kirk Douglas—Actor and producer, primarily in movies and television. He is an advocate of nuclear disarmament, supporter of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, sits on the board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and Advisor and former member of the Ploughshares Fund Board of Directors.

Terry Gamble Boyer

Terry Gamble Boyer – Ploughshares Fund Board Chair, writer, and co-founder of the Caldera Foundation. Passionate about leaving a more just, secure, cleaner world for future generations, she has written three novels: The Water Dancers, Good Family, and The Eulogist

Asha George

Asha George—Executive Director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodenfense and member of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. She formerly served in the US House of Representatives as a senior professional staffer and subcommittee staff director at the House Committee on Homeland Security in the 110th and 111th Congress and is a decorated Desert Storm Veteran.

Tristan Guyette

Tristan Guyette—National Field Manager of Beyond The Bomb where they launched the organization’s fellowship program, the BombSquad in 2019. Tristan leads volunteers across the country to mobilize and advocate for sane nuclear policies through No First Use, bringing younger, more diverse voices into nonproliferation.

Molly Hurley

Molly Hurley—A  recent graduate from Rice University in Houston, TX, earning a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry. She served as one of Beyond the Bomb's inaugural fellows last fall and now works as a Fellowship Associate to help manage the spring semester's fellows.

William J. Perry

Secretary William J. Perry—19th Secretary of Defense and co-author with Tom Collina of The Button, to be released in June 2020. Perry oversaw the development of the strategic nuclear systems that are currently in our arsenal; he has spent the balance of his life advocating policies that minimize nuclear risk and educating the public on steps that reduce nuclear dangers.

Sharon Sasquoni

Sharon Squassoni—Director of Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Sharon has specialized in nuclear nonproliferation, arms control and security policy for three decades, serving in the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, the State Department, and the Congressional Research Service, and as a senior scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Elizabeth Warner

Elizabeth Warner—Managing Director and Chief Development Officer at Ploughshares Fund. She has over 20 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience and previously held positions at Paul Newman’s Camp Boggy Creek, Planned Parenthood, and Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.


Chain Reaction Committee

Phil Ames | John Feikema | Connie Foote | Pamela Hamrick | Kevin Holmes | Victoria Lilienthal | Lisille Matheson | Rachel Pike | Lee Ali Shirani | Daniel U. Smith
Host Committee
Shanna Nasiri | Guy and Jeanine Saperstein | Steve Silberstein
Honorary Committee
Lew Butler | Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) | Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA)  | Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) | Secretary George P. Shultz


Registration for the event is free, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. Learn more about sponsorships.

Sally Lilienthal Sponsor
Jill Troy Werner, Werner Family Foundation
Owen Chamberlain Sponsors
Nasiri Foundation | Guy and Jeanine Saperstein
Albert Einstein Sponsors
Terry Gamble Boyer and Peter Boyer | Connie Foote | Dr. Richard G. Pritzlaff | Robert E. Sims | Paul Sack
Jonathan Schell Sponsors
James B. Blume and Kathryn W. Frank | John F. Dains | Sallie De Golia and Martin Bronk | Dorothie and Martin Hellman | Marty Krasney | Thomas C. Layton and Gyongy Laky | Lisille and Henry Matheson | Phyllis Thelen and Max* Thelen, Jr.



All donations of $1,000 or more include access to a special virtual event during which we’ll celebrate Joe Cirincione’s retirement and introduce the new president—the date is to be determined.

Sally Lilienthal – $20,000
A Sally Lilienthal-level sponsorship includes verbal acknowledgement and on-screen recognition during the event program and recognition on all printed and electronic event collateral and in the 2020 annual report.
Owen Chamberlain – $10,000
Owen Chamberlain sponsors receive recognition on all printed and electronic event collateral and in the 2020 annual report, as well as on-screen recognition during the event program.
Albert Einstein – $5,000
At the Albert Einstein level, you receive recognition on electronic event materials and in the 2020 annual report.
Jonathan Schell – $2,500
Enjoy recognition at the Jonathan Schell level on the electronic event materials and in the 2020 annual report.
President’s Ticket – $1,000
Show your admiration for the long career of Ploughshares Fund President Joe Cirincione—$500 of this donation will support Chain Reaction, the other $500 will go into the Presidential Vision Fund


To pledge your gift in support of Chain Reaction, visit our Eventbrite page or contact Deputy Director of Development Bonnie Fisk at

Donations of any amount are appreciated. You will have the opportunity to support the event during the registration process.