2022 Chain Reaction: The Risks of Nuclear War

The Risks of Nuclear War

Watch the conversation between Liv Boeree and Elizabeth Warner from Chain Reaction: Action Now above! Share it with your friends, and stay engaged in the fight to reduce and eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons.

What does it take to build a movement? People and resources.
The current war in Ukraine underscores anew the dangerous reemergence of nuclear threats that leave the world vulnerable to nuclear escalation, and even nuclear war. Now is the time for action. We need to build a movement. One that rivals the disarmament rally held 40 years ago in Central Park when 1 million nuclear freeze activists gathered to protest nuclear weapons.
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 a nexus of ideas, opportunities, and strategies to advance policies that promote the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons. You—and every new ally you introduce to Ploughshares Fund—represent a key ingredient in our formula for change.


1982 Nuclear Freeze Movement vs. Today
Phil Taubman & Sen. Ed Markey
Nuclear Impacts of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine
Fiona Hill & Emma Belcher
The Risks of Nuclear War
Liv Boeree & Liz Warner
Action Now
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Tom Collina, Jamal Abdi, Istra Fuhrmann, & Sara Haghdoosti
Special Closing Remarks
Terry Gamble Boyer

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

Chain Reaction Committee
Phil Ames
Tannaz Banisadre
Connie Foote
Pamela Hamrick
Kevin Holmes
Victoria Lilienthal
Don Mordecai
Max Pike
Stephen Sarewitz

Host Committee
Shanna Nasiri
Jennifer and Robert Waldron
Sally Lilienthal Sponsors
James B. Blume and Kathryn Frank
In memory of Mary Lloyd Estrin
Robert and Jennifer Waldron Civic Fund
Werner Family Foundation
Dauray/Davis Family Fund
John and Mary Feikema
Connie Foote
Terry Gamble Boyer and Peter Boyer
HAND Foundation
Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman
Purple Lady Fund, Barbara J. Meislin
Phyllis Thelen
Phil and Sabrina Ames
Kennette Benedict
Ken and Helen Blohm
Graham and Talia Brandt
Joe Cirincione
Crewcial Partners
Mr. Stuart L. Gasner and Ms. Kate Ditzler
Amy McGrath
Drs. Corinna Haberland and Don Mordecai
Julie and Will Parish
Sayre P. Sheldon
John Bowers and Linda Stevens
Martin Bronk and Sallie De Golia
Dorothie and Martin Hellman
Martina Lauchengco and Christopher Jones
Ann L. Krumboltz
Gyöngy Laky and Thomas Layton
Nancy Leavens
Paul Sack

Speaker Bios

Jamal Abdi is President of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and the Executive Director of NIAC Action, the group's sister civic-action organization. Abdi first joined NIAC as Policy Director in November 2009, directing NIAC’s efforts to monitor policies and legislation and to educate and advocate on behalf of the Iranian American community. He co-founded NIAC Action in 2015. Abdi previously worked in the US Congress as Policy Advisor for foreign policy, national security, and immigration issues and as a field organizer in his home state of Washington.

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.

A self-confessed nerd with a degree in astrophysics, Liv Boeree is a formerly #1 ranked professional poker player with multiple championship titles to her name; speaker and content creator specializing in game theory, risk, and decision-making; and co-founder of Raising for Effective Giving (REG), a research and advisory non-profit that used its philosophies to identify and raise money for the most globally impactful charities, with a particular focus on global catastrophic risk reduction.
Tom Z. Collina is director of policy at Ploughshares Fund, with 30 years of Washington, DC experience in nuclear weapons, missile defense, and nonproliferation issues. Tom is co-author, with former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, of The Button: The New Nuclear Arms Race and Presidential Power from Truman to Trump, published in 2020. Tom also co-hosts the Ploughshares Fund podcast Press the Button. He has testified before the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees and has been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others.
Istra Fuhrmann is the Program Assistant for Nuclear Disarmament and Pentagon Spending at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), editing and disseminating the Nuclear Calendar, lobbying for arms control and de-escalation policies such as No First Use, and leading FCNL’s legislative work on the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA). After her fellowship year at FCNL concludes, she will become Program Associate for the Peace & Security Funders Group.

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.
As Executive Director, Sara Haghdoosti leads Win Without War’s day-to-day operations, development, and organizational strategy. Haghdoosti was previously Win Without War’s Deputy Director and has over ten years of experience in digital campaigning. She founded Berim.org, an organization that worked to support changemakers in Iran and worked previously at the Mozilla Foundation, Change.org, and GetUp Australia. Haghdoosti is author of the novel, Sunburnt Veils.

Fiona Hill is a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. She served as national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia from 2006-2009 and senior director for Europe and Russia at the National Security Council from 2017-2019. She is author of “There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century” and co-author of “Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.
For more than 40 years, Senator Markey has served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a Congressman and U.S. Senator. He has been a powerful and effective voice for bolstering U.S. and global security by staunching nuclear proliferation and promoting arms control. Senator Markey is Chair of the East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Chair of the Clean Air, Climate and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee of the Environment and Public Committee; as well as a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee and the Small Business Committee. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and two terms in the Massachusetts State House before being elected to Congress.
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.