Momentum: Chain Reaction 2021

VIDEO: Momentum: Chain Reaction 2021

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This year, we commemorated 40 years of bold action by Ploughshares Fund to promote peace and security around the world and to celebrate the momentum we carry forward to position people—not nuclear weapons—at the forefront of our national security and budget priorities.

We envision a peaceful, secure, and just world for all. To move steadfastly in that direction takes collaboration with people working on other issues critical to our shared future. Together we can reshape the debate on global priorities.

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 elimination of nuclear weapons. Each partner in these efforts represents a key ingredient in our formula for change.


Pre-Show with San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
A special pre-show event curated by the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, also founded in San Francisco just over 40 years ago to inspire activism and create a global movement for a safer, more secure future.

40 Years of Ploughshares Fund
Terry Gamble Boyer, Board Chair
A tribute to the history of Ploughshares Fund, from our founding in a San Francisco living room in 1981 to our national presence and impact around the globe today.

Pathways Forward
Dr. Emma Belcher, President
A special message about the future of the nuclear policy field.

Modern National Security
Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama
Tanya Somanader, Chief Content Officer at Crooked Media
Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editorial Director and Publisher of The Nation
Stephen Miles, Executive Director of Win Without War
A keynote panel on the intersection of nuclear weapons with other issues critical to our shared values, such as climate change and racial justice.

Ending the Nuclear Age
President Ernesto Zedillo, Member of The Elders
Elizabeth Warner, Managing Director
A conversation about the year The Elders spent tackling nuclear disarmament in 2020, which marked the 75th anniversary of the creation of nuclear weapons and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Zero is Possible
Derek Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Global Zero
An address on the world’s greatest nuclear threats and how we—the audience—can be champions for a safe and secure future.



Emma Belcher

Dr. Emma Belcher, PhD 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. In the Spring of 2019, Emma delivered a TED Talk on the importance of confronting, humanizing, and ultimately solving the existential threat of nuclear weapons.

Terry Gamble Boyer

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. She has served on the boards of the Ayrshire Foundation, the Urban School of San Francisco, The San Francisco School, Project Open Hand, and The Magic Theater. Along with Ploughshares Fund, she currently serves on the board of Island Press and the advisory boards of Mesa Refuge and The Truman National Security Project. Passionate about leaving a more just, secure, cleaner world for future generations, Terry is also the author of three novels: The Water DancersGood Family, and The Eulogist.

Derek Johnson

Derek Johnson is Chief Executive Officer of Global Zero, co-founder of Beyond the Bomb, a Nuclear Innovation Fellow with N Square Collaborative. Johnson is a Gender Champion in Nuclear Policy and member of the Munich Young Leaders and the European Young Leaders group. Derek has been quoted or published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, CNN, NBC, BBC News, The Nation, Politico, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Vox, Kommersant, Time Magazine, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mother Jones, Pacific Standard, The Hill, The Independent, Mic, and more.

Stephen Miles

Stephen Miles is the Executive Director of Win Without War. Stephen is a veteran of campaign politics with a strong background in grassroots advocacy. He previously worked for the global campaigning organization Avaaz, as well as on multiple federal, state, and local electoral campaigns, and as the Executive Director of the American Hellenic Council. Stephen is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Tulane University with academic expertise in humanitarian interventions and Middle Eastern politics.

Ben Rhodes

Ben Rhodes is an author, political commentator, consultant with the Obama Foundation, and co-host of the popular Crooked Media podcast, Pod Save the World. He served as President Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting from 2009 to 2017 and continues to advise the former president on international issues today. Rhodes led secret negotiations with the Cuban government that resulted in the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba and served as an advisor on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran.

Tanya Somanader

Tanya Somanader is Chief Content Officer at Crooked Media and former Director of Digital Rapid Response in the Office of Digital Strategy for President Obama. Before joining the White House, she served as the New Media Director for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, a digital writer for the Obama for America 2012 campaign, and a reporter/blogger for ThinkProgress.

Elizabeth Warner

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.

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel is editorial director and publisher of The Nation and former editor of the magazine from 1995 to 2019. Vanden Heuvel writes a weekly column for The Washington Post and is a frequent commentator on US and international politics for ABC, MSNBC, CNN, and PBS. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, and she is the author of several books, including The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in The Age of Obama, and co-author (with Stephen F. Cohen) of Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers.

Ernesto Zedillo

President Ernesto Zedillo is a member of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders founded by Nelson Mandela in 2007, who work together for peace, justice, and human rights. He is a former President of Mexico (1994-2000), current Director of the Center for the Study of Globalization at Yale University, and a renowned economist. Since his presidency, President Zedillo has been an advocate of multilateralism, inclusive globalization, nuclear nonproliferation, drug policy reform, and universal healthcare. He’s a member of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) in response to COVID-19 and the Global Commission on Drug Policy.


Chain Reaction Committee
Phil Ames
Tannaz Banisadre
John Feikema
Connie Foote
Pamela Hamrick
Kevin Holmes
Victoria Lilienthal
Rachel Pike
Lee Ali Shirani
Daniel U. Smith

Host Committee

Shanna Nasiri
Steve Silberstein

Honorary Members
Lew Butler
Joe Cirincione
Roger Hale
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
Secretary William J. Perry
Sydney Peace Foundation
Virgin Unite

40th Anniversary Sponsors
In memory of Mary Lloyd Estrin
John and Mary Feikema
Terry Gamble Boyer and Peter Boyer

Sally Lilienthal Sponsors
James B. Blume and Kathryn Frank
Werner Family Foundation

Connie Foote
Amy McGrath
Nasiri Foundation
Rob and Jen Waldron

Phil and Sabrina Ames
Kennette Benedict
Nancy Leavens
Victoria Lilienthal
Lynda Palevsky
Paul Sack
Robert E. Sims
Roselyne Chroman Swig
Phyllis Thelen

Martin Bronk and Sallie De Golia
John Dains
Gloria Duffy
Fair Game PAC - Valerie Plame, Founder
Mathea Falco and Peter Tarnoff
Dorothie and Martin Hellman
Gretchen Hund and Ted Andrews
Marty Krasney
Thomas C. Layton and Gyongy Laky
Lisille and Henry Matheson
Kavita N. Ramdas
Brooks Walker

See the full video of #Momentum: #ChainReaction2021.

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