Nuclear Threat Initiative
The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Ted Turner and Sam Nunn in the United States, which exists to strengthen global security by reducing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and also to reduce the risk that they will actually be used.
NTI is an operational organization, actively engaged in developing, shaping and implementing projects. In addition to building global awareness, NTI engages in model programs to inspire private and governmental efforts toward threat reduction.
In 2002 NTI provided the $5 million of private money needed to add to the $3 million from the US government to safely move 48 kg of highly enriched uranium (enough for two nuclear weapons) from the defunct Vinča nuclear reactor near Belgrade to a facility in the Russian Federation to be blended down for use as a conventional nuclear fuel. Throughout this process the Initiative worked to secure these vulnerable materials from illicit use. I
As part of its focus to secure nuclear materials worldwide, NTI helped create the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), established in Vienna in 2008. Today, the organization has more than 2,821 members from almost 111 countries. The Economist wrote, “WINS is a place where, for the first time, those with the practical responsibility for looking after nuclear materials—governments, power plant operators, laboratories, universities—can meet to swap ideas and develop best practices.”
UN Security Council Resolution 1887 supported the WINS mission, calling for states to “share best practices with a view to improved safety standards and nuclear security practices and raise standards of nuclear security to reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism.”
The Nuclear Threat Initiative serves as the Secretariat for the Nuclear Security Project, in cooperation with the Hoover Institution. Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger and former Senator Sam Nunn guide the project—an effort to galvanize global action to reduce urgent nuclear dangers and build support for reducing reliance on nuclear weapons, ultimately ending them as a threat to the world.
In addition to its multimedia and editorial work, NTI produces a biennial Nuclear Materials Security Index in partnership with The Economist Intelligence Unit. The publication offers in-depth public accounting of weapons-usable nuclear materials and security conditions in 176 countries according to a variety of factors. The most recent Index, launched in January 2014, highlights the progress made by these states towards removing all, or most, of their stocks of weapons-usable nuclear materials. Since its release, the NTI Index has received global coverage from both The New York Times and Washington Post editorial boards, voicing support for NTI’s foremost recommendation: to develop a system of global standards and best practices for securing nuclear materials. Some states used the NTI Index at the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit in order to track their own progress towards, and form greater commitments to, global nuclear nonproliferation.
NTI also has received international recognition for work to improve biosecurity, primarily through creating disease surveillance networks. Whether a biological threat is natural or intentional, disease surveillance is a key step in rapid detection and response. Because the response of a health system in one country could have a direct and immediate impact on a neighboring country, or even continent, NTI developed projects that foster cooperation among public health officials across political and geographic boundaries. In 2003, NTI created the Middle East Consortium for Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS) with participation from Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Despite tensions in the region, MECIDS continues to share official health data and conduct infectious disease prevention training. NTI also created and nurtured CORDS (Connecting Organizations for Disease Surveillance), which in 2013 launched as independent NGO that links international disease surveillance networks. Its work has received the support of both the World Health Organization, and the Food and Animal Organization of the United Nations.
Co-chaired by philanthropist Ted Turner and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, NTI is governed by an expert and influential Board of Directors with both current and emeritus members from the United States, Japan, India, Pakistan, China, Jordan, Sweden, France and the United Kingdom. They include:
- Ambassador Hamad Alkaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IAEA and UAE Special Representative for International Nuclear Cooperation
- Dr. Alexey Arbatov, Head, Center for International Security at Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences
- Des Browne, Vice Chairman, NTI
- Liru Cui, Former President of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR)
- Charles B. Curtis, President Emeritus
- Pete Domenici, Senior Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center, Emeritus
- Michael Douglas, Actor, Producer
- Susan Eisenhower, President of The Eisenhower Group, Emeritus
- Ambassador Rolf Ekeus, Chairman of the Board, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
- Gideon Frank, Former Director General of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission
- Eugene Habiger General USAF (Ret.), former Commander in Chief of the U.S. Strategic Command
- HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, Emeritus
- Igor S. Ivanov, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russia
- Riaz Mohammad Khan, Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan
- Jeong H. Kim, Former President, Bell Labs
- Pierre Lellouche, Deputy of Paris, Former Minister of State for Foreign Trade, France
- Former U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar R-Indiana
- Dr. Jessica T. Mathews, Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NTI
- Ronald L. Olson, Partner, Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
- Paul S. Otellini, Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Intel Corporation
- Hisashi Owada, Judge, International Court of Justice
- Dr. William Perry, former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Emeritus
- Malcolm Rifkind, Former Member of Parliament for Kensington
- Joan Rohlfing, President and Chief Operating Officer of NTI
- Dr. Nafis Sadik, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Emeritus
- Professor Amartya Sen, Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Harvard University, Emeritus
- Ellen O. Tauscher, Former U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
- Ted Turner, Co-Chairman
- Rt. Hon. Shirley Williams, United Kingdom House of Lords, Emeritus
- Professor Fujia Yang, Academician, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Advisors to the Board of Directors include leading figures in science, business and international security. Advisors to the Board include:
- Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
- Dr. David A. Hamburg, President Emeritus of Carnegie Corporation of New York
- Siegfried S. Hecker, Director Emeritus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Frederick Iseman, Chairman and Managing Partner of Caxton-Iseman Capital Inc.
- George F. Russell Jr., Co-Chairman of the EastWest Institute and founder of the Frank Russell Company
NTI's staff includes experts in international affairs, nonproliferation, security and military issues, public health, medicine and communications, who have operational experience in their areas of specialty.
- "HEU Removed from Serbia as Nuclear Terrorism Fears Remain High". The Acronym Institute. October 2002. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "Who wins, nukes". The Economist. October 2, 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "United Nations Security Council Resolution 1887" (PDF). The United Nations. September 24, 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-09.
- "Documentary Advances Nuclear Free Movement". NPR. Retrieved 2010-06-10.