Nuclear Threat Initiative
Formation2001; 23 years ago (2001)
TypeNonprofit organization
FocusGlobal catastrophic risk
Headquarters1776 Eye Street, NW
  • Washington, D.C., U.S.
Ernest Moniz

The Nuclear Threat Initiative, generally referred to as NTI, is a non-profit organization located in Washington, D.C. The American foreign policy think tank was founded in 2001 by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and philanthropist Ted Turner and describes itself as a "nonprofit, nonpartisan global security organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity."[1]

NTI has four policy programs: the Global Nuclear Policy Program, Nuclear Materials Security, Scientific and Technical Affairs, and Global Biological Policy and Programs (stylized as NTI | bio).[2]


NTI's self-described mission is "to transform global security by driving systemic solutions to nuclear and biological threats imperiling humanity."[1]


NTI was founded in 2001 by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and philanthropist Ted Turner.[3] The launch event was held at the National Press Club on January 8, 2001.[4] An event celebrating NTI's 20th anniversary was held on April 12, 2022, with a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[5]


Low-enriched uranium bank

NTI supported the development of an international low-enriched uranium bank to help prevent the proliferation of nuclear technology.[6] NTI advisor Warren Buffett provided $50 million to jump-start the reserve, which is owned and managed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and located in Kazakhstan.[6] The bank became fully operational in October 2019 after receiving its first shipment of uranium.[7]

Highly enriched uranium elimination


In 2002, NTI provided much of the financial support for a joint US-Russian mission to remove 100 pounds of highly enriched uranium from the Vinča Nuclear Institute in Serbia, to be flown to Russia.[8]


NTI provided technical and financial support to help convert 2,900 kilograms of highly enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium in Kazakhstan in 2005.[9] The organization committed $1.3 million for reactor safety systems.[8]

Nuclear Security Index

NTI has produced a biennial "Nuclear Security Index" in partnership with Economist Impact since 2012.[10] The "NTI Index" benchmarks nuclear security conditions across 176 countries.[11]

As part of the Index, NTI also develops and releases a Radioactive Source Security Assessment that includes recommendations on securing and eliminating radiological sources used and stored at thousands of sites across more than 100 countries.[11]

Global Health Security Index

The Global Health Security Index, produced by NTI, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and Economist Impact, is a biennial index that assesses countries' preparedness to respond to pandemics and epidemics.[12] The GHS Index assesses 195 countries' abilities to prevent, detect, and respond to health emergencies based on publicly available information.[13]

World Health Organization–Nuclear Threat Initiative Emergency Outbreak Response Fund

In 2002, NTI partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to create a $500,000 rapid response fund for infectious disease outbreaks.[14]

Global dialogue on nuclear security priorities

NTI regularly convenes meetings among global nuclear security experts and government officials to discuss issues related to nuclear security.[15] Global Dialogue summits have taken place in France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan.[16]

Establishment of new organizations

In 2003, NTI created the Middle East Consortium for Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS) with participation from Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority.[17] MECIDS shares official health data and conducts infectious disease prevention training.

In 2008, NTI helped create the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS), in Vienna, as part of its focus to secure nuclear materials worldwide.[18]

NTI also created Connecting Organizations for Disease Surveillance (CORDS), which launched in 2013 as an independent NGO that links international disease surveillance networks, supported by the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.[19]


The organization produced the 2005 film, Last Best Chance, a docudrama about nuclear terrorism that aired on HBO.[20] NTI also produced the 2010 documentary film Nuclear Tipping Point, which was screened by President Obama at the White House in April 2010[21] and featured on The Colbert Report.[22]


Ernest J. Moniz has served as chief executive officer since June 2017, and Joan Rohlfing serves as president and chief operating officer.[23] Co-chaired by Moniz, Nunn, and Ted Turner, NTI is governed by a board of directors with both current and emeritus members from around the globe.

Board of directors

Advisors to the board of directors

Emeritus board


NTI receives funding from a number of sources, including foundations, individuals, non-U.S. governments, and corporations.[24] Funders and financial information are listed in NTI’s annual report, which is published online each year. The organization does not accept U.S. government funding.[25]


  1. ^ a b "About NTI". The Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  2. ^ "NTI Programs and Projects". The Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  3. ^ "Nuclear Threat Initiative". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  4. ^ Nunn, Sam; Turner, R. E. "2001 Annual Report" (PDF). Nuclear Threat Initiative. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-06-08. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  5. ^ "NTI Celebrates 20 Years of Working to Build a Safer World". The Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  6. ^ a b Filipov, David; Warrick, Joby (2017-08-29). "A uranium bank just opened in Kazakhstan to stop the spread of nukes". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  7. ^ "IAEA LEU Bank Becomes Operational with Delivery of Low Enriched Uranium". 2019-10-17. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  8. ^ a b Warrick, Joby (August 23, 2002). "Risky Stash of Uranium Secured". The Washington Post.
  9. ^ "Czech Uranium Removed | Arms Control Association". Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  10. ^ "Nuclear security is improving almost everywhere". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  11. ^ a b "About the Index". NTI Nuclear Security Index. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  12. ^ Anthes, Emily (2021-12-08). "The World Is Unprepared for the Next Pandemic, Report Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  13. ^ "Two years into this pandemic, the world is dangerously unprepared for the next one, report says". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  14. ^ "New WHO Fund to Probe Disease Outbreaks". The Edwardsville Intelligencer. 2002-12-02. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  15. ^ "The Role of Civil Society in Strengthening Nuclear Security • Stimson Center". Stimson Center. 2021-06-29. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  16. ^ "Global Dialogue on Nuclear Security Priorities". The Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  17. ^ Leventhal, Alex; Ramlawi, Assad; Belbiesi, Adel; Sheikh, Sami; Haddadin, Akhtam; Husseini, Sari; Abdeen, Ziad; Cohen, Dani (2013-01-01). "Enhanced Surveillance for Detection and Management of Infectious Diseases: Regional Collaboration in the Middle East". Emerging Health Threats Journal. 6 (1): 19955. doi:10.3402/ehtj.v6i0.19955. PMC 3557910. PMID 23362413.
  18. ^ Broad, William J. (2008-09-29). "New Security Organization Will Try to Prevent Nuclear Theft". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  19. ^ S. Gresham, Louise; S. Smolinski, Mark; Suphanchaimat, Rapeepong; Marie Kimball, Ann; Wibulpolprasert, Suwit (2013-01-01). "Creating a Global Dialogue on Infectious Disease Surveillance: Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance (CORDS)". Emerging Health Threats Journal. 6 (1): 19912. doi:10.3402/ehtj.v6i0.19912. PMC 3557909. PMID 23362412.
  20. ^ "Rain and Fire". The New Yorker. 2005-09-26. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  21. ^ Broad, William J. (2010-09-13). "The Bomb Chroniclers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  22. ^ Sam Nunn - The Colbert Report | Comedy Central US, 2010-06-10, retrieved 2022-07-05
  23. ^ "Who We Are". The Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  24. ^ "2020 NTI Annual Report" (PDF). Nuclear Threat Initiative.
  25. ^ "Financials". The Nuclear Threat Initiative. Retrieved 2022-07-05.