For more than three decades, MacArthur has supported efforts to broaden and strengthen the field of international security. Peace and security-related issues include science, technology and security; weapons of mass destruction; and Asia security. The Foundation is narrowing its focus and developing a new project whose goal is to reduce nuclear risk. Formal grantmaking in the Asia Security Initiative has ended and activity in the program that is not related to the new project will come to a close over the next two years.
In this element of our work the Foundation focuses on preventing nuclear terrorism by denying terrorist access to the fissile materials (highly enriched uranium and plutonium) that are the key ingredients for nuclear weapons. As nuclear power becomes an important means of diversifying energy portfolios and reducing carbon emissions, fissile material stockpiles are set to grow, raising the risk of theft or diversion.
We view nuclear power as a potentially valuable element of the response to climate change, so we seek to incorporate approaches into U.S. nuclear policy and the global nuclear fuel cycle that prevent access to fissile materials. Ultimately, we seek technical and political solutions to end the world's reliance on weapon-usable material (highly enriched uranium and plutonium).
We also seek to ensure that as policymakers review nuclear energy safety standards in the wake of the Fukushima accident, they do not unintentionally undermine critical security objectives and increase the risk of proliferation.
In addition, we seek to effectively address, in a stabilizing manner, the strategic implications of deeper reductions in nuclear arsenals. We also support work that will spur new insights and approaches to security challenges arising from national efforts to acquire nuclear weapons (e.g. Iran and North Korea).
Effective policymaking on nuclear security matters requires the best advice from diverse fields, including the natural and social sciences, industry, and policy world, among others. It also entails public debate, which takes different forms in different countries but is rarely altogether absent. As a result, policymakers and the public need advice from experts capable of using their specialized expertise to inform policy decision-making and debates.
Because academic training does not normally build the skills needed to conduct effective policy analysis and because the study and practice of business and public policy do not normally entail specialized training, an interdisciplinary approach is necessary to develop the expertise and skills for nuclear security policy analysis.
The Foundation supports a small group of grantees that provide advanced interdisciplinary training in the field of nuclear security at the graduate and post-doctoral levels. The goal of this program is to produce a small, but highly qualified, international group of nuclear security policy experts equipped to lead the future formulation of nuclear security policies and engage effectively in the public debate.
MacArthur does not consider unsolicited proposals in the area of Advanced Education in Nuclear Security.
Asia Security Initiative
MacArthur ended the Asia Security Initiative in December, 2014.
The Foundation is proud of the increased communication and dialogue its Asia Security Initiative has sparked between policy experts, and encouraged to see the work of its grantees being used to inform decision-making by policymakers. The Foundation always intended for the initiative, which began in 2009, to be a time-limited investment with the goal of promoting stability and greater security in Asia. Grantmaking under the initiative ended in 2014, and no new grant proposals will be solicited or accepted. The Foundation, however, will continue to make grants related to Asia under its continuing programs, including Conservation and Sustainable Development, Nuclear Security, Girls Secondary Education, and more.
All grants that are still in force under the Asia Security Initiative will continue to receive support from MacArthur staff. Questions about the Asia Security Initiative can be addressed to Program Officer Dr. John Fei.
Updated August 2015