Emma Belcher is president of Ploughshares Fund. Prior to arriving at Ploughshares, Emma spent nearly a decade at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, where she led the foundation’s Nuclear Challenges grantmaking program. There, she developed and built the foundation’s Nuclear Challenge Big Bet team—from ideation to planning to management of a nearly $20 million budget. Emma served as a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She also served as an advisor in Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on national security and international affairs and as a public affairs officer at the Australian embassy in Washington, DC.
She has a background in international security (Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, PhD and MALD; University of Melbourne, BA [Hons]). While completing her PhD, she was a fellow in the International Security Program and Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Between 2014 and June 2020, Emma served on the advisory committee of N Square—a multi-funder initiative to promote innovation in the nuclear realm. Emma has been featured on the TED platform twice, on the importance of confronting, humanizing, and ultimately solving the existential threat of nuclear weapons.