The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation was founded in 1982 by David Krieger and Frank K. Kelly—two writers, scholars, policy advocates, and committed peace activists. They wanted to create an institution that could describe and confront the dangers of what they called the Nuclear Age—the era in which human technology had become unfathomably powerful and unpredictable. They were joined in this endeavor by three idealists from different backgrounds: a Harvard-trained lawyer, a middle school principal, and a retired advertising executive. All but one of these five founders had been soldiers, and one had earned a Bronze Star during the Allied advance across France. Their experience of war had left them passionately devoted to peace, and cognizant of the great effort and imagination required to achieve it. So they conceived of an organization that would be flexible and adventurous, able to cross the boundaries of activism, scholarship, policy, education, and legal action. Although they were most immediately concerned with the danger posed by nuclear weapons, they believed that the changes wrought after Hiroshima extended to every realm of life, from ecology to culture to civil society, and had to be considered with as wide a lens as possible.

Under the leadership of Kelly and Krieger, the Foundation embarked on many long-term initiatives and actions. These include Waging Peace, a 20-year essay project on the future of human flourishing featuring voices from every field of achievement; the Nuclear Zero lawsuits, which in 2014 forced the U.S. Federal District Court and the International Court of Justice to confront the injustices inflicted by the U.S. nuclear program on the Marshall Islands; and the Nuclear Files, a pioneering web-based open-access history and archive of nuclear history from 2001. In addition, NAPF participated in the negotiations surrounding the Treaty for the Prevention of Nuclear Weapons, ratified in 2021.

The idea that peace is more than the absence of war has guided many of the Foundationʼs efforts, and widened its scope beyond the nuclear question. NAPF has sponsored poetry, art, and wide-ranging philosophical debate. Over the years it has collaborated with Desmond Tutu, Jacques Cousteau, Queen Noor of Jordan, the XIVth Dalai Lama, Yehudi Menuhin, Carl Sagan, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Jonathan Schell, Elaine Scarry and many others.

In 2021, Matthew Spellberg became the new President of NAPF (you can read an interview with him here). In the coming years, new initiatives are planned that will broaden the Foundationʼs vision to address larger questions about the human relationship to technology and the care for culture in a technological age. We hope youʼll join us as we embark on our fifth decade as a meeting ground for thought and action in an age of unprecedented human interdependence and unprecedented planetary fragility.

You can learn more about some of our major initiatives here.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations. It is comprised of over 80,000 individuals and groups worldwide.

Mission and Vision

Learn about why NAPF does this work, and what we’re doing to achieve our goals.


Find out more about the staff, Board, advisers and associates of NAPF here.

Social Media

Find out all of the places you can connect with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation online, including Twitter, Facebook and more.


Do you want to get more involved in working for peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons? Learn more about our internship program and volunteer opportunities.

Setsuko Thurlow

Speakers Bureau

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is proud to offer a Speakers Bureau for groups interested in learning more about the abolition of nuclear weapons, peace and security, missile defense, international law, peace education and more. Click here for a full list of our speakers and the topics they address.

Calendar of Events

See upcoming Nuclear Age Peace Foundation events in Santa Barbara and around the world.

Our Financials

We value the trust of our donors. We make sure all gifts are used wisely and for their intended purposes. Click here to view a copy of our latest IRS Form 990. We have been awarded the 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency by GuideStar.

Beyond War Legacy

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation is one of three organizations that were selected to carry on the mission of the group Beyond War. Click here to learn more about the Beyond War legacy.


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