The N Square DC Hub Launches

We’re expanding our presence to DC, bringing collaboration and shared learning to the heart of the nuclear nonproliferation community.

By Jenny Johnston / September 3, 2019

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the N Square DC Hub—and with it, an active N Square presence right in the heart of Washington, DC.

In many ways, the DC Hub is the physical manifestation of N Square’s vision and mission, providing a widening community of experts with a home base and a process for learning, collaboration, and developing breakthrough ideas for reducing the nuclear threat. Operating out of WeWork in Chinatown (777 6th Street NW)—an interactive workspace that matches the diverse, collaborative atmosphere that N Square aims to inspire—the DC Hub will offer a range of programs, events, and gatherings designed to serve the needs and goals of this growing community.

“The DC Hub answers a demand that we’ve heard—primarily from early to mid-career nonproliferation professionals in DC—for a place outside their day-to-day workspace where they can connect with each other, build community, and explore new ideas,” says Erika Gregory, N Square’s managing director.

While the N Square Innovators Network—now nearly 100 fellows strong—offers experts from around the world opportunities to work together on novel teams to prototype ideas for ending the nuclear threat, the DC Hub will bring this spirit of innovation and breakthrough collaboration directly to DC, where the US policy, advocacy, and nuclear nonproliferation communities are most concentrated. “Over the past few years, N Square has shown it can bring together smart, creative people with different skills and perspectives to produce inspiring work,” says Carl Robichaud, program officer in international peace and security at the Carnegie Corporation of New York and an N Square founding funder. “Now, with a presence in DC, N Square can better connect with practitioners and expand its impact.”

The DC Hub will be a gathering space not just for nuclear experts but for a range of other professionals—from brand strategists and artists to engineers and technologists—interested in nuclear issues and eager to energize the field with new perspectives and ideas. “Part of serving this community means bringing nontraditional approaches and voices to the space,” says Dr. Sara Kutchesfahani, a nuclear expert with 15 years in the field who will serve as the DC Hub’s director. “We want to engage people from many different backgrounds in solving nuclear issues. Just leave your suit jackets at home, come to the Hub, and get creative.”

In building out the DC Hub and its programming, N Square will have a powerful partner—one uniquely suited to integrate the types of resources that the DC community is asking for. PopTech, one of the world’s leading conveners of global thinkers and leaders, will serve as a primary strategic partner for programming and community development, tapping its own diverse network to bring new voices and new approaches to the conversation. Says Leetha Filderman, president of the PopTech Institute: “We’re committed to creating interactive programming that benefits those in the field, as well as helping those outside the field gain a deeper understanding how to engage in what is perhaps the most significant global threat facing humanity right now.” 

The PopTech partnership is made possible through a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. “Carnegie is stepping up to play a catalytic role in amplifying the collaborative potential of this partnership,” says Filderman. “Their commitment demonstrates the power of forward-thinking philanthropic investment that leverages and builds upon early success.”

N Square has already hosted a few events at the DC Hub, including a listening party for the season premiere of the nuclear-themed podcast Things That Go Boom and a fireside chat about blockchain, featuring Innovators Network fellow Rob Baker from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. This fall, the DC Hub will start hosting monthly events—everything from scenario workshops on the future of nuclear threat to skill-building sessions on creative problem-solving and diverse-team development.

But much of the DC Hub’s programming has yet to be set—and that’s intentional. “We hope the DC community will consider the Hub their own space and actively help us shape it to their needs,” says Gregory. “We heard you, and we’re here in service of your ideas. We’re looking forward to doing this together.”

To learn more about upcoming events at the DC Hub, contact Sara Kutchesfahani at

photos by Trevor Holden for the N Square Innovation Summit at RISD