In 2014, five of the largest peace and security funders in the United States joined forces to develop a new, collective approach to incentivizing and rewarding innovation in the nuclear threat field. What emerged was N Square, a path-breaking initiative built on the idea that new forms of cross-sector collaboration—combined with the sheer ingenuity of an engaged public­—will accelerate the achievement of internationally agreed goals to reduce nuclear dangers.

A project of the New Venture Fund, N Square is a hands-on alliance between staff, funders, and advisors working together to bring new ideas, new people, and new perspectives to nuclear arms control. By fostering “high-impact collisions” between experts from diverse backgrounds, we help nuclear specialists gain new perspectives on the possibilities of their work as innovators and influencers from other fields identify smart ways to apply their own expertise to solving some of our toughest nuclear challenges.

At the heart of N Square is the Innovators Network, a vibrant community of cross-sector leaders working together to prototype and pilot breakthrough approaches including open intelligence platforms, movement-building tools, and innovative uses of technologies such as blockchain, AI, and machine learning to verify arms control agreements. Innovators Network fellows are visionary leaders who recognize the opportunities embedded within tough challenges. They are scientists, game designers, Hollywood screenwriters, global security gurus. They are inventors, branding specialists, diplomats, Gen-Y satellite imagery analysts, and public radio producers. They are also philanthropists and investors keenly interested in sustaining systemic innovation and helping collaborative networks flourish.


Erika Gregory, Managing Director
Erika leads a team that is exploring cross-disciplinary, collaborative approaches to reducing nuclear weapons threat, from engaging tech innovators to recasting the way nuclear weapons are portrayed in popular media. Part R&D lab, part venture fund, N Square’s approach reflects Erika’s long experience designing innovation programs in government, the corporate world, the NGO community and philanthropy.

Morgan Matthews, Deputy Director
Morgan is a people-focused design strategist with expertise in strategic planning, systems thinking, and design thinking methodologies. She believes that innovation frameworks are essential to uncovering unexpected and effective solutions to nuclear challenges. She brings an MBA in sustainable management and a BA in international and intercultural communications to that task.

Sara Kutchesfahani, Director, N Square DC Hub
Sara has 15+ years of professional and academic experience in the fields of nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear security, holding research, analysis, and managerial positions at a national nuclear weapons laboratory, an NGO, a university, and at various think tanks around the world. This diverse background is a clear indication of her openness to learning new processes and approaches. She has a PhD in political science from University College London and is the author of two books and numerous articles.

Ayaka Emoto, Program Consultant
Ayaka has been creating and executing marketing and communications strategies with social impact for over 10 years. In addition to her work with N Square, she works with the Natural Resources Defense Council to change consumer behavior to reduce wasted food. Ayaka previously worked at Pacific Gas & Electric, managing a program that serves 1.4 million customers in low income and diverse multicultural segments. Ayaka has a BA from Bowdoin College and an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School.

Jenny Johnston, Editorial Director
Part journalist, part anthropologist, Jenny helps authors and organizations find sticky ways to communicate their visions and their stories to a wider public. In addition to her work with N Square, she develops and writes publications for a range of foundations, businesses, and nonprofits, helping them embrace the notion that storytelling is strategy. She holds an AB in cultural anthropology from Princeton University, an MA in the same from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an MS in journalism.

Donna Broughan, Operations Consultant
Donna is founder of DB Solutions, an event/meeting planning and production company based in the Bay Area. She has been in the meeting and event business for more than 25 years, successfully operating hundreds of programs all over the world, from small executive board meetings to full blown corporate incentive programs to large (5,000+) conferences. She holds a BA in geography from California State University at Chico and loves hiking and travel.

Bruce Lowry, Advisor
Bruce is director of policy and global security at Skoll Foundation. Previously he led Skoll Global Threat Fund’s nuclear nonproliferation and Middle East work and spent nearly a decade in the technology sphere with Oracle and Novell. Bruce began his career in the US State Department, serving in Saudi Arabia, Swaziland, Italy, and in Washington, DC, working on, among other initiatives, the G-7 process, peace in the Middle East, and nuclear safety. He holds a BA in international relations from Pomona College and an MA in international affairs from Johns Hopkins.

Carl Robichaud, Advisor
As program officer in international peace and security at Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carl manages a portfolio of grants to strengthen nuclear security. In this capacity, he heads Carnegie Corporation’s work on strengthening nuclear governance and investing in the next generation of nuclear experts. He is especially interested in the intersection of new technologies and nuclear risk.

Theo Kalionzes, Advisor
Theo is a Senior Program Officer at the MacArthur Foundation with a portfolio encompassing domestic and international policy, technology and innovation, and broad geopolitical trends. Before coming to MacArthur, he worked on the International Peace and Security Program at Carnegie Corporation. He has also worked as a consultant and speechwriter at the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. Theo received an MA in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a BA in history from UC Berkeley.