Biological and Chemical Weapons  >>  Biosecurity and Biodefense Resource  
Non-Governmental Organizations

The primary focus of these think tanks and foundations ranges from public health preparedness to arms control and strategic security. Interacting with scientists, the public, and government officials, non-governmental organizations continue to play a vital role in pushing public health preparedness and discussing the dangers of biological weapons and bioterrorism. In the absence of an Office of Technology Assessment, Congress relies heavily on these groups when considering biosecurity options. Some of these organizations also fund critical research, education initiatives and public outreach.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
630 Fifth Avenue
Suite 2550
New York, NY 10111
Telephone: (212) 649-1649

"The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a philanthropic nonprofit institution, was established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr., then President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation." The Foundation has programs and interests in various fields, including Science and Technology and Bioterrorism.

American Association for the Advancement of Science
1200 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: (202) 326-6400

"The American Association for the Advancement of Science, 'Triple A-S' (AAAS), is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association." Within AAAS's Science & Policy Programs (SPP) are several programs "devoted to activities in realms where science, government and society intersect. These programs serve a number of AAAS's constitutional objectives, including furthering the work of scientists, improving the effectiveness of science in the promotion of human welfare, and fostering scientific freedom and responsibility."

American Biological Safety Association
1200 Allanson Road
Mundelein, IL 60060-3808
Telephone: (847) 949-1517

"The American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) was founded in 1984 to promote biosafety as a scientific discipline and serve the growing needs of biosafety professionals throughout the world. Its goals are to provide a professional association that represents the interests and needs of practitioners of biological safety, and to provide a forum for the continued and timely exchange of biosafety information. ABSA accomplishes these goals by publishing and distributing a quarterly journal, Applied Biosafety and a number of other biosafety publications. ABSA also conducts an annual Biological Safety Conference to keep members informed of current biosafety issues and regulatory initiatives."

American Society of Microbiology LogoAmerican Society of Microbiology
1752 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-2904
Telephone: (202) 737-3600

"The American Society of Microbiology is the world's largest scientific society of individuals interested in the microbiological sciences. The Society's mission is to advance microbiological sciences through the pursuit of scientific knowledge and dissemination of the results of fundamental and applied research. ASM will: support programs of education, training and public information; publish journals and books; convene meetings, workshops and colloquia; promote the contributions and promise of the microbiological sciences; recognize achievement and distinction among its practitioners; [and,] set standards of ethical and professional behavior."

Arms Control Association
1150 Connecticut Avenue
NW Suite 620
Washington, D.C. 20036-2904
Telephone: (202) 463-8270

"The Arms Control Association (ACA), founded in 1971, is a national nonpartisan membership organization dedicated to promoting public understanding of and support for effective arms control policies. Through its public education and media programs and its magazine, Arms Control Today (ACT), ACA provides policy-makers, the press and the interested public with authoritative information, analysis and commentary on arms control proposals, negotiations and agreements, and related national security issues...The Association's staff provides commentary and analysis on a broad spectrum of issues for journalists and scholars both in the United States and abroad."

Association of Public Health Laboratories
8515 Georgia Avenue
Suite 700
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Telephone: (240) 485-2745

"The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) works to safeguard the public's health by strengthening public health laboratories in the United States and across the world. In collaboration with members, APHL advances laboratory systems and practices, and promotes policies that support healthy communities. Its membership includes state and local public health laboratories, environmental laboratories and others that conduct testing of public health significance. The Emergency Preparedness and Response Program at APHL is committed to enhancing public health laboratory preparedness and response to emergencies such as terrorist acts, natural disasters and pandemic diseases."

British American Security Information Council Logo British American Security Information Council
The Grayston Centre, 2nd Floor 110 Maryland Ave, NE
28 Charles SquareSuite 205
London N1 6HTWashington, DC 20002
United Kingdom United States
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7324 4680(202) 546-8055

"BASIC is a progressive and independent analysis and advocacy organization which researches and provides a critical examination of global security issues, including nuclear policies, military strategies, armaments and disarmament. BASIC assists in the development of global security policies, policy-making and the assessment of policy priorities, and promotes public awareness and understanding of these policies and of policy-making in Europe and the US." The strategic goal of BASIC's Biological Weapons Program is "to increase public awareness in the United States and Europe of the problems and dangers of BW proliferation and the opportunities for developing national, regional and global responses."

Carnegie Endowment for International peace Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-2103
Telephone: (202) 483-7600

"The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States. Founded in 1910, its work is nonpartisan and dedicated to achieving practical results." Carnegie's "Non-Proliferation Project provides authoritative information and analysis on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The project hosts the Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference, which brings together hundreds of policy makers, experts, and officials from around the world. An ongoing program of research, analysis, and commentary, the project produces the award-winning website."

Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Logo Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
322 Fourth Street NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
Telephone: (202) 546-0795

"The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C. based 501(c)3 non-profit policy organization that seeks the reduction and eventual elimination of nuclear weapons as a significant tool of U.S. national security policy." In addition, "the Center's Program on Biological and Chemical Weapons Control and its Scientists Working Group seek to reinforce the norm against biological and chemical weapons and any hostile use of biology, and to enhance prevention and defense efforts against those who would violate this norm. The Program develops working papers, reports, recommendations and briefings on technical and policy issues for the Congress, the media and public, and international community."

Center for Strategic and International Studies Logo Center for Strategic and International Studies
1800 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: (202) 887-0200

"The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) provides strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decision makers committed to advancing global security and prosperity." Its "Biotechnology and Public Policy Initiative aims to bring clarity to matters where science and policy intersect and to design governmental processes and institutions to help ensure the benefits and avoid the dangers of science and technology." The focus of the CSIS Homeland Security Program "is to advance the policies, practices, and partnerships to keep America safe and secure at home and abroad."

Council for Responsible Genetics
5 Upland Road, Suite 3
Cambridge, MA 02140
Telephone: (617) 868-0870

"The Council for Responsible Genetics fosters public debate about the social, ethical and environmental implications of genetic technologies." Through the Biowarfare program, "CRG works for an end to the development and use of biological weapons, as well [as] to so-called biological 'defense' research with clear offensive applications. To advance this effort, CRG continues to put pressure on the United States to ratify the verification and enforcement protocols of the BTWC and extend the Convention to cover all genetic modification of biological agents for military purposes."

Council on Foreign Relations Logo Council on Foreign Relations
The Harold Pratt House
58 East 68th Street
New York, NY 10021
Telephone: (212) 434-9400

"Founded in 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, national membership organization and a nonpartisan center for scholars dedicated to producing and disseminating ideas so that individual and corporate members, as well as policymakers, journalists, students, and interested citizens in the United States and other countries, can better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other governments."

Federation of American Scientists Logo Federation of American Scientists
1725 DeSales St., NW
Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: (202) 546-3300

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) was formed in 1945 by atomic scientists from the Manhattan Project. Endorsed by nearly 60 Nobel Laureates in biology, chemistry, economics, medicine and physics as sponsors, the Federation has addressed a broad spectrum of national security issues of the nuclear age in carrying out its mission to promote humanitarian uses of science and technology. The goal of the Biological and Chemical Weapons Security Project is to raise awareness among scientists of their responsibility to prevent the misuse of their research and to promote public understanding of the real threats from biological and chemical weapons.

Henry L. Stimson Center
1111 19th St., NW
12th Floor
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: (202) 223-5956

"The Henry L. Stimson Center is a community of analysts devoted to offering practical solutions to problems of national and international security." Its "Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation and Response Project focuses on the history of biological and chemical weapons, measures to control their proliferation (including domestic laws and international regimes), and weapons destruction technologies. Technical reports examine the likelihood of terrorism involving chemical and biological weapons, as well as technologies and policies to prevent or counter their use."

Infectious Diseases Society of America
66 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314
Telephone: (703) 299-0200

"The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) represents physicians, scientists and other health care professionals who specialize in infectious diseases. IDSA's purpose is to improve the health of individuals, communities, and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health, and prevention relating to infectious diseases." The society "is well situated to communicate between its members, the international experts on infectious diseases and bioterrorism, and U.S. policymakers. The Society also is able to immediately alert its 7,500 members to urgent government alerts and actions."

International Coalition of the Red Cross
19 avenue de la Paix
CH 1202 Geneva
Telephone: +41 (0) 22 734 6001

"The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance." According to the ICRC, "developments in biotechnology have the potential to benefit people world-wide. Yet they may also be put to hostile uses as weapons of war or weapons which spread terror. The ICRC initiative on Biotechnology, Weapons and Humanity was prompted by the need to reduce the risk that biotechnology will be used to the detriment of humanity. It is intended to promote serious reflection on the risks, rules and responsibilities related to advances in this area."

International Council for the Life Sciences
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: (202) 659-8058

"The mission of the ICLS is to help ensure global public health, safety and security by safeguarding the opportunities offered by advances in the life sciences and their application through the promotion of best practices, standards and codes of conduct." In addition, "the ICLS will identify the most urgent biological risks and develop global standards for ICLS members to adopt and promote.  The ICLS is actively recruiting members from all sectors of the life sciences."

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
140 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60603-5285
Telephone: (312) 726-8000

"The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking institution dedicated to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement in the human condition. Through the support it provides, the Foundation fosters the development of knowledge, nurtures individual creativity, strengthens institutions, helps improve public policy, and provides information to the public, primarily through support for public interest media." "The Science, Technology, and Security Initiative is designed to support a new generation of experts who will help mitigate the dangers of weapons of mass destruction and address the challenges they pose to international peace and security."

National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism Logo National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism
P.O. Box 889
621 North Robinson, 4th Floor
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73101
Telephone: (405) 232-5121

"The National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism located in Oklahoma City is dedicated to preventing terrorism or mitigating its effects." They "sponsor research to discover equipment, training and procedures that might assist them in preventing terrorism and responding to it." The special Congressional appropriation that funds MIPT directs the organization to conduct "research into the social and political causes and effects of terrorism and the development of technologies to counter biological, nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction as well as cyberterrorism."

The National Academies
500 Fifth St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001

"The National Academies perform an unparalleled public service by bringing together committees of experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavor. These experts serve pro bono to address critical national issues and give advice to the federal government and the public." The National Academies believe that "while advanced technology often is used as an instrument of terrorism, technological tools can also be a vital source of prevention and deterrence of, and defense against, acts and agents of terrorism. In that spirit, the National Academies are engaged in a broad array of studies and other activities to aid the Nation's response to the threat of bio-terrorism."

Noblis (formerly Mitretek Systems)
3150 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church, VA 22042-4519
Telephone: (703) 610-2002

"Noblis has earned a reputation as a national center of expertise on chemical/biological defense systems through our 20 years of support to the Army in its efforts to properly dispose of the national stockpile of chemical weapons and our work on biological defense dating back even earlier. Noblis has also supported other clients in the chemical/biological arena, including the U.S. Army Soldier Biological and Chemical Command, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, the Joint Program Office for Biological Defense, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Justice, and classified governmental agencies. In conjunction with our support to federal programs, we have developed a nationally recognized resource of information on chemical and biological weapons technology. We are presently supporting the government as it develops and fields advanced decontamination technologies and sample detection and analysis facilities. Through our internal research and work with others, we are exploring new concepts for health surveillance, medical alerting and emergency preparedness in response to biological or other catastrophic threats."

Nuclear Threat Initiative Logo Nuclear Threat Initiative-Global Health and Security Initiative
1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
7th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006
Telephone: (202) 296-4810

"The Nuclear Threat Initiative's (NTI) mission is to strengthen global security by reducing the risk of use and preventing the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. NTI seeks to raise public awareness, serve as a catalyst for new thinking and take direct action to reduce these threats." Its "Global Health and Security Initiative is working to address the complex, multifaceted threat posed by biological agents. The Global Health and Security Initiative is particularly focused on Strengthening Global Disease Surveillance, Early Detection and Rapid Response and Promoting Science Security."

Partnership for Global Security
1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 1106
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: (202) 332-1412

The Partnership for Global Security (PGS), originally incorporated as the Russian American Nuclear Security Advisory Council, seeks "to create the broad and integrated networks of private and public partnerships that are necessary to meet the 21st century's global security challenges. PGS' goal is to prevent foreseeable weapon of mass destruction threats from becoming a reality by complementing and supplementing the work of governments and achieving tangible results." The Biological Threat Reduction Project "focuses on reducing the potential for the proliferation of dangerous biological agents by promoting security for sensitive biological infrastructure, monitoring bilateral and multilateral efforts to create peaceful market-oriented and public health-related employment opportunities for biological experts in Russia and the former Soviet states, and developing new initiatives that can facilitate these goals."

Ploughshares Fund
Fort Mason Center
Bldg. B, Suite 330
San Francisco, CA 94123
Telephone: (415) 775-2244

"The Ploughshares Fund is a public grantmaking foundation that supports initiatives to prevent the spread and use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and other weapons of war, and to prevent conflicts that could lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction." To facilitate this, "Ploughshares Fund grants support efforts to: increase the security of dangerous chemicals and pathogens; promote standards for responsible research; strengthen enforcement of agreements to outlaw biological and chemical weapons; support programs to destroy existing stocks of weapons; [and,] reduce the risks posed by defensive programs."

Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Logo Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
901 N. Stuart Street, Suite 200
Arlington, VA 22203
Telephone: (703) 525-0770

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies "identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society, providing in particular, an academic forum for the study of related policy issues. From these discussions and forums, [the Institute] develop[s] meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government." The Institute "has assembled noted researchers from many disciplines to address key aspects of biological terrorism, as well as publishing cutting edge research in this area. The Institute has conducted conferences with recognized experts, providing them a forum to discuss cross cutting issues and to begin to identify overall priority thrusts for policy and process initiatives needed to counter biological terrorism."

Pugwash Conferences Banner Pugwash Conferences
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei 11 Dupont Circle NW
via della Lungara, 10 Suite 900
1-00165 Rome Washington, DC 20036
Italy United States
Telephone: +39 (0) 06 687 2606 (202) 478-3440

"The mission of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs is to bring scientific insight and reason to bear on threats to human security arising from science and technology in general, and above all from the catastrophic threat posed to humanity by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction...Through meetings and projects that bring together scientists, scholars and individuals experienced in government, diplomacy and the military, Pugwash focuses on those problems that lie at the intersection of science and world affairs."

RAND Corporation
1776 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401-3208
Telephone: (310) 393-0411

"The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. For nearly 60 years, decisionmakers in the public and private sectors have turned to the RAND Corporation for objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the nation and the world. These challenges include such critical social and economic issues as education, poverty, crime, and the environment, as well as a range of national security issues. RAND researchers and analysts continue to be on the cutting edge of their fields, working with decisionmakers in both the public and private sectors to find solutions to today's difficult, sensitive, and important problems. The high caliber of our researchers is well-known, as evidenced by the many Nobel Laureates who have been affiliated with RAND, either as employees, consultants, or in an advisory capacity."

Student Pugwash USA
2029 P Street NW
Suite 301
Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: (202) 429-8900

"The mission of Student Pugwash USA (SPUSA) is to promote social responsibility in science and technology. [SPUSA] prepare[s] science, technology and policy students to make social responsibility a guiding focus of their academic and professional endeavors by: examining the societal impacts of science and technology; creating open and objective forums for debate; fostering the exchange of ideas among diverse communities; exploring solutions to current dilemmas in science and technology; and cultivating the analytical skills needed to address future challenges."

The Sunshine Project
PO Box 41987
Austin, TX 78704
Telephone: (512) 494-0545

"Many biological weapons are rapidly destroyed by bright sunlight. The Sunshine Project works to bring facts about biological weapons to light." The Sunshine Project is "an international non-profit organization with offices in Austin, Texas, US, and Hamburg, Germany." The Sunshine Project works "against the hostile use of biotechnology in the post-Cold War era, researching and publishing to strengthen the global consensus against biological warfare and to ensure that international treaties effectively prevent development and use of biological weapons."

Trust for America's Health Logo Trust for America's Health
1707 H Street, NW
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: (202) 223-9870

"Trust for America's Health (TFAH) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority." Among other achievements, "TFAH has...created specific policy recommendations based on some of the most pressing issues facing public health today. These include recommendations for improving our nation's laboratory capacity, birth defects monitoring and prevention programs, response to emerging animal-borne diseases, and efforts to develop effective strategies in the War on Cancer, based on cancer monitoring statistics."

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Center for Biosecurity Logo University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Center for Biosecurity

The Pier IV Building
621 E. Pratt Street, Suite 210
Baltimore, MD 21202
Telephone: (443) 573-3304

"Drawing on the expertise of a multidisciplinary professional staff with experience in government, medicine, public health, bioscience, and the social sciences, the Center's projects aim to: provide independent, critical research and analysis for decision makers in government, national security, bioscience, medicine, public health, and private industry; build international networks of scientists, medical and public health practitioners, scholars and decision-makers to improve communication about biosecurity, create common objectives, and facilitate development of new knowledge; develop scenarios for decision-makers that illustrate key challenges in epidemic preparedness and response and offer possible paths forward; [and] promote the responsible use and governance of increasingly powerful bioscience and biotechnologies."

US Civilian Research and Development Foundation
1530 Wilson Blvd
Third Floor
Arlington, VA 22209
Telephone: (703) 526-9720

"Both directly to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and as part of a team with Bechtel National, Inc. CRDF provides support to DTRA-funded research projects in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia that primarily focus on the diagnostics, epidemiology, and surveillance of especially dangerous pathogens. CRDF's project management support includes:

  • proposal development
  • project monitoring and execution
  • recruiting and contracting U.S. scientific collaborators
  • providing financial support to project participants
  • coordinating travel and training activities to support project activities, and
  • equipment and material procurement."

Funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York Logo and Ellison Medical Foundation Logo


Contact:  Michael Stebbins ([email protected])
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