Organization Directory

GCRI believes it is important to be aware of the many organizations working on various facets of global catastrophic risk. Understanding the landscape of GCR organizations can help to get them coordinating and collaborating effectively, as well as to identify underserved facets of GCR. To that effect, we have compiled organizations related to GCR as a service to the GCR community.

Organizations listed here all do some work on GCR, though many do work on other topics as well. This list is undoubtedly incomplete; to suggest an addition (or correction), please contact us. We would especially welcome organizations based outside the United States.

This version was published on 17 July 2013. It contains 131 organizations. All links are active as of this date. See the accompanying blog post. The previous version was published on 4 December 2012, with 117 organizations. See the accompanying blog post.

This resource was produced by Tony Barrett, Seth Baum, Tim Maher, and Grant Wilson, with additional contributions from Nick Beckstead, Gordon Irlam, Jonatas Müller, and Lennart Stern.


Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy Develops and supports multilateral disarmament and security agreements

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Lead R&D on warfighting technologies for air, space, and cyberspace forces

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Funds research in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economic performance

American Biological Safety Organization Professional association for practitioners of biological safety

American Security Council Foundation Think tank promoting American security through strategic planning on energy independence, economic and cyber security, and other emerging threats

Americas Society (AS)/Council of the Americas (COA)  AS focuses on education, debate and dialogue on the political, economic, and social issues confronting Latin America. COA is a business organization that promotes the open market, rule of law, and democracy throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center The central health surveillance network for U.S. armed forces

Aspen Institute An educational and policy organization focusing on promoting long-term vision for critical issues facing society

Association of Public Health Laboratories Promote policies, programs, and technologies that that improve the quality of laboratories and shape U.S. and global health objectives

Atlantic Council Promotes transatlantic cooperation and international security focused around many global challenges, such as violent extremism, financial security, and energy security

B612 Foundation Non-profit organization aiming to build, launch, and operate the first privately funded deep space mission in order to better understand the risk of asteroid collisions with Earth

Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Coordinates a systemic approach to the research, development, and deployment of necessary vaccines, drugs, and therapies for public health emergencies

Blue Brain Project Aims to reconstruct a brain and develop a supercomputer that can model a virtual brain for further study on neuroscience

British American Security Information Council A think tank focused on creating a world free of from the threat of nuclear weapons

Brookings Institute Think tank focused on promoting American democracy, social welfare and security of Americans, and a safer, more prosperous and cooperative international system

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Online magazine covering threats to humanity from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the life sciences; has run the Doomsday Clock since 1947

Business Executives for National Security Develops strategies using business initiatives to improve U.S. national and international security

Cambridge Project for Existential Risk Aims to establish a multidisciplinary research center within the University of Cambridge to study and mitigate existential risks

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament Advocacy group that seeks nuclear disarmament in Britain and the establishment of an international treaty banning all nuclear weapons

Carnegie Corporation of New York Large foundation promoting the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and international peace

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Focuses on coordinating efforts around international security, peace negotiations, and economic development

Center for a New American Security Focuses on developing national security and defense policies

Center for Advanced Defense Studies Focus on conducting research and education towards improving global security and stability

Center for American Progress A think focusing on providing progressive solutions to the current and future challenges of energy, national security, economic growth, immigration, education and healthcare

Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Coordinates research on infectious agents and bioterrorism

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy Coordinates response efforts for emerging infectious diseases

Center for International Policy Promotes U.S. foreign policy that leads to international cooperation, demilitarization, and human rights advancements

Center for International Security and Cooperation Stanford based focused on security and international cooperation issues, such as cyber security, nuclear security and risk, governance, health and environment, and terrorism

Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies Think tank studying and hosting dialog on the implications of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology

Center for Strategic and International Studies Think tank providing strategic insights on defense, security, energy, climate, global development and economic integration

Center for The National Interest Public policy institution currently focusing on energy security and climate change, national security, and U.S. foreign policy

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Improves global health by collaborating with global partners on the prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats

Centre for Responsible Nanotechnology Think tank focused on avoiding the worst societal and environmental uses of nanotechnology while promoting the best uses

Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force U.S. Marine force charged with responding to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high yield explosive threats

Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Chinese non-profit promoting disease control, public health management, and provision of services

Club of Rome Think tank focused on identifying the problems facing current and future humanity and promoting a sustainable vision of future growth

Committee on the Present Danger Think tank focused on increasing American resilience to terrorism and and the ideologies that drive it

Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance Global disease surveillance network designed to enhance communication and cooperation between state and global health organizations as they respond to future pandemics and biological weapon threats

Council on Foreign Relations Think tank and publisher focused on helping governments, businesses, media organizations, universities, and civic and religious leaders better understand the foreign policy choices facing countries

CS Fund / Warsh – Mott Legacy Promote progressive social change via protection of human and environmental health, biodiversity, and democracy

DARPA Conducts R&D for the U.S. Department of defense, focusing on technology applications from the fields of biology, medicine, computer science, chemistry, physics engineering, mathematics, material science, social science, neuroscience and more

Defense Threat Reduction Agency Official U.S. combat support agency for countering weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical, and high yield explosive threats

Department of Homeland Security U.S. department focused on securing the nation from threats, which requires risk management analysis, cyber security analysis, and emergency response preparedness

Department of Defense Largest U.S. government agency focused on coordinating all military personnel and operations, including research and engineering enterprise

EastWest Institute Think tank focused on improving coordination between government, business, civil society, and global social networks to create a more peaceful, just and stable world

EcoHealth Alliance Conducts research and supports projects at the intersection of conservation biology and emerging diseases

Environmental Defense Fund Coordinates U.S. and international efforts focused on researching and developing economic and policy solutions to human and environmental health issues

Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Department charged with monitoring and enforcing environmental regulation and overseeing clean-up efforts for contaminated sites

Eurasia Group Research and consulting firm that analyzes global political risk

Federation of American Scientists Think tank focused on providing analysis and policy recommendations on national and international security issues related to applied science and technology

Federal Emergency Management Agency U.S. agency charged with planning for, protecting against, responding to, recovering from, and mitigating all hazards

FONAS Germany-based Research Association for Science, Disarmament, and International Security; focuses on the intersection of technology and peace

Foreign Policy Research Institute Think tank focused on applying scholarship to improve U.S. U.S national interests abroad

Foresight Institute Think tank focused on accelerating the development of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and other similar advancements, while attempting to reduce the risks posed by these technologies

Future of Humanity Institute Oxford-based research organization analyzing big-picture questions for human civilization in an attempt to help shape the future of humanity

Global Catastrophic Risk Institute Think tank leading research, education, and professional networking on the full breadth of major global catastrophic risks

Governance & Accountability Institute Serves as an advisory and information clearinghouse for corporations on environmental sustainability and other issues

International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) Provides scientific leadership to help guide society toward a sustainable future during a period of massive global change

HKH Foundation Philanthropic organization that offers grants promoting improvements in environmental protection, safeguarding civil liberties, and peace and security

Human Survival Project Seeks to protect humanity from nuclear holocaust and its societal and environmental aftermath; a joint initiative of the University of Sydney Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the and People for Nuclear Disarmament

Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) Coordinates investments in high-risk/high-return research programs for the U.S. intelligence community

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses Indian agency focused on generating and disseminating knowledge on defense and security related issues in order to improve Indian national and international security

Institute for Molecular Manufacturing Accelerates the development of nanotechnology by conducting and funding nanotechnology research

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies Think tank focused on studying and debating what technologies society could or should develop for the future, the ethics of these emerging technologies, and possible policy recommendations to promote the best uses of these technologies

Institute for the Future Research organization focused on long-range forecasting in the social sciences and technology to better assist other organizations transform during a period of global change

Institute for Science and International Security Analyzes and communicates to the public on the science and policy behind nuclear nonproliferation and related international security issues, with emphasis on tracking nuclear weapons programs worldwide

International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change Research Fosters support for global environmental change research by coordinating national and international efforts to best identify issues of mutual interest

International Risk Governance Council Foundation focused on improving understanding and governance of systemic risks within human and environmental health, the economy, and society

International Committee for Robot Arms Control Committee of experts in robotics, arms control, security, and humanitarian law focused on reducing the risk from military robots to increase peace and international security

International Federation of Biosafety Associations Coordinates international efforts to strengthen biosecurity programs by networking with regional biosafety agencies, NGOs, academia, and governments

International Human Dimensions Programme Coordinates international social science research related to global environmental change and initiates relevant policy discussions, education, and training

James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies Middlebury College-based organization focused on reducing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and training future nonproliferation experts

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – Global Security A research branch of the U.S. Department of Energy focused on improving global security through the advancement of renewable energy sources, technological support for the intelligence community, and the development of technologies for reducing catastrophic risk from chemical, radiological, nuclear, biological, and high explosive threats

Leverage Research A team of researchers, inventors, educators, and activists focused on improving the world. Their research includes reducing catastrophic risk from totalitarianism and artificial general intelligence

Lifeboat Foundation A non-profit organization encouraging scientific advancement while reducing existential risk and other possibly harmful outcomes from emerging technologies, including nanotechnology, robotics, AI, and genetic engineering

Long Now Foundation Aims to foster long-term thinking for how society should best develop in the near-term

Machine Intelligence Research Institute Focuses on researching safe and effective pathways for developing artificial intelligence technology, and human rationality, technological forecasting, and decision making to help better predict the future

Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance Coordinates between Israel, Jordan, and Palestine to plan for disease outbreak

Millennium Alliance for Humanity & The Biosphere A group of natural and social scientists helping global civil society understand and address major threats to human well-being, such as ecological collapse, economic inequality, social injustice, hunger, epidemics, toxics, security, terrorism, and warfare

Molecular Nanotechnology Lab Research laboratory that synthesizes, characterizes, and applies advanced nanomaterials

NanoEnvironment Harvard Law-based organization focusing on improving public awareness of nanotechnology and the possible environmental impacts of nanotechnology

Nanoethics Bank Database of information for students, researchers, and the public who are interested in social and ethical implications of nanotechnology

Nanoethics Group Based at California Polytechnic State University, the Nanoethics group studies the ethical and societal implications of nanotechnology from an objective ethicist standpoint

Nanotechnology Now An informational hub for business, government, academic, and public communities interested in learning more about current and future nano sciences

Nanotechnology Risk Perception Project at Yale Law School focused on understanding how the public perceives nanotechnology risks and opportunities

National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center A branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with understanding the science of biological threats and analyzing bioterrorism and biocrime events

National Counterterrorism Center Leads U.S. efforts to combat terrorism by coordinating between all relevant agencies and intelligence organizations

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Branch of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focused on researching best practices for preventing infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases

National Nanotechnology Initiative Official coordinating body for nanotechnology R&D across 25 U.S. Federal agencies

National Nuclear Security Administration Agency within U.S. Department of Energy charged with managing and securing U.S. nuclear weapons, nuclear nuclear nonproliferation, and naval reactors

National Security Archive Library of declassified U.S. documents related to nuclear weapons, government secrecy, and other issues based at George Washington University; also supports research and investigative journalism

Nautilus Institute Assembles professionals and conducts research to help solve threats of nuclear war, urban and energy insecurity, and climate change with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region

New England Complex Systems Institute Academic research institution studying the complex interactions of social organizations, biological organisms and ecological communities by mathematically unifying physical, social, and biological systems

NSF Decision, Risk, & Management Sciences Program U.S. National Science Foundation program offering grant funding to support research towards improving decision making

Nuclear Fuel Bank project IAEA program focused on offering a secure and stable supply of low-enriched uranium to operate nuclear power reactors, thereby avoiding unmonitored enrichment programs that could be used to develop weapons

Nuclear Threat Initiative Non-profit organization focused on strengthening global security by reducing the societal risk posed by nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons

Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction Housed in the U.S. Department of State, and focuses on reducing the threat of terrorist organizations or rogue states seeking to acquire and/or use weapons of mass destruction

Oxford Research Group Develops alternative solutions to current and future conflicts by employing experts in conflict resolution, security, international relations, psychology, media, political analysis, and law

People for Nuclear Disarmament A citizens’ group based in Sydney promoting nuclear disarmament and related issues

Ploughshares Fund Supports analysis and advocacy towards improving global security and peace via reductions in nuclear arsenals

PREVENT Seeks to influence culture, commerce, and land use change as they relate to risks from zoonoses, which are diseases that transmit between non-human species and humans

Program on Science and Global Security Research group based at Princeton University studying nuclear weapons, biosecurity, and related issues

Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs Bring together scientists, academics, and public policy specialists to discuss the latest scientific insight to help reduce threats facing global society arising from science and technology, such as nuclear weapons and other WMDs

Reaching Critical Will A Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom program that works to increase the influence of NGOs in UN disarmament processes including for nuclear and other weapons

Resilience Alliance Research organization that explores complex dynamics of social-ecological systems, including concepts of resilience, adaptability, and transformability in order to improve sustainable development policy

Resources for the Future Conducts research on environmental, energy, and natural resource issues to improve environmental and natural resource policymaking worldwide

ReThink Media Helps build the communications profile of nonprofits working on disarmament, nonproliferation, conflict prevention, human rights, civil liberties, and international law and peace

Safe Nano European center on the hazard and risk of nanotechnology

Sandia National Laboratories U.S. Federally Funded Research and Development center focused on improving national security through science and technology

Saving Humanity from Homo Sapiens Philanthropic organization that supports groups working on reducing existential risk for humanity

Singularity University An academic institution focused on studying emerging and disruptive technologies that are likely to shape the future of humanity

Skoll Global Threats Fund Promotes research, education, governance, and outreach towards confronting global catastrophic risks

Society for Risk Analysis Professional society supporting discussion of risk analysis for all forms of risk, including global catastrophic risk

Spaceguard Foundation Focuses on detecting asteroids that could impact Earth and destroy ecological systems, and partnered with The Spaceguard Centre & Observatory to improve detection methods and increase education and outreach

Stewart R. Mott Foundation Funding organization originally focused on nuclear non-proliferation and overpopulation issues

Stimson Center Washington D.C. based think tank focused on improving global security and reducing weapons of mass destruction

Svalbard Global Seed Vault Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture program focused on storing seeds to ensure the survivability of global plant genetic diversity

Tellus Institute Think tank focused on helping to create a sustainable global civilization

United States Institute of Peace Official U.S. conflict management center focused on preventing and mitigating international conflict events

U.S. Intelligence Community Centralizes seventeen U.S. intelligence organizations with the common goal of increasing national and global security

University of Michigan Risk Science Center Researches current and emerging risks to human health and helps guide public policy to best address these risks

UPMC Center for Health Security (formerly UPMC Center for Biosecurity) Think tank focused on research, analysis, and policy recommendations for reducing the risk from catastrophic biosecurity events

US Department of State Biosecurity Engagement Program Works with international bioscience laboratories focused on pathogen security and biosafety projects, trains scientists and policymakers on biosecurity issues, improves surveillance for infectious disease detection, offers grants to further these ends and coordinates with partner governments to effectively implement a global biosecurity prevention and response program

USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats Program predicts, identifies, prevents, and responds to emerging pandemic threats

WHO Global Alert and Response Internationally coordinated system for identifying and responding to epidemics and other public health emergencies

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars D.C. based research center focused on bridging scholars with policy experts in a host of fields, including global environmental change, nuclear proliferation, international security, and global sustainability and resilience

World Economic Forum Risk Response Network Provides ongoing discussion of global risks and publishes the annual Global Risks Report

World Institute for Nuclear Security Helps secure nuclear and radioactive materials from theft, unauthorized access, and sabatoge

World Resources Institute Non-profit organization focused on the intersection of global environment and economic development; incorporating scientific research and economic analysis to provide policy recommendations, education, and outreach to promote healthier human and environmental systems

X Center Studies “Xevents,” meaning events that are “rare, surprising, and with large social impact,” such as pandemics, financial collapse, and earthquakes