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John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Commits $600,000 to Girl Security to Diversify the National Security Talent Pool

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded $600,000 over three years to Girl Security to further its work to diversify the national security talent pool. This award is part of the MacArthur Foundation’s “Nuclear Challenges” Initiative, which seeks to build a stronger and more diverse nuclear field in order to effectively engage nuclear threats. 

While there is growing recognition of the need to increase women’s inclusion and participation in national security, women, populations of color, and other groups remain systematically underrepresented in nuclear policy and related fields. For example, women make up less than 40% of the U.S. State Department’s leadership and only 26% of leadership at the Pentagon. Building an inclusive and diverse talent pipeline is vital to generating innovative, sustainable, and inclusive national security solutions that respond to present and emerging threats.

“We are deeply grateful for the Foundation’s generous support,” said Girl Security Founder & CEO, Lauren Bean Buitta. “From digital threats to nuclear weapons to climate change, many of the most pressing national security challenges have gendered, racist, and other disparate impacts. Girls, women, and other underrepresented communities bring unparalleled insights and lived experiences to this consequential field.”

Through this multi-year grant, Girl Security will advance a range of supportive pathway programs, that provide accessible learning; financially-supported, high school-to-college-to career training that builds enduring skills for a future workforce shaped by national security; relationship-based mentoring, which helps to provide the social capital and networks that are often required to advance in male-dominated fields; and broader efforts to drive the conversation around equity in national security.

About Girl Security: Founded in 2016, Girl Security is forging equity in national security for girls, young women, and gender minorities. With partnerships across the nation and globally, Girl Security is preparing the next generation of national security leaders. Follow Girl Security on Twitter @GirlSecurity_ and Instagram @GirlSecurity_.