International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

  • Malden, MA

Mission Statement

IPPNW is a non-partisan international federation of physicians organizations dedicated to research, education, and advocacy relevant to the prevention of nuclear war. To this end, IPPNW seeks to prevent all wars, to promote non-violent conflict resolution, and to minimize the effects of war and preparations for war on health, development, and the environment. For its work to educate the public about the medical consequences of nuclear war, IPPNW received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize.

Main Programs

  1. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Aiming for Prevention
Service Areas



We are an international organization with affiliates in 61 nations

ruling year


Executive Director


Mr. Michael Christ

Co President


Dr. Ira Helfand



peace, disarmament, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, war prevention, public health, small arms, light weapons, landmines, weapons of mass destruction

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Also Known As






Physical Address

339 Pleasant Street Third Floor

Malden, MA 02148 3040


Cause Area (NTEE Code)

International Peace and Security (Q40)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (E01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (Q01)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

In recent years, IPPNW has succeeded in rebuilding a global movement to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons in view of their catastrophic medical and environmental consequences. In 2007, IPPNW launched ICAN—the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons— which is currently comprised of some 425 NGOS in 95 countries and was nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. IPPNW has also helped mobilize medical organizations, including the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and the World Medical Association, to speak out about the existential threat of nuclear war and the need to abolish nuclear weapons. Most recently, IPPNW and ICAN produced the Humanitarian Pledge to “stigmatize, prohibit, and eliminate nuclear weapons." At present, over 120 nations have joined the pledge, and many more are expected to join going forward.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Aiming for Prevention

NUCLEAR ABOLITION: Today there are still more than 20,000 nuclear weapons in the world, and no comprehensive process is under way to abolish them. IPPNW launched the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in 2007.  ICAN has a very clear and simple premise: in order to achieve a world without nuclear weapons, the nations of the world must negotiate an agreement to eliminate nuclear weapons, and then ban them in the future.  We call this agreement a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC).



The goal of the campaign is to reduce and prevent injuries and death from small arms violence, and its effects on health, development and peace in the developing world. In Africa, Latin America, and South Asia, IPPNW is mobilising the unique expertise and authority of physicians and public health professionals to document the devastating human impact of small arms, educate key stakeholders, and advocate policy reform.


PEACE THROUGH HEALTH AND WAR PREVENTION. IPPNW seeks to understand the links between peace and health, to prevent the human suffering associated with militarism and war, and to promote diplomacy and non-violent resolution of conflict.



Population(s) Served






Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    We recognize that the catastrophic health and environmental consequences of a nuclear war are at the extreme end of a continuum of armed violence that undermines health and security. IPPNW is committed to ending war and to addressing the causes of armed conflict from a public health perspective.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    From uranium mining to nuclear testing and production, from Nevada to Moruroa and Hanford to Chelyabinsk, IPPNW and its affiliates collect and analyze data that provides the public with a frightening assessment of the health and environmental costs of pursuing security through nuclear weapons.

    IPPNW and its affiliates not only educate the public, they also organize citizens in the nuclear states to protest and change their governments' policies. IPPNW believes that the active involvement of millions of people is essential if we are to prevent war and abolish nuclear weapons.

    Physician activists were instrumental in the campaigns to ban atmospheric and underground nuclear test explosions and in helping to shut down nuclear weapons testing sites and production facilities.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    IPPNW is the only international medical organization dedicated to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Founded by US and Russian physicians in 1980, IPPNW is credited with raising public awareness about the devastating effects of nuclear weapons and with persuading American and Soviet leaders that the Cold War nuclear arms race was jeopardizing the survival of the entire world. IPPNW received the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of this accomplishment.

    Today IPPNW mobilizes doctors, medical students, and concerned citizens in 62 countries in the service of a broader war prevention mission. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and Aiming For Prevention, IPPNW's campaign to reduce the global devastation caused by small arms violence, bring the expertise and compassion of doctors to bear on the whole human tragedy of armed conflict.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Examples of our progress are outlined in the timeline below:

    In December, IPPNW receives the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. The Nobel Committee commends IPPNW for "considerable service to mankind by spreading authoritative information and in creating an awareness of the catastrophic consequences of atomic warfare."

    IPPNW organizes a Medical Appeal to the new US President, Barack Obama, and to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed by more than 300 of the world's top physicians, who call on the leaders of the largest nuclear powers to "end the nuclear weapons era once and for all."

    Physicians and medical students represented the Aiming for Prevention campaign at the United Nations a the Arms Trade Treaty conferences in February and July, as well as the UN Programme of Action PrepCom in March.
    ICAN's Tilman Ruff awarded high Australian honor by the Queen.
    A groundbreaking report, "Don't Bank on the Bomb", released by ICAN identified more than 300 banks, pension funds, insurance companies, and asset managers in 30 countries with substantial investments in nuclear arms producers.

    On April 2, a historic Arms Trade Treaty was passed at the United Nations General Assembly in New York by an overwhelming vote of 154 yes, 3 no, and 23 abstentions. The treaty enshrines in new international law a set of clear rules for all global transfers of weapons and ammunitions. IPPNW's delegation has worked tirelessly for years on the ATT. Thousands of IPPNW members around the world have contributed to this successful outcome by writing letters, making phone calls, signing petitions, and speaking with their governments at home and in the UN. As medical professionals, we have consistently provided the public health voice to proceedings at the, national, regional and international levels. As the only health organization in a large and diverse NGO coalition, IPPNW has been a crucial voice.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    IPPNW was founded in 1980 by physicians from the United States and the former Soviet Union who shared a common commitment to the prevention of nuclear war between their two countries. Citing the first principal of the medical profession — that doctors have an obligation to prevent what they cannot treat — a global federation of physician experts came together to explain the medical and scientific facts about nuclear war to policy makers and to the public, and to advocate for the elimination of nuclear weapons from the world's arsenals.

    IPPNW received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. Although the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the US and Russia retained thousands of nuclear weapons ready to launch at a moment's notice. Proliferation and the threat of nuclear terrorism have added to the nuclear danger in the post-Cold-War world. In recent years we have learned that even a limited, regional nuclear war using a fraction of the world's nuclear weapons would cause irremediable harm to the Earth's ecosystems and could result in the starvation of as many as two billion people in a “nuclear famine."

    IPPNW has remained a leader in the global movement for a world without nuclear weapons, launching the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in 2007, and working with numerous other NGOs to campaign for a treaty that will ban and eliminate these instruments of mass extermination under international law.

    The 1990s global campaign to ban landmines marked IPPNW's first major entry into the non-nuclear arena. The federation became engaged in addressing small arms violence in 2001 when we launched Aiming for Prevention, which has broadened to include all types of armed violence. Aiming for Prevention has been driven by IPPNW affiliates from the global South—primarily Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and South Asia—who live and work in areas where armed violence is a constant threat and consumes significant portions of health care budgets.

    Continuing medical education courses and trainings in the emerging field of Peace through Health have been developed by IPPNW affiliates with university affiliations in Norway, Denmark, the UK, and Canada. IPPNW supports and encourages this academic work to advance the understanding of the interconnections between peace and health.
Service Areas



We are an international organization with affiliates in 61 nations

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War



Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

Executive Director

Mr. Michael Christ

Co President

Dr. Ira Helfand


As a father of three, Michael Christ is worried about the future of his young children. As IPPNW's Executive Director, he is convinced that physicians and health workers worldwide have a major role to play in ensuring that coming generations are protected from the effects of war and the threat of nuclear destruction. Michael joined the organization in 1988 with a background in environmental economics and political activism. He describes his visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1989, and to the downwind community of Karaul near the former Soviet nuclear test site in Kazakhstan in 1990, as "life changing." Michael led IPPNW's World Court Project to persuade the World Health Organization and the United Nations to challenge the legality of nuclear weapons at the International Court of Justice. As Director of Programs from 1996 to 1998, he was responsible for numerous projects and campaigns on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and helped to launch IPPNW's landmines campaign. Michael was appointed Executive Director in January 1998.



Bjørn Hilt

Norwegian Affiliate of IPPNW


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