How Carnegie Is Helping Nurture a New Generation of Peace Advocates

Andrew Carnegie secured his legacy as an advocate for world peace by creating the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Of course, the Carnegie Corporation of New York also works to advance this legacy as a top funder in the peace and security field.

A case in point is its support of the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship, which recently received a $400,000 two-year grant from the foundation. 

The Scoville Fellowship was established back in 1987 “to recruit and train the next generation of policy and advocacy leaders on a range of international peace and security issues.” Its namesake, Dr. Herbert Scoville Jr., was a nuclear arms control activist and actively cultivated interest in young scholars around nuclear security and arms control.

Back in the 1980s, with the Cold War still raging, all sorts of funders were throwing money at peace and security studies, and grooming young people to work in this field seemed like a no-brainer. But funding priorities shifted after the Berlin Wall came down, and many funders moved on to other issues like the environment. 

Still, with the help of some stalwart funders, the Scoville Fellowship kept chugging along, which is a good thing given that the Cold War's end didn't exactly bring lasting peace to the world. In many ways, things grew more dangerous. 

The fellowship provides an opportunity for recent college graduates and graduate students to spend six to nine months as a salaried project assistant with a public interest organization in the field. Since its establishment, 151 fellowships have been awarded, and unsurprisingly, Scoville recently announced a partnership with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Nuclear Policy Program.

Carnegie has long been one of the fellowship’s major funders. For example, it gave it a 36-month $400,000 grant in 2009. At the expiration of that grant in 2012, Carnegie awarded another grant of $400,000, this time over a 24-month duration. On the awarding of the grant in 2012, the foundation noted the usefulness of entry-level fellowships like Scoville. “To meet the challenges of the coming years,” the Corporation noted “the nuclear security community must recruit, develop, and nurture talented young people. This need is all the more acute given the lack of opportunities for on-the-job training in the field.”

Other foundations that have backed the fellowship over the past decade include the Ettinger Foundation ($5,000 grant in 2005), the New Land Foundation ($10,000 grants in 2004 and 2005), and the Public Welfare Foundation. The Public Welfare Foundation provided substantial funding during the previous decade: They made grants of $7,000 and $50,000 in 2003, $20,000 in 2005 and $150,000 and $100,000 in 2006 and 2009 respectively. After the Public Welfare Foundation’s grants to Scoville fell off—likely as a result of the recession, which hit many foundations pretty hard—it seems Carnegie is helping to pick up the slack

This time period is key for the field of peace and security, and not just because of the continued attempts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. As Carnegie notes: “With a generation of security specialists close to retirement, the peace and security community will eventually lose their expertise, practical knowledge, and professional and political savvy.”

While smaller funders may come and go, it seems Carnegie’s commitment to funding both the present and the future of the arms control and global security field, and likely Scoville in particular, will endure.