Beatrice Fihn on Fight for a Future Free of Nuclear Weapons

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March 2017 was an exhilarating time for Beatrice Fihn. The executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was at the U.N. in New York City for talks with more than 120 countries to negotiate a treaty on banning nuclear weapons. One moment still stands out: Nikki Haley, then U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and a group of diplomats from several NATO countries held a press conference outside the General Assembly to protest the talks.

“It was such a hilarious role reversal,” Fihn tells me when we meet for lunch in New York this fall, referring to all the times nuclear-disarmament activists have been outside the corridors of power. “Now, we were in the driver’s seat.”

Fihn, 40, has been trying to shift these dynamics ever since she took the helm of the Geneva-based ICAN nearly…

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