Media Advisory: ICAN’s Executive Director, Beatrice Fihn, to stand down end of January 2023


The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has announced today that its executive director, Beatrice Fihn, has decided to step down at the end of January 2023 after nine years in the role.

Under Ms. Fihn’s leadership, the campaign was awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize and played a key role in the adoption and entry into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). The campaign has tripled in size and established itself as a powerful and modern global movement for nuclear disarmament, engaging a new generation of activists and advocates in the process.

ICAN’s International Steering Group (ISG) will now start the recruitment of a new executive director to build on Ms Fihn’s achievements and drive ICAN’s work towards the full implementation of the TPNW which has forged a strong international norm against nuclear weapons. Campaign Coordinator, Daniel Högsta, will become Acting Executive Director on an interim basis from 1 February until a new Executive Director is appointed.

While stepping down from the daily work of the campaign, Ms Fihn will remain engaged in the campaign and explore other ways to contribute to its work and the implementation of the TPNW.

Beatrice Fihn said: “I have been enormously privileged to spend almost a decade building this powerful campaign. Throughout my time at ICAN, we have achieved incredible progress in getting the international community to develop a new international law prohibiting nuclear weapons. With all the talent, commitment and strength in this movement right now, I am confident to hand over the leadership to someone new, and I know that ICAN will succeed and achieve its goal of prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons.”

The President of ICAN, Akira Kawasaki, paid tribute to Ms Fihn: “Beatrice is stepping down with the campaign in a very strong place and poised for even more success. Her skilled leadership has been central to the progress we have made in seeing the TPNW negotiated, adopted and brought into force, as well as in gaining increased global attention to the need to eliminate nuclear weapons. We are grateful for her work to turn the coalition into a powerful campaign and look forward to working with her in other ways in the future.”

Since Beatrice Fihn’s appointment as executive director in 2014, ICAN has expanded rapidly and now consists of more than 650 partner organisations in 110 countries. ICAN helped convince 122 governments to negotiate and adopt the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) at the United Nations in 2017. Together with Hiroshima-survivor Setsuko Thurlow, Beatrice Fihn accepted the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of ICAN and the campaign rapidly moved on to persuade states to ratify the treaty to bring it into force in 2021 as a new, ground-breaking disarmament treaty that has become international law. The Treaty today has ninety-one signatory states and sixty-eight states parties.

At a time when fear and concern over nuclear weapons is growing, ICAN is well placed to continue to pursue innovative ways to build stronger political pressure for nuclear disarmament and the TPNW with a new executive director and a strong coalition of over 650 NGOs around the world.

Media contact:

ICAN Head of Media, Alistair Burnett: [email protected] +44 7739 300168

More information about ICAN can be found at: