The Center was founded in 1973 by Paul Doty as the Program for Science and International Affairs within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Its original goal was to revive serious analysis of nuclear dangers and arms control. Five years later, a major grant from the Ford Foundation made possible the establishment of the Center for Science and International Affairs (CSIA) as the first permanent research center at the newly emerging John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 1990, the Center expanded to incorporate the Science, Technology, and Public Policy Program and the Environment and Natural Resources Program. In 1997, the Center took a fourth major step in its development when it was re-endowed, refurbished, and renamed the Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.