The team

Staff and volunteers

Chris AbbottChris Abbott is the founder and executive director of Open Briefing. He is an honorary visiting research fellow in the School of Social and International Studies at the University of Bradford, and an adviser to the sustainable security programme at Oxford Research Group, a leading foreign affairs think tank of which he was deputy director until 2009. He is also an international security consultant, and the author of two popular books on security and politics. Chris has a degree in psychology and a master’s degree in social anthropology.

Shazad AliShazad Ali is a contributing analyst at Open Briefing. He is a journalist and researcher with nearly 20 years’ experience in print and online journalism. He has been the assistant editor of the Vienna-based journal Perspectives on Terrorism and now serves as a member of its editorial board. His research focusses on religious extremism and terrorism in Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East. Shazad has a master’s degree in international relations and is pursuing a PhD in European studies at the University of Karachi.

Arman BaisuanovArman Baisuanov is a contributing analyst at Open Briefing. As a Kazakhstani diplomat, he has had a wide-ranging diplomatic career over nearly 20 years, which included three years as a liaison officer to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and contributing to drafting the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone treaty. Most recently, he was a counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Arman is fluent in English, Russian and Kazakh.

Nick BransonNick Branson is a contributing analyst at Open Briefing. He is an expert in African politics, governance and the rule of law. He has advised governments, political parties, legislatures and civil society organisations across Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa. He is currently a senior researcher at the Africa Research Institute and a deployable civilian expert for the UK Stabilisation Unit. Nick holds a master’s degree in international studies and diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Matt Clarke

Matthew Clarke is an associate researcher at Open Briefing. Following a master’s degree from the University of Birmingham, with a dissertation on the development of counter-insurgency strategies in Iraq, Matthew has worked in business, politics and the European NGO community. In particular, he has specialised in human rights in the South Caucasus, sustainable economic development in Southeast Europe and pan-European energy demands. Matthew is now a freelance campaigner and analyst.

Erin DeckerErin Decker is an executive associate at Open Briefing. She is also a marketing coordinator at TMK IPSCO. Between 2009 and 2013, she worked as a translator, marketing associate and editor for various multinational consulting firms and financial institutions in Russia, including PricewaterhouseCoopers. She is a member of the US National Language Service Corps. Erin has a bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies (global security) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Steve HathornSteve Hathorn is a senior analyst at Open Briefing. He is an intelligence analyst with nearly 20 years’ experience encompassing the British Army, Defence Intelligence Staff, National Criminal Intelligence Service, UN, International Criminal Court and the Competition and Markets Authority. He has worked on projects covering terrorism, human rights abuses, international organised crime and threats to humanitarian operations. Steve has recently completed a master’s degree in international politics and security.

Scott HickieScott Hickie is a senior analyst at Open Briefing. He is a lawyer and former political adviser in the New South Wales Parliament, with a background in environmental law, natural resource governance and climate change. He has also worked in the Australian non-governmental sector on international trade and corporate social responsibility. His research focus is on political risk in resource management regimes across Southeast Asia. Scott has recently worked on climate change adaptation for the City of Toronto.

Kirthi JayakumarKirthi Jayakumar is an executive associate at Open Briefing. She is a lawyer, specialising in public international law and human rights. She has worked as a UN volunteer and extensively with grassroots organisations that focus on women’s rights. She is also the co-founder and editor of A38, an international law journal and consultancy. Kirthi’s main interests lie in international law, international relations, peace and conflict studies and human rights.

Kevjn LimKevjn Lim is a senior analyst at Open Briefing. He is a humanitarian professional and independent writer and analyst. From 2007 to 2011, he served as delegate for the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Palestinian territories, Sudan, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, specialising in civilian protection and political and security needs analysis. He is also a former intelligence officer in the Singapore Armed Forces. Kevjn is fluent in a number of languages including Arabic, Hebrew and Persian.

Roger MarshallRoger Marshall is Open Briefing’s security consultant. Roger has worked in the private security and risk sector since leaving government service in 2004. He has advised a wide range of individual, corporate and public sector clients on security measures, intelligence gathering, due diligence, fraud analysis and global travel risk. He is the managing partner at Bradburys Global Risk, where he also coordinates security and intelligence field operations and advises personnel on the ground.

Rob O'GormanRob O’Gorman is a senior analyst at Open Briefing. He is a former Canadian Forces intelligence operator and officer with over 20 years’ experience providing tactical, operational and strategic assessments. As a mission support officer, he was also involved in arms control verification operations in select regions of the world. More recently, Rob has supported Canada’s counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan, together with the government’s Canada First strategy in the high Arctic.

Marc van OudheusdenMarc van Oudheusden is a contributing analyst at Open Briefing. He is a senior adviser to the Dutch government, with the security, international crisis management and public order portfolio. He is also a senior adviser to NATO, advising on civil-military cooperation, civil emergency planning and multilateral crisis management. Marc’s special interest is political and security threat analysis for the Middle East. He has a master’s degree in Arabic language and culture, and he serves as strategic adviser to the Arab-West Report in Cairo.

Gustavo Plácido dos SantosGustavo Plácido dos Santos is an associate researcher at Open Briefing. He is also a researcher at the Portuguese Institute of International Relations and Security. He is the founder of an African affairs blog called East & South, and contributes to the online magazine Think Africa Press. Gustavo holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon and a master’s degree in international conflict from Kingston University in the United Kingdom.

Kirsten WintermanKirsten Winterman is an associate researcher at Open Briefing. She is also a projects officer at Beyond Borders Scotland. She has worked alongside a number of NGOs, businesses and government departments, including the John Smith Memorial Trust, the Consortium for Street Children and the D Academy, an international development organisation. Kirsten has a master’s degree in conflict resolution from the University of Bradford and a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Liverpool.

Mary YoungDr Mary Young is a contributing analyst at Open Briefing. She is a lecturer in law and a researcher of transnational organised crime and financial crime at the Bristol Law School at UWE. After completing her PhD, she was made a research fellow at Aberystwyth University, and carried out research into organised crime in Jamaica. She subsequently taught international finance in Aberystwyth’s School of Management. Mary also has a fellowship at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law at Cambridge University.

Raphaël ZaffranRaphaël Zaffran is an associate researcher at Open Briefing. He is a Geneva-based analyst and political scientist researching and teaching international security issues. His research focuses on conflict and diplomacy, security institutions and peace operations, political communication and security sector governance and reform. Raphaël is currently pursuing a PhD at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, focusing on the design of exit strategies in multilateral foreign interventions.


Hamit Dardagan (Photo: Christian Nolle/Oxford Research Group)Hamit Dardagan is the the co-director of Every Casualty and the co-founder and principal researcher at Iraq Body Count, where he has taken the lead on the development of the organisation’s analytic tools and outputs. He was the co-director of the Every Casualty programme at Oxford Research Group until 2014, where he has been the consultant on civilian casualties in war since 2007. Hamit was previously the chair of Kalayaan, a human rights campaign for overseas domestic workers in the United Kingdom.

Ian DavisDr Ian Davis is the founding director of NATO Watch, a not-for-profit virtual think tank that examines the role of NATO in public life. He is also an independent human security and arms control consultant, writer and activist. Between 2001 and 2007 he was the executive director of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC) and before that programme manager at Saferworld. Ian is an adviser to the UN Association-UK and ISIS Europe.

Isabel HiltonIsabel Hilton is the founder and editor of China Dialogue, the world’s first English-Chinese bilingual website devoted to the environment. She is an international journalist and broadcaster and has worked for Scottish Television, the Daily Express, the Sunday Times, the Independent, the New Yorker and the BBC. Since 2001 she has been a presenter of the BBC Radio 3 cultural programme, Night Waves. Isabel has authored and co-authored several books.

Nick MabeyDr Nick Mabey is the chief executive and a founder director of E3G, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the transition to sustainable development. In addition to his management role, Nick leads E3G’s work on climate security and European climate change policy. Nick was previously a senior adviser in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit and, before joining government, head of economics and development at WWF-UK.

Martin QuadroyMartin Quadroy is a former military intelligence officer and senior adviser to the Australian government. He served as an intelligence officer in the Australian Defence Force, as assistant director for terrorism and transnational issues in the Defence Intelligence Organisation, and as a senior adviser to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Martin left public service in 2006, and currently works in law enforcement intelligence. He is a former contributing analyst at Open Briefing.

Paul Rogers (Photo: Christian Nolle/Oxford Research Group)Professor Paul Rogers is professor of peace studies at the University of Bradford and global security consultant to Oxford Research Group. He has worked in the field of international security, arms control and political violence for over 30 years. He is the international security editor of openDemocracy, and has written or edited 26 books. Paul is also a regular commentator on global security issues in the national and international media.

John Sloboda (Photo: Christian Nolle/Oxford Research Group)Dr John Sloboda is co-director of Every Casualty and co-founder of Iraq Body Count. From 2004 to 2009, he was the executive director of Oxford Research Group, and from 2009 to 2014 he was co-director of the organisation’s Every Casualty programme. He is also emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Keele and an honorary professor in the School of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. In July 2004, John was elected to the Fellowship of the British Academy.


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