Our 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.

Matt ClarkeMatthew 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.

Chris CushingChris Cushing is Open Briefing’s humanitarian security consultant. Chris has 25 years’ experience in leading humanitarian action, human security strategies and high-level diplomatic initiatives for international aid organisations, the Red Cross, the United Nations, governments, academia and the private sector in over 60 countries. He has directed emergency humanitarian operations in 17 wars and two disasters. Chris is a former officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and has experience with foreign intelligence agencies.

Erin DeckerErin Decker is an associate researcher at Open Briefing. She is also a research analyst in the Compliance, Forensics and Intelligence Department of Control Risks, where she specialises in business intelligence and due diligence investigations. Fluent in Russian, she also works as a professional translator and is a member of the US Department of Defense’s National Language Service Corps. She has a 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.

Kevjn LimKevjn Lim is a senior analyst at Open Briefing. 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 officer in the Singapore Armed Forces. Kevjn is fluent in a number of languages, including Arabic, Hebrew and Persian. He is currently pursuing a PhD focussing on Iran and grand strategy.

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.

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.

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.


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.

Neil SmithNeil Smith is Open Briefing’s OSINT consultant. Neil served as a police officer for 13 years, during which time he was attached to the on call firearms unit, the plain clothes vehicle crime squad, the burglary squad and the drug squad. Since leaving the police in 1996, he has worked as a full-time investigative researcher for a range of clients, including government departments, law enforcement agencies and journalists. Neil also trains investigators and journalists in the art of using the internet as an investigative tool.


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.

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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