Tell me about yourself. Your background.
I’m from the UK and most of my working life has been in the UN and international organisations, mostly in human resources. I started my professional international life in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna, Austria.
I moved to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), where I worked in the conflict prevention center. In March 1997 the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) Preparatory Commission - which is an organization that monitors nuclear testing ahead of Treaty implementation - started its offices in Vienna. I was one of the first seven people hired by CTBTO and I worked in the Office of the Executive Secretary. In 2005, I was promoted to the role of Training Officer where I organised training courses and developed training programmes. In 2010, I moved to Brindisi, Italy to work as an administrator for the Standing Policy Capacity, part of the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO). This unit rapidly deploys police officers to peacekeeping missions, such as Haiti, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Congo.
In general, I find the threat of testing and using nuclear weapons very scary. By reading correct data you can diffuse situations. That's why it's important to have the right information and get it to the right people.
What is your role at ONN? Tell me about the Engagement Network.
My role is manager of the Engagement Network. The Engagement Network will be composed of high-level persons, such as former or future diplomats, military, academics, and scientists who have access to nuclear decision-makers in their respective countries. In the event there's a conflict situation, they work to de-escalate the conflict. I help recruit and stay in contact with the members of the network to keep ONN up to date. We provide them with data and analyses as they need it, and they provide us with their expert insights and local knowledge to spot opportunities to de-escalate conflict before nuclear weapons come into play.
Why is the Engagement Network important for the global community?
It is important because the network will be the link that will pave the way for ONN to be able to reach these potential decision-makers. We can provide them data and analyses, but it's up to them to use this information wisely to de-escalate conflict before a nuclear weapon could be used due to error, uncertainty or misdirection.
Open Nuclear Network works hard to make sure our information is not biased, it’s based on fact. We need organizations like Open Nuclear Network and its Datayo software to help de-escalate conflicts like this.