Dr Rob Johnson is the Director of the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow of Pembroke College, and Associate of the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford.

As Director, Dr Johnson sets and manages the research agenda, is responsible for the management of staff, and offers supervision to Visiting Research Fellows, Post-Doctoral Researchers, and postgraduate students. He also advises and delivers direct support to government and armed forces in defence and security matters, transferring his knowledge in related academic and research fields. His bespoke advisory support is not limited to the United Kingdom, but is requested by US and European armed forces. The Director is now prominent within professional military education, as a member of the advisory panel of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, lecturer for the Royal College of Defence Studies, and as the director of ‘insight and understanding’ programmes for UK and US Special Operational Forces and Security Services, a unique position which has been crucial in the educational development of those organisations but which also provides a bridge between the security forces and the academic community. His former military career involved innovations in counter-terrorism, but also gives him a clear understanding of the requirements and thinking of the armed services. He is a visiting lecturer in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria and France.

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Director of Studies

Dr Annette Idler is Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Programme, University of Oxford; a Research Associate at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford and a Research Associate at the Graduate Institute Geneva’s Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding. She also serves as an expert for the global analysis and advisory firm Oxford Analytica and is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) in the field of Security and Rule of Law. A full list of Annette's publications is available on her personal website here.  

As Director of Studies, Dr Idler develops the Programme’s research agenda, directs the research activities and supervises Visiting Research Fellows. Having worked in the past for UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the German Development Organisation GIZ, Dr Idler also brings in her vast experience to actively engage the policy community on matters related to CCW. Her engagement has included international agencies such as the UN Department of Political Affairs and governmental institutions including Ministries of Defence, of Foreign Affairs and of Justice of countries ranging from the UK over Germany to Colombia. Dr Idler is regularly invited as expert speaker to internationally renowned defence and security think tanks such IISS, Chatham House or RUSI. 

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Director of Research on Russia and Northern European Defence and Security

Dr Andrew Monaghan has been appointed as the Director of Research on Russia and Northern European Defence and Security. He will be responsible for the academic direction of research on Russia undertaken under the Programme’s auspices whilst also pursuing his own research in one of the core disciplines of the Programme.

Dr Monaghan will be joining us from Chatham House, where he was a senior research fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House.  He was previously a visiting fellow at the Changing Character of War Programme, and until late 2012, he led the Russia related research in the Research Division of the NATO Defence College (NDC) in Rome. He has served as an expert witness to several parliamentary committees including the UK’s National Security Strategy Committee and the House of Commons Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committees. He received his PhD in Russian foreign policy from the Department of War Studies, King’s College, from where he also obtained an MA in War Studies, graduating with the Simon O’Dwyer Russell prize.


Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Dr Lukas Milevski is a Smith Richardson Strategy and Policy Fellow 2015-16 researching and writing a manuscript on contemporary Baltic defence from a strategic and historic perspective at the Changing Character of War programme at the University of Oxford.  In 2014 he graduated with his doctorate from the University of Reading, where he studied strategy with Colin S. Gray.  He has published widely on questions of strategy in academic and professional military journal and some of his work has been translated into other languages or republished in foreign military journals.  His first book, The Evolution of Modern Grand Strategic Thought, is being published by Oxford University Press in 2016.  A full list of his publications is available online here