Core Staff

CCW Director

robert.johnson@history.ox.ac.uk

CCW Director of Studies 

annette.idler@politics.ox.ac.uk

CCW Director of Research on Russia & Northern European Defence & Security

andrew.monaghan@pmb.ox.ac.uk


RESEARCHERS

Jan Boesten is a postdoctoral research fellow in the CCW project From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Promoting Human Security in Colombia and Internationally. He holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  His dissertation was on the Colombian Constitutional Court and its decision to curtail constitutional reform. Recent works include "The Generalization of Particularized Trust: Paramilitarism and Structures of Trust in Colombia" published in Revista Colombia Internacional, and "Colombia's Critical Juncture: The Communicative Origin of the 1991 Constitution" published in Precedente: Revista Jurídica. His research interests include judicial institutions, trust relations in political systems, and post-conflict democratization.

Jan Boesten is a postdoctoral research fellow in the CCW project From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Promoting Human Security in Colombia and Internationally. He holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  His dissertation was on the Colombian Constitutional Court and its decision to curtail constitutional reform. Recent works include "The Generalization of Particularized Trust: Paramilitarism and Structures of Trust in Colombia" published in Revista Colombia Internacional, and "Colombia's Critical Juncture: The Communicative Origin of the 1991 Constitution" published in Precedente: Revista Jurídica. His research interests include judicial institutions, trust relations in political systems, and post-conflict democratization.

Dr Jan Boesten

Postdoctoral Research Fellow:
From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace

jan.boesten@politics.ox.ac.uk

Graham Fairclough is a DPhil candidate in cyber security at the University of Oxford. Prior to commencing his studies, he was a career soldier in the British Army, reaching the rank of Colonel. Throughout his career he was employed on intelligence and security duties, which included operational tours in Northern Ireland, Belize, The Balkans, Iraq and Cyprus. Senior appointments included three years in the United Kingdom’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), responsible for the delivery of intelligence architecture and capability in Iraq and Afghanistan during the period 2007- 2010 and as the first Chief of Staff to the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Intelligence between 2010 - 2013. He has served on a number of occasions in operational appointments with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and has worked closely in a number of roles with other elements of the United Kingdom’s Intelligence Community and its international partners. Graham possesses a MSc in Knowledge Management Systems from Cranfield University and a MA in Defence Studies from Kings College, London. His DPhil research is focused upon the adoption of a strategic active cyber security posture by the United Kingdom in its National Cyber Security Strategy. Where his worked is based upon ‘elite interviews’ of members of the UK’s cyber security community. In addition, he undertakes research concerning the impact of the operational cyber environment on the future character of war, how cyber security incidents are understood by decision makers and the empowerment of non-state actors through the low-barriers of entry that exist for cyberspace. He is a Research Associate with the Changing Character of War Programme based in Oxford where he is the lead on cyber and future technology issues. He is a participant in NATO’s future Urbanisation Warfare Programme in which he provides specialist advice on the operational and tactical requirement for cyber capability and its potential employment by commanders. He is also a member of NATO’s Allied Commander Transformation (ACT)’s Innovation Team in a cyber capacity. In addition, he is a standing member of the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Staff Strategy Forum and an advisor to the Ministry of Defence’s Global Strategic Trends Programme.

Graham Fairclough is a DPhil candidate in cyber security at the University of Oxford. Prior to commencing his studies, he was a career soldier in the British Army, reaching the rank of Colonel. Throughout his career he was employed on intelligence and security duties, which included operational tours in Northern Ireland, Belize, The Balkans, Iraq and Cyprus. Senior appointments included three years in the United Kingdom’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), responsible for the delivery of intelligence architecture and capability in Iraq and Afghanistan during the period 2007- 2010 and as the first Chief of Staff to the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Intelligence between 2010 - 2013. He has served on a number of occasions in operational appointments with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and has worked closely in a number of roles with other elements of the United Kingdom’s Intelligence Community and its international partners.

Graham possesses a MSc in Knowledge Management Systems from Cranfield University and a MA in Defence Studies from Kings College, London. His DPhil research is focused upon the adoption of a strategic active cyber security posture by the United Kingdom in its National Cyber Security Strategy. Where his worked is based upon ‘elite interviews’ of members of the UK’s cyber security community. In addition, he undertakes research concerning the impact of the operational cyber environment on the future character of war, how cyber security incidents are understood by decision makers and the empowerment of non-state actors through the low-barriers of entry that exist for cyberspace. He is a Research Associate with the Changing Character of War Programme based in Oxford where he is the lead on cyber and future technology issues. He is a participant in NATO’s future Urbanisation Warfare Programme in which he provides specialist advice on the operational and tactical requirement for cyber capability and its potential employment by commanders. He is also a member of NATO’s Allied Commander Transformation (ACT)’s Innovation Team in a cyber capacity. In addition, he is a standing member of the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Staff Strategy Forum and an advisor to the Ministry of Defence’s Global Strategic Trends Programme.

GRAHAM FAIRCLOUGH

DPhil candidate in cyber security at the University of Oxford & Research Associate a the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre

graham.fairclough@oii.ac.uk

 

Hannah Smidt is a postdoctoral researcher at The CCW. She holds a doctorate from the School of Public Policy at University College London as well as B.A. and M.A in Political Science from the University of Mannheim. She also studied at Johns Hopkins University and at Science Po Lille in France. Her research focuses on political violence, democratization in war-torn countries, UN peacekeeping and quantitative methods. She has conducted fieldwork on elections during peacebuilding processes in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, with support of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation. As recipient of the Graduate Scholarship for Cross-Disciplinary Training in the UCL Computer Science Department, she developed a novel dataset on geo-referenced UN-led peacebuilding activities in Côte d’Ivoire using quantitative text analysis and machine learning. Her first single-authored article has been published in the Journal of Peace Research (2016). Her paper on UN peacekeepers’ choice of activities was awarded the 2016 Cedric Smith Prize (given every year by the British Conflict Research Society) and attracted funding from the Folke Bernadotte Academy.

Hannah Smidt is a postdoctoral researcher at The CCW. She holds a doctorate from the School of Public Policy at University College London as well as B.A. and M.A in Political Science from the University of Mannheim. She also studied at Johns Hopkins University and at Science Po Lille in France. Her research focuses on political violence, democratization in war-torn countries, UN peacekeeping and quantitative methods. She has conducted fieldwork on elections during peacebuilding processes in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, with support of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation. As recipient of the Graduate Scholarship for Cross-Disciplinary Training in the UCL Computer Science Department, she developed a novel dataset on geo-referenced UN-led peacebuilding activities in Côte d’Ivoire using quantitative text analysis and machine learning. Her first single-authored article has been published in the Journal of Peace Research (2016). Her paper on UN peacekeepers’ choice of activities was awarded the 2016 Cedric Smith Prize (given every year by the British Conflict Research Society) and attracted funding from the Folke Bernadotte Academy.

DR Hannah Smidt

Postdoctoral Research Fellow:
The Changing Character of Conflict Platform

hannah.smidt@politics.ox.ac.uk

 
Melissa L. Skorka is Research Associate and DPhil candidate of the Oxford University Changing Character of War Centre (CCW). A Smith Richardson World Politics and Statecraft Fellow and Stanford University Research Assistant for the Mapping Militants Project, Skorka arrived at the CCW after a decade of serving as an advisor and practitioner, specializing in international security with an emphasis on U.S. foreign policy, violent non-state actors, natural resource conflict, and governance institutions in Central Asia and Africa. As a strategic advisor to the Commanding General of the International Security Assistance Force, Skorka completed four consecutive tours in Afghanistan, where she advised U.S. and NATO armed forces. In her final tour, she served in the ISAF Haqqani Fusion Cell as a policy and counterterrorism advisor to General Joseph Dunford, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Alongside her academic research, Skorka provides advice to the U.S. government and NATO armed forces on security issues. She is a counterterrorism expert who is respected by senior policymakers and armed forces professionals for her insights into violent extremism and its consequences. Skorka earned a double master's degree from the University of Oxford, focusing on Global Governance and Diplomacy, and African politics, with an emphasis on U.S. foreign energy policy in Nigeria's Niger Delta. She is a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Truman National Security Project Fellow, and member of Women in International Security. Skorka’s work and commentaries have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a monograph of the modern history of terrorist political adaptation to U.S. foreign policy in order to encourage new thinking and more effective counterterrorism in twenty-first century war.

Melissa L. Skorka is Research Associate and DPhil candidate of the Oxford University Changing Character of War Centre (CCW). A Smith Richardson World Politics and Statecraft Fellow and Stanford University Research Assistant for the Mapping Militants Project, Skorka arrived at the CCW after a decade of serving as an advisor and practitioner, specializing in international security with an emphasis on U.S. foreign policy, violent non-state actors, natural resource conflict, and governance institutions in Central Asia and Africa.

As a strategic advisor to the Commanding General of the International Security Assistance Force, Skorka completed four consecutive tours in Afghanistan, where she advised U.S. and NATO armed forces. In her final tour, she served in the ISAF Haqqani Fusion Cell as a policy and counterterrorism advisor to General Joseph Dunford, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Alongside her academic research, Skorka provides advice to the U.S. government and NATO armed forces on security issues. She is a counterterrorism expert who is respected by senior policymakers and armed forces professionals for her insights into violent extremism and its consequences.

Skorka earned a double master's degree from the University of Oxford, focusing on Global Governance and Diplomacy, and African politics, with an emphasis on U.S. foreign energy policy in Nigeria's Niger Delta. She is a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Truman National Security Project Fellow, and member of Women in International Security. Skorka’s work and commentaries have appeared in the Wall Street JournalThe New YorkerForeign Policy, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a monograph of the modern history of terrorist political adaptation to U.S. foreign policy in order to encourage new thinking and more effective counterterrorism in twenty-first century war.

MELISSA L. SKORKA

DPhil Candidate, Smith Richardson World Politics & Statecraft Fellow, & Research Associate of the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre 

melissa.skorka@history.ox.ac.uk

 
Dr Nicholas Cole is a Senior Researcher at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he runs a multi-disciplinary project using computers to model the process of multi-party negotiations, such as the creation of modern constitutions, treaties or legislation. He read Ancient and Modern History at University College, Oxford, where he also completed his MPhil and doctorate, specializing in the history of ideas.  He has expertise in the ways that digital technologies are transforming research and teaching in the humanities, and in the development of user interfaces that can assist in the understanding of complicated processes.  He has held various teaching and research positions at the University of Oxford, and since April 2016 has served as the AH DAR at DCDC in a part-time capacity.  

Dr Nicholas Cole is a Senior Researcher at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he runs a multi-disciplinary project using computers to model the process of multi-party negotiations, such as the creation of modern constitutions, treaties or legislation. He read Ancient and Modern History at University College, Oxford, where he also completed his MPhil and doctorate, specializing in the history of ideas.  He has expertise in the ways that digital technologies are transforming research and teaching in the humanities, and in the development of user interfaces that can assist in the understanding of complicated processes.  He has held various teaching and research positions at the University of Oxford, and since April 2016 has served as the AH DAR at DCDC in a part-time capacity.  

DR NICHOLAS COLE

Senior Research Fellow, Pembroke College Oxford

nicholas.cole@history.ox.ac.uk

 

Administrative Staff

Ruth Murray .jpg

Ruth Murray

CCW Programme Administrator

ruth.murray@pmb.ox.ac.uk

Benjamin Tams

Project Administrator:
From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace, & The Changing Character of Conflict Platform

ben.tams@politics.ox.ac.uk

 

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Olivia Griffiths

CCW Programme Assistant

olivia.griffiths@pmb.ox.ac.uk