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Research Assistants




Oliver Hegglin is a geopolitical threat analyst in the private sector and has a master’s degree in international affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a dual bachelor’s degree in international studies and anthropology from Washington College. Between and during degrees he completed internships with diplomatic representations and the United Nations, and worked for an international NGO. Oliver is a Specialist Officer with Swiss Armed Forces International Command where he supports the training for peace support operations and has served abroad in Mali and Kosovo. He is a board member of the NGO Imholz Foundation. His research interests include peacekeeping, the Arctic and Swiss and global security issues.

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Hamish Cruickshank has an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Edinburgh and recently completed a master’s degree with distinction at the University of Amsterdam where he specialised in Russian and Eastern European Affairs. He produced his master’s thesis on Russia’s Arctic turn and examined the transforming security dynamics of the High North. Hamish has a strong interest in international relations and security studies and has conducted considerable research on Russian foreign policy, Eurasian geopolitics and Arctic security.

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Mette Kaalby Vestergaard holds a MSc. in International Security and Law from University of Southern Denmark and an undergraduate degree in Market and Management Anthropology. She has basic military training, acquaintance with teaching and experience from a peace building NGO in Ghana, where she worked with early warning systems in West Africa. Her research focus is on Sub-Saharan Africa and cross-border conflict dynamics and subsequent risk analysis. Additionally she provides research on topics such as genocide prevention, peace building, R2P, cultural conflicts, civil-military collaboration and military operations.

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Luke Austin has recently completed his MA with distinction in Governance and Global Affairs at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO). He wrote his master’s dissertation on the levels of consistency and contradiction between actual policy-making and political discourse in the framework of EU-Russia relations. Luke also holds a BA in Japanese and Russian from the University of Leeds. He has previously interned for the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) in Moscow.

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Ataa Dabour is the founding President of Security and Human Rights Association based in Geneva. She obtained a first Master’s degree in Humanities and in Transnational History from the University of Geneva. She then obtained a Master of Advanced Studies in Global Security and Conflict Resolution at the Global Studies Institute. She is also certified in Human Rights from the University of Leiden. Her professional career allowed her to specialize in contemporary issues relating to armed conflict, defense, security, new technologies, and international humanitarian law. In 2018, she became editor for the Swiss Military Review (SMR).

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Global Leadership Fellows

Sam Biden is a double law graduate from Aberystwyth University whose degree focused primarily in the enforcement and protection of civil liberties. His research surrounded areas such as data protection, protection from unlawful interference, environmental law, freedom from torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, humanitarian law and natural law jurisprudence. Sam’s areas of interest include the advocating for the protection of digital liberties, ensuring of safe passage and treatment for the victims of the migration crisis and the drafting of solutions to repair corporate exploitation resulting in human rights violations and exacerbated climate damage.

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Joiené Chambers has recently graduated in with a BSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Bath. She has a passion for activism, safeguarding human rights, and reporting on topics that shape contemporary society. She wishes to be an element of positive change and empowerment by tackling socio-economic, environmental and political issues.

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Simeon Bradstock holds a bachelor degree in War and Security Studies from The University of Hull. His dissertation was ‘What was the strategic efficacy of allied special forces in WW2’. Has an interest in the holistic approach to security with a focus on the impact of geopolitics and military conflict.

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Nawal Abdisamad recently graduated from a Russel Group University in International Relations with an Upper second class. She is interested in international law, human security, foreign policy, and US politics. Nawal has worked as a charity officer, BBC interviewer, and teaching assistant.

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Immaculate Mmadueke is a skilled photographer and lover of painting and travel and used to volunteer as an art teacher at a summer recreational centre. She will be Global Leadership Fellow until September, when she returns to her studies at the University of East London.

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Nathan Woodward studied Indie Games Development at Teesside University, he is currently a voluntary developer and community manager for an online gaming community.

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Ben Richards has recently completed his A-Level studies in Law, phycology and Philosophy and is interested in rising awareness of human rights issues around the world. He will be working as a global Leadership Fellow until he begins employment with the west midlands police in September.

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