Directors

Andreas Persbo
Executive Director
andreas.persbo [at] vertic.org

Andreas Persbo was appointed Executive Director in February 2010 by the Board of Trustees at the 2010 Annual General Meeting. Before that he has held positions as Researcher, Senior Researcher and Acting Executive Director. He also held the position of Company Secretary.

He specializes in nuclear arms control. This includes work on confidence-building measures between States and the verification of nuclear disarmament. Andreas is also responsible for maintaining the organization's watching brief on issues relating to the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and International Atomic Energy (IAEA) safeguards. He also monitors the development of verification mechanisms for the proposed Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT).

In addition, he acts as the chief liaison to the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization in respect to national implementation of nuclear arms control agreements.

Andreas holds a juris kandidat (LL.B. LL.M) in public international law and European human rights from Stockholm University, Sweden. He was formerly legal practitioner as well as a consultant with the British American Security Information Council (BASIC).

He is a member of the International Law Association (where he is an occasional representative by proxy in the Executive Council) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies

View his public profile (which includes publications) on Linked-in.


David Keir
Programme Director - Verification and Monitoring
david.keir [at] vertic.org

Originally a research chemist in academia, David Keir joined the nuclear industry in the 1980s, as part of a UKAEA team, analysing nuclear reactor accidents and their environmental consequences worldwide.

Subsequently he headed a group looking at chemical and biological risks, and developing assessment methods for release of genetically modified organisms. He provided technical reportage for the European Union on member state implementation of GMO directives, as well as developing risk assessments for legacy anthrax and other biohazards.

Returning to nuclear issues in the late nineties, he then acted as a safety consultant in the UK nuclear weapons field, specialising in nuclear safety cases and environmental management systems. From 2001 to September 2011 he was a key member of the Arms Control Verification Research programme, based at Aldermaston. David joined VERTIC in September 2011.

David's appointment to Programme Director was ratified by the Board of Trustees in 2012.


Scott Spence
Acting Programme Director - National Implementation Measures
scott.spence [at] vertic.org

Scott is currently the Acting Programme Director for the National Implementation Measures (NIM) Programme. He implements the strategic vision and technical delivery of the programme, which works with interested governments on comprehensive national implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540, the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions, and certain international instruments to secure nuclear and other radioactive material. This includes awareness-raising activities, promoting universal membership in several treaties and legislative assistance. Scott is also a Key Legal Expert, on behalf of VERTIC, for the European Union's CBRN Centres of Excellence.

Scott previously worked at INTERPOL and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). He also worked as an attorney in the New York office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Scott developed the 'National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security' as well as VERTIC's 'Legislative Guide to National Implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540'. He also co-developed the 'Sample Act' for national implementation of the Biological Weapons Convention, and prepared VERTIC's 'Regulatory Guidelines' for implementation of the BWC and the OPCW's 'National Legislation Implementation Kit' for the Chemical Weapons Convention. His other publications can be found here.

Scott earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. He also has an LL.M. in Public International Law from Leiden University; undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Virginia (with high distinction) and Harvard University; and a Diplôme d’Université de Troisième Cycle in International Nuclear Law (très bien (highest honours)) from the International School of Nuclear Law at the Université Montpellier I.

Scott is a registered attorney with the New York State Unified Court System. He is also a member of the International Nuclear Law Association (and Secretary of the Nuclear Security Working Group) and International Law Association.

Scott speaks French and Spanish. He's Linked in.


Angela Woodward
Programme Director - National Implementation Measures
angela.woodward [at] vertic.org

Angela Woodward specializes in the legal, policy and technology aspects of arms control and disarmament verification across the nuclear, biological, chemical and conventional weapons fields. She has published and spoken widely on BTWC implementation and verification. In 2005 she initiated VERTIC’s programme to provide legislative assistance for national implementation of the BTWC. 

Angela joined VERTIC in April 1999 and was promoted to Deputy Director in January 2005 and Executive Director in August 2007. In 2009, she stepped down to return to live in New Zealand, from where she now manages VERTIC's NIM Programme. Her appointment to Programme Director was ratified by the board in June 2009.

During 2006 she served as an adviser to the chair of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Verification in All its Aspects and as a non-official member of the New Zealand delegation to the BTWC Sixth Review Conference. From April 2006 to March 2007 she was the Legal Coordinator for the EU Joint Action on the BTWC (2006/184/CFSP) and was subsequently a UK legal expert to this activity. From January 1998 to April 1999 she worked for the Programme for Promoting Nuclear Non-Proliferation (PPNN) at the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies, University of Southampton, United Kingdom.

Angela holds an LLM in Public International Law (Merit) and a post-graduate certificate in higher education (PGCHE) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, and a BA (Hons) in Political Science and an LLB from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She is a Member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and a Fellow of the New Zealand Centre for Strategic Studies (NZ:CSS). Angela holds joint New Zealand/British nationality.

Angela is a non-resident staff member based in Christchurch, New Zealand.