Staff and interns

Andreas Persbo
Executive Director

Mr Andreas Persbo is the Executive Director of the London-based Verification Research. Training and Information Centre. He has been working on a range of issues at the centre for more than a decade. His focus has been on on-site inspections, with a particular emphasis on on-site inspections of warhead dismantlement, fissile material controls and monitoring, and CTBT inspection methodology.

Mr Persbo holds a juris kandidat from Stockholm University, Sweden, as well as a diploma in Nuclear Law from the University of Montpellier I, France. Before VERTIC, Andreas has worked with the British American Security Information Council. Before that, he served at a Swedish District Court. In the early 1990s, he completed two tours of duty as a United Nations Peacekeeper: in Lebanon and Former Yugoslavia.

His latest publications are Persbo, Andreas, 'Verification requirements' in Lodgaard, Sverre, ed. Stable Nuclear Zero: The Vision and Its Implications for Disarmament Policy. S.l.: Routledge, 2016; and Persbo, Andreas and Drobrysz, Sonia, 'Strengthening the IAEA verification capabilities' in Nuclear Weapons: Strengthening the International Legal Regime. Edited by Ida Caracciolo, Marco Pedrazzi and Talitha Vassalli Di Dachenhausen. Utrecht: Eleven International Publishing, 2016.

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

Based in London, United Kingdom.


Angela Woodward
Deputy Executive Director

Angela Woodward was appointed Deputy Executive Director in October 2014. She joined VERTIC in April 1999 and held a succession of posts, including Executive Director from 2007-2009 when she stepped down to return to live in New Zealand, from where she managed the NIM Programme from 2009-2014.

She specializes in the legal, policy and technology aspects of arms control and disarmament verification, primarily in the 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.

In addition to her VERTIC work, she has served on New Zealand's Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control (PACDAC) since 2011, and is a Member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies(IISS) and an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the School of Law, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She is also a UK expert to the EU CBRN Risk Mitigation and Centres of Excellence Initiative.

Angela was an adviser to the chair of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Verification in All its Aspects in 2006 and from April 2006 to March 2007 she was the Legal Coordinator for the EU Joint Action on the BTWC (2006/184/CFSP). During 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. View her profile on LinkedIn.

Based in Christchurch, New Zealand.


Scott Spence
Programme Director for National Implementation

Scott is the Programme Director for the National Implementation Measures (NIM) Programme. He oversees the strategic vision and delivery of the programme, which works with interested governments in all regions of the world on comprehensive national implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540), the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions, and the international instruments for nuclear security. This includes awareness-raising activities, promoting universal membership in several treaties and legislative assistance.

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' - Indonesia's gift basket to the Nuclear Security Summit in 2014 - 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. In April 2015, the preceding documents were submitted by the UK Permanent Mission to the UN in New York to the Chair of the Security Council's 1540 Committee as examples of best practice for legislative implementation of UNSCR 1540. Scott also developed the OPCW's 'National Legislation Implementation Kit' for the Chemical Weapons Convention. His other publications can be found here.

Scott is a registered attorney with the New York State Unified Court System. He is also an Associate Fellow with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy as well as a member of the Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment (GET) Consortium, the International Nuclear Law Association (and Secretary of the Nuclear Security Working Group) and International Law Association (Swiss chapter). He is also the Key Expert-Legal for the EU's CBRN Centres of Excellence Initiative Project 53.

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 speaks French and Spanish. He's LinkedIn and available by email.

Based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Larry MacFaul
Programme Director for Verification and Monitoring
Editor-in-Chief, VERTIC publications

Larry is a Senior Researcher with the Verification and Monitoring Programme where he works on arms control, security, environment and trade issues. He has published and spoken widely on these areas. Larry carries out analysis, project development and management, and government capacity-building. His work has covered a range of issues including illicit trafficking in radioactive materials, nuclear safeguards, nuclear disarmament verification, conventional arms trade controls, the UN climate change treaty, and illegal production and trade in natural resources. He works with governments, international organisations, businesses, research institutes and other stakeholders.

Larry is editor of VERTIC’s Trust & Verify publication series and a member of the editorial board for the international journal Climate Law.

Larry holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a BA Hons from Oxford University.

Based in London, United Kingdom.

Sonia Drobysz
Senior Legal Officer

Sonia is a senior legal officer for VERTIC's National Implementation Measures programme where she works on the national implementation of international instruments related to nuclear security, UNSC Resolution 1540 and the Biological Weapons Convention. She analyses legislation, provides legal advice on draft laws and regulations, assists in legislative drafting, raises awareness and publishes on the international and national legal framework for non-proliferation and nuclear security. She also contributed to the development of legislation drafting tools, such as VERTIC's online BWC Legislation Drafting Assistant and National Legislation Implementation Kit on Nuclear Security. 
Sonia holds a PhD in international law from University Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. Her thesis looked at the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the nuclear non-proliferation regime. She also holds a master degree in international law and international organisations from University Paris I, and a university diploma in international nuclear law from University Montpellier 1/ OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. Sonia attended the public international law session of The Hague Academy of International Law in 2009.
Sonia formerly taught international relations, international law and constitutional law at the Sorbonne University. She was also an associate research fellow at the French Centre for International Security and Arms Control Studies (CESIM) where she worked and published on the IAEA safeguards system.
She speaks English, French and Spanish.
Based in Paris, France.


Noel Stott

Senior Researcher

Noel Stott joined VERTIC in November 2016 after more than 14 years as a Senior Researcher and then Senior Research Fellow at the South African-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS). He has extensive experience in all aspects of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation having worked on the challenges facing African states by the proliferation of conventional weapons. In particular, Mr Stott has knowledge of small arms and light weapons. In 2007, he established and led ISS’ programme on ‘Africa’s Development and the Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction’. This programme aimed to enhance Africa’s role in international efforts to strengthen weapons of mass destruction disarmament and non-proliferation initiatives in the context of Africa’s developmental imperatives through the provision of primary research, policy recommendations and training activities.

Recent publications include: Amelia Broodryk and Noël Stott, ‘Progress towards securing Africa's nuclear resources’, ISS Research Report, March 2012; Noël Stott, ‘The Treaty of Pelindaba: Towards the full implementation of the African Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty’, ISS Research Report, March 2011; Nicolas Kasprzyk, Mothepa Shadung and Noël Stott (eds), ‘Towards the 2016 Comprehensive Review: former experts assess UNSC Resolution 1540’, ISS Monograph No. 19, October 2015; Nicolas Kasprzyk, Emmanuelle Maitre, Xavier Pasco and Noël Stott, ‘The Hague Code of Conduct regulates ballistic missiles. How will African states benefit from subscribing?’, ISS Policy Brief, 29 September 2016; Annie DuPre, Nicolas Kasprzyk and Noël Stott, ‘Cooperation between African states and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’, ISS Research Report, November 2016; Sarah Parker, Nelson Alusala, Mothepa Shadung and Noël Stott, ‘National implementation of selected arms control instruments: a legislative guide for African states’, ISS Research Report, December 2016.

Based in London, United Kingdom.

Katherine Tajer

Katherine has been with VERTIC's since 2013, and has served as the administrator and a research assistant. Currently, she works for the Verification and Monitoring team as a researcher, mainly on the team's nuclear security and safeguards projects. In addition, Katherine has co-authored VERTIC's paper "Cyberspace: an assessment of current threats, real consequences and potential solutions" and is currently working on a follow up paper. 

Katherine has a BA in International Relations from Tufts University and an MA in Nonproliferation and International Security from King's College London. Prior to working at VERTIC, Katherine interned at the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington DC. 

Based in London, United Kingdom.


Cédric Apercé

Legal Officer 

Cédric is a Legal Officer for VERTIC's National Implementation Measures programme, where he works on the national implementation of UNSC Resolution 1540, the Biological Weapons Convention and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Prior to joining VERTIC, Cédric was a British Red Cross Research Fellow on the joint British Red Cross/International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) project on customary international humanitarian law. He formerly worked as a legal attaché at the ICRC Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law in Geneva, and as a legal assistant to the United Nations International Law Commission. Cédric also conducted several internships with Avocats sans Frontières France, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in Geneva.

Cédric holds an LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from the Geneva Academy (Switzerland), a Master in International and Comparative Law from the University of Toulouse (France), as well as a Master of Comparative Law from the Universities of Mannheim (Germany) and Adelaide (Australia).

Cédric speaks French, English and Spanish.

Based in London, United Kingdom.

Mariama Gerard

Mariama was appointed as VERTIC’s Administrator in January 2017. Prior to joining VERTIC, she was the Assistant International Manager for a UK-based educational trade association and therefore comes with extensive experience in organising local and international seminars, workshops and exhibits. Her previous position also involved assisting small and medium enterprises in obtaining financial support before venturing into international markets. At VERTIC, she is responsible for financial record keeping, developing strategies designed to ensure fulfilment of the organization's administrative goals and for providing administrative support to VERTIC’s various programme and projects. She assists the Executive Director with the preparation of financial estimates and reports for the Board of Trustees.

Based in London, United Kingdom. 



Ana Grusa Golja
Intern, Verification and Monitoring

Ana Grusa Golja is a MSc International Politics master student at SOAS, University of London. She is currently writing her master dissertation on Japanese nuclear policy under supervision of dr Kristin Surak. Prior to joining VERTIC, she was an invited undergraduate MEXT scholar at the University of Utsunomiya, Japan, where she was researching the role of Self-Defense forces in the Japanese defence policy. She earned her BA in Japanese and International relations at Institut national des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, France. 

Based in London, United Kingdom.

Madison Estes
Intern, Verification and Monitoring

Madison Estes is a Non-proliferation and International Security master's student at King's College London, where she is writing her dissertation on U.S. nuclear modernisation and the New START Treaty. Before beginning her full time studies at King's, Madison spent three years in Washington, D.C., as a young professional in both the public and private sectors. Her most recent position was with Gryphon Partners, a boutique advisory firm founded by Ambassador (ret.) Zalmay Khalilzad. Prior to joining Gryphon Partners, she served as a staff member in the office of U.S. Senate Majority Whip, Senator John Cornyn. She earned her B.A. in International Relations & Global Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Based in London, United Kingdom