Staff & Interns

Larry MacFaul

Acting Executive Director

International Relations | Verification

Laurence MacFaul is the Acting Executive Director at VERTIC. His work at the Centre, since 2003, has covered a range of issues including trafficking in radioactive materials, nuclear safeguards, nuclear disarmament verification, conventional arms controls, Open Skies Treaty, chemical and biological weapons investigations, the UN climate change treaty, and illegal trade in natural resources.

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

Based in London, United Kingdom.

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Angela Woodward

Deputy Executive Director | Programme Director for Compliance Mechanisms and Measures

International law | Verification | Implementation | Enforcement

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. Angela was Acting Executive Director at VERTIC from November 2019 to March 2021.

Angela has worked on a wide range of issues at VERTIC including landmines, biological and chemical weapons law and verification, nuclear disarmament verification, and currently United Nations sanctions. In 2005 she initiated VERTIC’s programme to provide legislative assistance for national implementation of the BTWC.

In addition to her VERTIC work, she is a Board member of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament (APLN) and a Council Member at the Disarmament and Security Centre (New Zealand). In May 2022 she was appointed to the New Zealand Autonomous Weapons Systems Working Group and she previously served on New Zealand’s Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control (PACDAC) (2011-2018). Angela was an adviser to the chair of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on Verification in All its Aspects in 2006, and she was the Legal Coordinator for the EU Joint Action on the BTWC (2006/184/CFSP) (2006-2007). She has taught public international law and international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Angela holds an LLM in Public International Law (Merit) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from the London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, a BA (Honours) in Political Science and an LLB from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and a university diploma in international nuclear law (Très Bien) from the University of Montpellier 1/OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, France.

Based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

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Dr Sonia Drobysz

Co-Programme Director for National Implementation

International law | Verification | Implementation

Sonia has been with VERTIC since 2013 and is Co-Programme Director for VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures programme. She oversees the development and implementation of global projects on the legislative implementation of obligations arising from international instruments for the non-proliferation of CBRN weapons and the security of related materials. She also publishes and lectures on related topics.

Sonia holds a PhD in international law from University Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. Her thesis examined 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 was formerly a teaching assistant in public 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.

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Yasemin Balci

Co-Programme Director for National Implementation

International law | Implementation

Yasemin Balci is Co-Programme Director for VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures Programme. She manages and implements projects on the legislative implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, Biological Weapons Convention, UN Security Council Resolution 1540 and agreements related to nuclear security.

Yasemin holds an LLM in international law from the University of Cambridge, where she studied on a Huygens Scholarship. She finished her honours undergraduate degree at University College Utrecht and obtained her law degree from the University of Amsterdam. She has a university diploma in international nuclear law from University Montpellier 1/OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.

Yasemin formerly worked as a Legal Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in the private legal sector in London, and as a policy officer at Cordaid, an international development NGO in The Hague.

She speaks Dutch, English, (intermediate) French and Turkish.

Based in London, United Kingdom.

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Dr Grant Christopher

Co-Programme Director for Verification and Monitoring (Acting)

Science & Technology | Verification

Grant is Co-Programme Director (Acting) in VERTIC’s Verification and Monitoring Programme. He researches nuclear disarmament verification using software modelling, non-proliferation in East Asia and the role of emerging technologies in nuclear proliferation.

Grant holds a PhD in experimental astroparticle physics from New York University. He also holds a Master’s degree in physics and a BA in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge.

In the past Grant was a research scientist at CERN, as a member of Brown University, where he conducted searches for exotic physics and supersymmetry and was a member of the CMS collaboration when they discovered the Higgs boson. For five years Grant was a Research Fellow at King’s College London and the spinout company Ridgeway Information where he worked on nuclear non-proliferation verification through open sources and the impact of emerging technologies on proliferation.

Grant is based in VERTIC’s London office.

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Alberto Muti

Co-Programme Director for Verification and Monitoring (Acting)

International Relations | Verification

Alberto Muti is Co-Programme Director (Acting) for VERTIC’s Verification and Monitoring Programme. He leads the programme’s work on IAEA Safeguards and Nuclear Security, and carries out research and analysis on DPRK, nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear verification. He has also contributed to projects on other issues, including chemical security, biological weapons verification, and conventional and cyber security.

Alberto’s work and expertise encompass planning and delivering capacity-building programmes, conducting workshops, designing tabletop simulations and “serious games” for research and training purposes, and developing innovative tools to facilitate and enhance research and analytical work.

Alberto holds a Master’s Degree in Non-Proliferation and International Security for King’s College London. In the past, he has worked for King’s College London’s Center for Science and Security Studies, focusing on Nuclear Security training and education.

Based in London, United Kingdom.

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Noel Stott

Senior Researcher

International Relations | Verification

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, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Thomas Brown

Legal Officer

International Law | Implementation

Thomas joined VERTIC in April 2019 and is a Legal Officer for VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures Programme. He works with states on the implementation of their international legal obligations concerning biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and materials.

Thomas holds an Advanced LLM in Public International Law from the University of Leiden. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Law and Criminology from the University of Sheffield, and completed the International and European Legal Studies Programme at the University of Antwerp.

He has previous experience working as a Research Fellow for the international law NGO Adalah, in the private legal sector in London, and has volunteered as a writer for a number of legal organisations.

Based in London, United Kingdom

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Hailey Wingo

Research Assistant

Science & Technology | Verification

Hailey joined VERTIC in January 2023 as a Research Assistant in the VERTIC Verification and Monitoring Programme.

Hailey completed an MA in Science and International Security from King’s College London, where she wrote her dissertation on responsible biosafety management in BSL-4 laboratories worldwide. She also holds a BSc in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Georgia Tech, where she was a Stamps President’s Scholar.

Before joining VERTIC, Hailey worked with the Global Biolabs initiative mapping biosafety and biosecurity governance in countries operating high-containment laboratories. She has also had experience in pharmaceutical process engineering and public affairs.

Based in London, United Kingdom.

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Roel Walravens


International Law | Compliance

Roel joined VERTIC in March 2023 as a Researcher on the Compliance Mechanisms and Measures Programme.

Roel completed an LLM in Public International Law at Queen Mary University of London, where he wrote his dissertation on due diligence obligations in international law. He also holds an undergraduate degree in Law from the University of Nottingham.

Before joining VERTIC, Roel worked as a Research Assistant at University College London (Faculty of Laws) on the State Silence Project.

Based in London, United Kingdom.

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Fanny Tonos Paniagua

Senior Legal Consultant

International Law | National Implementation

Fanny joined VERTIC as a Senior Legal Consultant in January 2023. She works on the NIM Programme’s projects on the implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), providing legislative assistance to States through awareness-raising and legal analysis and drafting.

She was formerly a Senior Legal Consultant for UNODA’s Implementation Support Unit for the BWC, where she advised on national implementation of the convention, a Legal Officer for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where she managed the legislative assistance programme for Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and a Legal Consultant with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban-Treaty Organization (CTBTO), where she advised on legal aspects of national implementation and on-site inspections. Prior to that, as a diplomat for the Dominican Republic, Fanny was a Counsellor at the diplomatic missions in Austria and Switzerland.

Fanny holds a law degree from UNPHU University in Santo Domingo as well as postgraduate degrees in international law, European law and nuclear law from, respectively, Manchester University, University Paris II Panthéon Assas and University Montpellier 1/ OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.

She speaks Spanish, English, French and German.

Based in Vienna, Austria.

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Hugh Chalmers

Senior Researcher

Nuclear Safeguards | Verification

Hugh is a Senior Researcher in the Verification and Monitoring Programme. He carries out research, engagement, and capacity-building to support the verification and monitoring of international agreements, with a particular focus on nuclear non-proliferation and security.

Hugh has worked for more than nine years in regulatory, governmental, and non-governmental positions to strengthen international nuclear safeguards and security. As a Safeguards Inspector for the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation, he helped to build and enforce the UK’s domestic framework for safeguards, influencing improvements to nuclear material accountancy and control at nuclear reactors, reprocessing, and decommissioning sites. As a Policy Advisor to the UK Government, he shaped the UK’s policies towards the IAEA and its surrounding international nuclear security architecture. And as a Researcher at VERTIC and the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), he produced analysis on nuclear deterrence, non-proliferation, and threat reduction.

Hugh holds a Master’s Degree in Science and Security from King’s College London, and a BSc(Hons) in Astrophysics from The University of Edinburgh. He is based in VERTIC’s London office.

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