VERTIC (the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre) is an independent, non-profit-making charitable organization. Established in 1986, VERTIC supports the development, implementation and verification of international agreements as well as initiatives in related areas.
VERTIC provides this support through research and analysis, assistance and training, dissemination of information, and interaction with the governmental, diplomatic, technical, scientific and non-governmental communities.
VERTIC’s work focuses on the development and application of monitoring, reporting, review, verification and compliance mechanisms, and on national implementation measures.
VERTIC is based in central London, governed by a Board of Trustees and advised by an International Verification Consultants Network. It is funded by philanthropic foundations, governments and other organizations and is regulated by the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Reg. Co. No. 3616935, Reg. Charity No. 1073051).
Verification Research, Training and Information Centre - VERTIC
56-64 Leonard Street
Tel: +44 (0)20 7065 0880
Fax: +44 (0)20 7065 0890
As the Programme Assistant to the National Implementation Measures (NIM) Programme, Yasemin provides administrative and legal research support to the Programme. She received her bachelor´s degree from University College Utrecht (Utrecht University) and her LLM degree in Public International Law from the University of Cambridge, where she studied on a Huygens Scholarship.
Before joining VERTIC, Yasemin worked as a policy officer at Cordaid, an international development NGO in The Hague, and was a Lantos/Humanity in Action Fellow at the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the United States House of Representatives. Yasemin holds joint Dutch/Turkish nationality and speaks Dutch, Turkish and English.
- Pro-Bono Consultant to the Arms
Control and Disarmament Programme
Hugh is currently a postgraduate masters student within the Centre for Science and Security Studies at Kings College, where he is focussing on the interactions between technology and politics in disarmament verification. Having previously held an internship position with VERTIC, where he worked on the Arms Control and Disarmament Programme, he now joins VERTIC as a volunteer to help maintain and update the VERTIC blog.
He holds a BSc with honours in Astrophysics from the University of Edinburgh, which he obtained in 2008. Hugh has also completed internships with Jane’s Information Group and the Centre for Science and Security Studies.
David Cliff - Researcher
David joined VERTIC’s Arms Control and Disarmament Programme as a Research Assistant in May 2010, having previously worked at VERTIC as an intern. His work involves a range of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation issues. David has co-authored VERTIC reports on verified warhead dismantlement and the irreversibility of nuclear disarmament. David also contributes to VERTIC’s quarterly publication Trust & Verify and provides assistance to the work of the National Implementation Measures and Environment programmes as required.
David holds a BA (Hons) in Geography and an MA in International Affairs, both of which he gained at the University of Exeter. In addition to his previous role as an intern at VERTIC, David has also worked as an intern at the International Relations and Security Network in Zurich, where he wrote several articles on nuclear weapons issues for online publication.
- Pro-Bono Consultant to the Arms
Control and Disarmament Programme
Sonia is currently a PhD candidate in international law at University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, where she also teaches international relations and constitutional law. Her research focuses on the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency within the non-proliferation regime. She has been volunteering for VERTIC on the Arms control and disarmament programme since 2010, helping with research, reports and T&V publication.
She 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/ Nuclear Energy Agency.
Sonia is also a junior associate research fellow at the French Centre for international security and arms control studies (CESIM) and the PR and Europe liaison for the International network of emerging nuclear specialists (INENS). She is based in Paris.
Hassan Elbahtimy - Researcher
Hassan contributes to VERTIC’s Arms Control and Disarmament Programme. This includes work on verification of nuclear disarmament and researching nuclear confidence-building measures between States with a focus on the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.
Hassan is currently a PhD candidate in War Studies, Kings College London. He holds an M.B.B.Ch from Cairo University, an International Relations Graduate Diploma from American University in Cairo and an MA in Science and Security from War Studies Department, Kings College London. In 2006, he was awarded the United Nations Disarmament Fellowship upon successful conclusion of the program. Hassan is fluent in Arabic, English and French.
Rocio Escauriaza Leal - Legal Officer
Rocío is researching the status and effectiveness of national implementation measures adopted for the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (2004) for VERTIC's National Implementation Measures Programme. She is directly involved in providing legislative assistance to States Parties to implement the BWC and CWC, on the development of assistance tools to that end and on the ratification and accession of those Treaties to achieve their universalization. Rocío participates in the organization of VERTIC workshops and meetings on national implementation issues.
Rocío has a Law degree from the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid and an LLM in International Law from the University of Westminster where she researched the International Protection of Children's Rights. She has previously worked within the private sector as a lawyer. Rocío is fluent in Spanish, French and English.
Rocío is a non-resident staff member based in Madrid, Spain.
David Keir - Senior Researcher
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. Since 2001 he has been a key member of the Arms Control Verification Research programme, based at Aldermaston.
He has worked both as an integrated member of the AWE team and an independent voice within the scientific community.
Larry MacFaul - Senior Researcher
Larry MacFaul manages the Environment Programme and works on Arms Control & Disarmament Programme projects. Larry carries out analysis, and provides advice and capacity building on the UN climate change regime to a range of stakeholders. He focuses on options for developing climate change institutions and procedures at the international and national level, and engages closely with groups working on these issues, including governments, international organizations, civil society, research bodies and the private sector. Larry also works on identifying ways to track and improve REDD policy development and implementation. He has acted as a facilitator for in-country capacity building workshops for governments in Africa and Europe, in partnership with international agencies.
Larry also assesses progress in developing best practice in natural resource use and trade. He collaborated with Chatham House on their major project evaluating progress by governments and the private sector on tackling illegal logging worldwide. The initiative has involved developing an innovative set of indicators, a forest governance assessment framework, expert surveys and trend evaluation methodologies. Chatham House and VERTIC worked with in-country partners around the world to collect and evaluate data. The project resulted in the most thorough assessment to date in this field, along with recommendations on pathways for improvements.
His work on arms control & disarmament includes acting as facilitator during on-site activities for VERTIC’s UK-Norway project on verified dismantlement of nuclear warheads, as well as editing and assisting authors preparing ACD and NIM papers. He has also researched and published on verification issues in the arms trade, and provided lessons from environmental treaties to governments involved in initiatives to develop the Arms Trade Treaty.
Larry has a Master's degree in Environmental Assessment and Evaluation from the London School of Economics and a BA Hons in Classics from Oxford University.
Andreas Persbo - Executive Director
Andreas Persbo was appointed Executive Director in February 2010 by the VERTIC Board of Trustees at the 2010 Annual General Meeting.
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. Formerly a legal practitioner and a consultant with the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), Andreas has been with VERTIC since 2004.
He is a member of the International Law Association and the International Institute for Strategic Studies
Scott Spence - Senior Legal Officer
Scott is VERTIC's Senior Legal Officer and works primarily in the National Implementation Measures Programme. He is co-ordinating the technical and policy components of the Programme with Angela Woodward. This includes supervision of a global review and analysis of national implementing measures for the Biological Weapons Convention and, by extension, the biological weapons-related provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1540. He is also leading assistance activities, including workshops in capitals, with the objective of assisting governments to prepare draft legislation to implement both the Biological and Chemical Weapons Conventions. Scott is also a Senior Legal Expert for the UNICRI/JRC CBRN Centres of Excellence.
In addition to preparing the 'Sample Act' for national implementation of the BWC with Angela Woodward, he developed VERTIC's 'Regulatory Guidelines' for implementation of the BWC and the 'National Legislation Implementation Kit' for the CWC.
With Andreas Persbo and Samir Mechken, Scott is developing a new component for the National Implementation Measures Programme: a legislative response to the illicit trafficking of radiological and nuclear materials.
Scott blogs regularly on the VERTIC website, contributes to VERTIC's quarterly publication Trust & Verify, and supervised the complete overhaul of VERTIC's website in time for its 25th anniversary in 2011.
Scott previously worked at Interpol and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He also worked as an attorney in the New York office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
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 and undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Virginia (with high distinction) and Harvard University.
Scott is an Assistant Editor for the forthcoming revised 'Commentary on the Chemical Weapons Convention' (Oxford University Press). His other publications can be found here.
Scott speaks French and Spanish and is a member of the International Law Association. He is based in Geneva.
- Programme Director
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. She stepped down to return to live in New Zealand in June 2009, from where she now manages VERTIC's NIM programme.
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.