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Press Release

Patricia Lewis to Lead International Security Research

8 November 2011

Chatham House is pleased to announce that Dr Patricia Lewis will become its new Research Director for International Security in February 2012. The appointment reflects the greater emphasis on international security research within the institute, following two years of growth in this area, in which much of its focus has been on cyber security, proliferation, and UK and European security and defence. International security at Chatham House will become one of the institute's four core areas of research, along with regional studies and international law; energy, environment and resources; and international economics. 

Patricia Lewis will join Chatham House from her position as Deputy Director and Scientist-in-Residence at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, California. Previously she was Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva (1997-2008) and Director of the Verification Institute VERTIC (1989-1997). She has served on a number of expert panels, including the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament (1998–2008) and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, chaired by Hans Blix. Before taking up her position at UNIDIR, she was a member of the expert panel appointed by the Secretary of State for Defence to provide input into the UK's 1998 Strategic Defence Review. 

Dr Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House, said: 'I am delighted to welcome Patricia Lewis to Chatham House. Her significant international experience and reputation will be a great asset as we seek to integrate the views of emerging powers and other countries alongside the US and European states into coordinated international responses to new and existing security risks.'

Dr Patricia Lewis, said: 'At a time when international security is beset by many challenges and uncertainties, we are also entering a period of great opportunities, particularly in regard to recent political changes and new scientific developments. I am looking forward to working with the highly professional and cross-disciplinary team at Chatham House to create fresh responses to rapidly changing security environments.' 

Notes to Editors:

Dr Patricia Lewis will take up her new post in February 2012. She replaces Dr Paul Cornish, Head of the International Security Programme and Carrington Chair in International Security, who left Chatham House in September to take up a professorial appointment in International Security at the University of Bath. 

Dr Lewis is a dual national of Ireland and the United Kingdom. She holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Manchester and a PhD in Nuclear Structure Physics from the University of Birmingham. She has published and spoken widely on aspects of science, verification, arms control, disarmament and nonproliferation. She was the Elizabeth Poppleton Fellow at the Australian National University in 1992 and the UK Governmental Expert on the 1989-1990 United Nations Expert Study on Verification in All its Aspects. 

Dr Lewis was the Director of VERTIC, the Verification Research and Training Centre in London (1989-1997) and Director of UNIDIR in Geneva (1997-2008). She was also a consultant for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Ministry of Defence on verification of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. She was a reviewer for the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (1996), a Member of the Tokyo Forum for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (1998-99), a Commissioner (Ireland) on the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, commonly referred to as the Blix Commission (2004-06), and a special advisor to the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament chaired by Gareth Evans and Yoriko Kawaguchi (2008-10). Most recently Dr Lewis served on the Advisory Panel on Future Priorities for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons chaired by Rolf Ekeus (2010-11). In her capacity as Director of UNIDIR, she was a member of the United Nations Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters (1997-2008).

Dr Lewis has published widely over her career, including most recently on prospects for a zone free of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East (Arms Control Today, September 2011 and Disarmament Forum no. 2, UNIDIR 2011) and on EU-US cooperation for nuclear security and disarmament (EU Institute for Security Studies, 2011). 

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