Dr Alex Vines OBE

Research Director; Director, Africa Programme

Headshot of Alex Vines


Alex Vines has led the Africa Programme at Chatham House since 2002. Previously he has held roles at Chatham House as director for regional studies and international security, and director for area studies and international law.

He chaired the UN Panel of Experts on Côte d’Ivoire from 2005 to 2007, and was a member of the UN Panel of Experts on Liberia from 2001 to 2003. He was also a member of the Commonwealth Observer Group to Nigeria in 2023 (Mozambique in 2019 and Ghana in 2016) and a UN election officer in Mozambique (1994) and Angola (1992).

He worked at Human Rights Watch as a senior researcher on its Africa, Arms and Business and Human Rights programmes, and has served as a consultant including for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); JICA, DFID, USAID, the EU and for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He has also written expert reports for the EU parliament and has testified to law makers including for the US Congress and Senate, the EU parliament, the UK and Finnish parliaments and the Angolan and Mozambican National Assemblies.

He is an assistant professor at Coventry University, and sits on the editorial and advisory Boards for the South African Journal of International Affairs, Africa Review (journal of the African Studies Association of India), and the Journal of Southern African Studies.

He also serves on the board of EG Justice – an NGO focused on Equatorial Guinea and is on the advisory board of the John & Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS) at the University of Bradford.

Alex was awarded an OBE in 2008 in recognition of his work including founding and developing Chatham House’s Africa programme and holds a PhD from Coventry University.

A full list of research outputs by Alex can be found at this link.

Past experience

2019 - 2024Managing Director, Risk, Ethics and Resilience, Chatham House
2019 - presentMember, Advisory Board of the John & Elnora Ferguson Centre for African Studies (JEFCAS), University of Bradford and formerly visiting Lecturer, Peace Studies and International Development, (2012-13 and 2018)
2013 - presentFellow (Hon.), Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos
2010 - presentDirector, EG Justice
2009 - presentAssistant Professor (previously Senior Lecturer), Faculty of Arts & Humanities; and Director of the African Studies Centre, Coventry University (2014-16)
2002 - present Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House
2012-18Research Director, Area Studies and International Law, Chatham House
2008-2012Director of Regional and Security Studies, Chatham House
2005-2007Member, later Chair, UN Panel of Experts on Côte d’Ivoire
2001-2003Member, UN Panel of Experts on Liberia
1993-2010Senior Researcher, Business and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch (part-time) and formerly Researcher/Senior Researcher, Arms and Africa Divisions, Human Rights Watch (full-time)
1999-2002Associate Fellow, British-Angola Forum, Chatham House
1997MacArthur NGO Fellow, Department of War Studies, King’s College, University of London
1994-2000Research Associate, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford
1994Electoral officer, UNOMOZ, Mozambique
1992Electoral officer, UNAVEM II, Angola
1990-1993Africa Analyst, Control Risks
1990Consultant, Centre for Southern African Studies, University of York
1989Research Assistant, National Museums and Monuments, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
1988Graduate Scholar, British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

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