John is chief of research at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Since joining UNIDIR in 2004 John has managed and led research projects on a range of topics related to international security, particularly on arms control, humanitarian law and disarmament, and he has published widely.
His current work focuses on issues related to nuclear weapons, the autonomous weapons, drones, and the use of explosive weapons use in populated areas.
He is also a member of a United Nations expert group on the weaponization of increasingly autonomous technologies.
Prior to joining UNIDIR, John worked in the arms unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and before that was deputy for disarmament at the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva from 1999 to 2002.
He received his DPhil from University of Bradford, and a BA (Hons) from the University of Canterbury, in New Zealand.
Areas of expertise
- Nuclear weapons and disarmament
- Enhancing civilian protection from explosive weapons use in populated areas
- The autonomization of weapon technologies
- Humanitarian disarmament
- Cluster munitions and landmines
|2015 -||Chief of Research, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)|
|2013-15||Senior Researcher and Policy Adviser, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)|
|2004-11||Senior Researcher and Project Manager, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)|
|2003-04||Policy Adviser, Arms Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross|
|1999-2002||Deputy for Disarmament, New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva|
|1996-99||Policy Adviser, International Security and Arms Control Division, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade|
- NPT Success and the Humanitarian Initiative (International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI)-UNIDIR NPT paper no. 5), with Tim Caughley and Nick Ritchie, Geneva and Oslo: IPI-UNIDIR, 2015
- A Limit to Safety: Risk, ‘Normal Accidents’, and Nuclear Weapons (ILPI-UNIDIR Vienna paper no. 3) Geneva and Oslo: IPI-UNIDIR, 2014
- Viewing weapons through a humanitarian lens: From cluster munitions to nukes? with Tim Caughley, in Irish Studies in International Affairs, Vol. 25, 2014, pp. 23-43
- Improving UN Planning for a Humanitarian Response to a Nuclear Detonation in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vol. 70 No. 5, 2014, pp. 74-85.
- An Illusion of Safety: Challenges of Nuclear Weapon Detonations for United Nations Humanitarian Coordination and Response with T. Caughley, Geneva, 2014
- Enhancing Civilian Protection from Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas: Building a Policy and Research Agenda with M Brehm, in International Review of the Red Cross, 2012
- Unacceptable Harm: A History of How the Treaty to Ban Cluster Munitions Was Won Geneva, 2009