Associate Fellow, International Security
John Borrie

Contact information

+41 22 917 34 28 (based in Switzerland)


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

Past experience

2015 -Chief of Research, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
2013-15Senior Researcher and Policy Adviser, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
2004-11Senior Researcher and Project Manager, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
2003-04Policy Adviser, Arms Unit, International Committee of the Red Cross
1999-2002Deputy for Disarmament, New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva
1996-99Policy Adviser, International Security and Arms Control Division, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade