Executive Committee

BISA is run by a board of trustees who make up our Executive Committee. The majority of trustees are elected by you – the members – however we have some trustees who are co-opted to take on specialist roles. All of our trustees are unpaid. Because we’re a registered charity, our trustees are legally responsible for our management and administration. They have expertise and interests that represent the main areas of our activity and a breadth of experience from the wider world. You can find out more about becoming a trustee on our elections page.

Our staff attend the Executive Committee meetings so they can give advice based on their individual expertise. This also ensures they can focus on the priorities of our trustees.

Professor Ruth Blakeley
Professor Ruth Blakeley, Chair
University of Sheffield

Ruth is Head of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield. Her research interests are in international security, terrorism and political violence, and human rights. Her research on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation programme has had considerable impact, through litigation on behalf of torture victims at the European Court of Human Rights, and through various police and government level investigations into the role of the UK’s intelligence and security services. She was lead editor of the Review of International Studies from 2015-2019.

Professor Kyle Grayson
Professor Kyle Grayson, Vice-Chair
Newcastle University

Kyle (PhD York University, Canada) is a Professor of Security, Politics, and Culture and the Head of the School of Geography, Politics, and Sociology at Newcastle University. Kyle joined the board of trustees as a co-opted member in 2016  shortly thereafter becoming the Secretary and serving as the Conference Programme Chair from 2017-2020. He is looking forward to continuing to represent and serve the interests of BISA members in the Vice-Chair role.

Toni Haastrup
Professor Toni Haastrup
University of Stirling, Secretary

Toni is Chair in International Politics at the University of Stirling. A feminist researcher and teacher, her work seeks to understand prevailing global power hierarchies that inform cooperation and conflict within the international system. Her work has explored the security practices of regional actors with a focus on the African and European Unions; the politics of knowledge making in the context of the Women, Peace and Security; Global South perspectives on Feminist Foreign Policy and the gendered and racialised nature of and responses to contemporary crises. Toni has published extensively in these areas.

In addition to being BISA Secretary, Toni is on the executive board of Women Also Know Stuff. She frequently participates in knowledge exchange activities having worked with decision-makers in Ireland, Canada and the UK, and consulting for international organisations like the EU and the World Bank. Toni is an experienced speaker and an occasional media commentator.

Ilan Zvi Baron
Professor Ilan Zvi Baron
Durham University

Ilan is a Professor in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University. He has been Head of School, Deputy Head of School and Director of Education. He has held visiting positions at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of British Columbia, and the London School of Economics, and has university teaching experience in Canada, Spain, Israel and the UK. He has published widely on such topics as post-truth politics, violence, the international cultural politics of food, Jewish Diaspora/Israel relations, and political responsibility. His work is largely concerned with the international politics of the everyday. 

Ilan's focus as trustee is on teaching and learning. BISA has done a lot of work in supporting this side of the vocation and Ilan is delighted to be able to continue in this tradition. He wants to help develop more productive ways of supporting academics as educators, encouraging students become lifelong learners and academics to become lifelong educators.

Dr Nick Caddick
Dr Nick Caddick
Anglia Ruskin University

Nick is Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Veterans and Families Institute. His work uses narrative as a conceptual and methodological device for understanding the legacies of war for military veterans as well as others affected by conflict. Nick is currently working on his first monograph for Edinburgh University Press entitled ‘The cultural politics of veterans’ narratives: Beyond the wire’, and is leading two major projects; the AHRC-funded ‘Stories in Transition’ project, which uses co-productive methods and creative practice filmmaking to explore veterans’ stories of transition to civilian life through arts, culture and sport, and research funded by the Forces in Mind Trust examining the impact of Non-UK service and immigration in the British Armed Forces. He is an editorial board member for the Critical Military Studies journal, and a BISA member since 2020.

Helena Farrand Carrapico
Professor Helena Farrand Carrapico
Northumbria University

Helena is a Professor in International Relations and Criminology, as well as a Jean Monnet Chair (Northumbria University, Newcastle), who is incredibly passionate about teaching and researching European internal security governance, in particular cyber crime and cybersecurity. She has also been serving as Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange for the Social Sciences Department over the past two years, following a position as Head of Subject.

Naomi Head
Dr Naomi Head
University of Glasgow

Naomi is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Glasgow. She has published on the politics of emotions and empathy with a focus on contexts of occupation and war. Her research currently focuses on empathy and counterinsurgency, building on her 2019 Leverhulme Research Fellowship, ‘Empathy under Fire? “Hearts and Minds” and the Politics of Empathy’. More broadly, her research interests and publications focus on narratives of war and conflict, feminist, cultural and international relations theory, and critical pedagogies. Naomi co-founded and co-convened the BISA Emotions in Politics and IR Working Group from 2018-2021, and joined the BISA Executive as an elected trustee in 2020.

Dr Georgina Holmes
Dr Georgina Holmes
The Open University

Georgina is a Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at The Open University and a Lecturer in Politics at Imperial College London. Her research focuses on gender and global security governance, peacekeeping and security sector reform and on organisational change in IOs. She founder member and co-convenor of the BISA Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding Working Group.  She has published widely in academic journals including in Security Dialogue, International Peacekeeping, Millennium: Journal of International Relations and The RUSI Journal and is the author of Women and War in Rwanda: Gender, Media and the Representation of Genocide (I.B. Tauris, 2013; paperback 2020).

Professor Kurt Mills
Professor Kurt Mills

Kurt was until recently Professor of International Relations and Human Rights at the University of Dundee. His research focuses on the development of international norms and institutions related to human rights, humanitarianism, international criminal justice, and the responsibility to protect, particularly in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of numerous articles and books, including International Reponses to Mass Atrocities in Africa: Responsibility to Protect, Prosecute, and Palliate. He is an Editor of the journal Global Governance and a member of the Executive Committee of BISA. He was founder and Director of the Scottish Human Rights Defenders Fellowship and served as Vice-Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System, Vice-President of the International Studies Association (ISA), and founder and Chair of the ISA Human Rights section.

Andrew Mumford
Professor Andrew Mumford
University of Nottingham

Andrew Mumford is a Professor of War Studies in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. He is a member of the EU/NATO Hybrid Threats Centre of Excellence expert pool on security and has consulted the UK Ministry of Defence and NATO. He has been a Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) Academic Fellow in the UK House of Commons International Affairs Unit. His latest book, The West’s War Against Islamic State, was published in 2021. He is the editor of the Bloomsbury book series ‘Studies in Contemporary Warfare’. 

Geoffrey Swenson
Dr Geoffrey Swenson
City, University of London

Geoffrey is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics at City, University of London, an External Affiliate of the Ostrom Workshop at the University of Indiana, and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. His current research focuses on issues related to post-conflict reconstruction, democracy and the rule of law, legal pluralism, and foreign aid. Most recently, he wrote Contending Orders: Legal Pluralism and the Rule of Law, which will be published by Oxford University Press in November 2022.

Elspeth Van Veeran
Dr Elspeth Van Veeran
University of Bristol

Elspeth is an Associate Professor in Political Science in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies. Specialising in the security cultures, politics and foreign policy of the United States, and in particular on the visual and material dimensions of meaning-making in security discourses, she has published work on torture, US detention practices at JTF Guantanamo, and on art and conflict. Her more recent work is an exploration of secrecy cultures, invisibilities and ignorance, and the practices of ‘manhunting’ and navigating across new geographies of secrecy in the second decade of the Global War on Terror.

Co-opted members

Juliet Dryden
Juliet Dryden (BISA Director)

Juliet has worked in the field of international relations for the last 25 years specialising in programme management, international development/humanitarian affairs and donor relations.

Juliet has previously worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), the London School of Economics (LSE Ideas) and for 15 years with the United Nations in Cairo, Gaza and Jerusalem (UNRWA, UNOCHA, UNOHCHR). Her most recent position prior to joining BISA was at the West Asia - North Africa (WANA) Institute in Amman where she was the Director of Programmes. Juliet holds an MA in International Relations from the University of East Anglia.

Juliet was also elected as a member of the Chatham House Council in July 2021.

Outside of BISA, Juliet loves reading political biographies, outdoor swimming, spending time with her family and living a quiet life after years of living dangerously!

+44 7753 688648
Dr Jennifer Medcalf
Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Jennifer is Head of the Defence and International Security Research Group at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. DISRG, part of the FCO Research Analyst cadre, provides policy-focused research, analysis and advice on a range of defence and international security issues. Prior to joining the FCO, Jennifer worked at the University of Bath as Lecturer in Politics and then for the Ministry of Defence as Senior Lecturer in Defence and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Shivani Singh
Shivani Singh, PGN Chair
Aberystwyth University

Shivani is a third year PhD student in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, UK. She finished her Bachelor's degree in Economics from Hindu College, Delhi University, India. Post that, she pursued her MA and MPhil in Politics with a specialisation in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Simultaneously, she worked as a researcher, and later as a consultant, in the Nuclear Security Programme (NSP) at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), a policy-based think tank in New Delhi.

Her areas of interest include nuclear security and disarmament, with a special focus on postcolonial narratives in the nuclear decision-making in South Asian region, specifically India, China and Pakistan. She has published papers and commentaries on issues of nuclear politics in renowned Indian newspapers and journals.

Shivani is also the recipient of Aber doc scholarship and President's scholarship.

Honorary President

    Professor Mark Webber
    Professor Mark Webber
    University of Birmingham

    Mark is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham. He was formerly Head of the School of Government and Society at Birmingham, and Head of the Department of Politics, History and International Relations at Loughborough University. He is a NATO specialist and a one-time scholar of Russia and the former Soviet Union. Recent work in these areas has been published in International Affairs, European Journal of International Security, Review of International Studies, European Security, West European Politics, and Journal of European Integration. He is co-editor (with Adrian Hyde-Price) of Theorising NATO: New Perspectives on the Transatlantic Alliance (Routledge 2016) and is currently completing a co-authored book (with James Sperling and Martin Smith) entitled What’s Wrong with NATO and How to Fix It. He is also co-editing (with James Sperling) the (Oxford) Handbook on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

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