Chris Abbott is a highly-regarded consultant, manager, analyst and author in the areas of defence, security, intelligence and international relations.
Chris is the founder and executive director of Open Briefing, the world's first civil society intelligence agency. Open Briefing is a unique not-for-profit social enterprise providing innovative intelligence and security services to aid agencies, human rights groups, peacebuilding organisations and concerned citizens. Chris is also an honorary visiting research fellow in in a world-leading department in the School of Social and International Studies at the University of Bradford. He is best known for his groundbreaking work on remote warfare, sustainable security and the security implications of climate change.
Until 2009, Chris was the deputy director of the Oxford Research Group (ORG), one of Europe's leading foreign policy think tanks, where he also served as the director of their sustainable security programme. Throughout 2008, he was an honorary research fellow in the Centre for Governance and International Affairs at the University of Bristol.
Chris has worked for a wide range of clients, including the British Ministry of Defence, the Australian Federal Police, KPMG, IHS Jane's, the Oak Foundation and Greenpeace International. He has had articles commissioned by publications as diverse as Jane's Intelligence Review and New Internationalist.
He is uniquely able to move between the public, private and voluntary sectors, as comfortable working with government officials, serving soldiers or business leaders as he is with academics, journalists or campaigners.
He has been a regular commentator on political and security issues in the national and international media, and in recent years has been interviewed by the BBC, Channel 4 News, the Guardian, British Forces Radio, the Australian, the Toronto Star, Esquire and ABC Radio. His books and reports have been widely reported on, including by the Times, Independent and Guardian in the United Kingdom and Al-Jazeera, CNN and the Boston Globe overseas.
Chris's work on international security has been endorsed by a wide range of politicians, academics, journalists and public figures. It has been raised twice in the House of Commons during debates with the prime minister (March 2008) and the foreign secretary (February 2008) and referred to by the Spanish prime minister at an international meeting in Uruguay (November 2006). His expertise has been sought by the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Australian Federal Police and numerous think tanks among others.
During more than a decade of working on security and intelligence issues, Chris has:
Briefed MPs in the House of Commons on the security implications of climate change.
Lectured to members of the British armed forces on future security threats.
Given evidence in front of a parliamentary Home Affairs Committee inquiry into the policing of protests.
Briefed the prime minster's foreign policy adviser in No. 10.
Discussed nuclear issues with Iran's permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Briefed members of the police and armed forces from around the world on the threat of climate change.
Chris joined the Oxford Research Group in October 2003, and was promoted several times until becoming deputy director in September 2008. He also directed ORG's Moving Towards Sustainable Security programme from September 2006 until leaving the organisation in June 2009, and he remains on the programme's international advisory board. During this time he devised the sustainable security framework, which has received international attention from politicians and activists alike. He also founded and chaired the UK Policy Group for Sustainable Security, a high-level group of Lords and former MPs, ministers, diplomats and civil servants; ran a series of international consultations on regional sustainable security in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa; and founded the blog SustainableSecurity.org.
In May 2011, Chris founded Open Briefing, the world's first civil society intelligence agency. Open Briefing is a unique international collaboration of intelligence, military, law enforcement and government professionals working tirelessly behind the scenes to keep those striving the make the world a better place safe and informed.