Ambassador Thomas Guerber was appointed Director of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) on 24 November 2015 and took up his function on 1 July 2016. He brings to the position extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy and policy development relating to human security, human rights and sustainable development.
From 2010 to 2013, Ambassador Guerber was Switzerland's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. From 2007 to 2010, he worked as a Counsellor for financial, budgetary and institutional issues at Switzerland's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. Prior to these assignments, he held various functions within the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs' Human Security Division, including Head of Section for Peace Policy and Human Security. He entered the Swiss diplomatic service in 1997.
Thomas Guerber holds an LL.M. degree in public international law and international economic law from the University of Berne, a master's degree in European integration and economics from Institute for European Global Studies (Basel) and a master's degree in history and literature from the University of Basel. He is married and has two sons.
Deputy Director, Head of Policy & Research Department
Heiner Hänggi is Deputy Director and Head of Policy and Research Department at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). He is also an Adjunct Professor of political science at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland.
Prior to joining DCAF, he held a number of posts in research and journalism, including member of the task force responsible for establishing DCAF, senior research fellow at the Geneva-based Modern Asia Research Centre, international affairs journalist and political editor for Swiss daily newspapers
Heiner Hänggi obtained his Doctorate and Licentiate in "Staatswissenschaften" (Political Science, Economics, Law) from the University of St.Gallen. He has served as a visiting scholar at the at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), Singapore, the Graduate School of Policy Science, National Saitama University, Urawa, Japan, and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.
Assistant Director, Head of Operations
Mark Downes is currently Assistant Director and Head of DCAF's Operations Department. He was previously head of DCAF's International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT). Before joining DCAF, Mark worked for the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) where he was responsible for conceptualising and developing the OECD DAC Handbook on Security System Reform. Prior to that he worked on parliamentary oversight and police reform, the latter as Head of the Strategic Development Unit within the Law Enforcement Department of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Montenegro. In this role he led the team that undertook a comprehensive review of the Serbian police service, the results of which were published by the OSCE in the 2004 report "Police Reform in Serbia: towards and modern and accountable police service". Mark has been a frequent trainer in security sector reform (SSR) and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) issues for the United Nations and a number of bilateral training institutions. He has provided support to security, justice and governance reform processes in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and South Eastern Europe and has been a visiting professor and guest lecturer at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the University of the Vest in Romania and at the Belgrade Open School in Serbia. He was a founding editor of the open access journal Stability: International Journal of Security and Development (www.stabilityjournal.org) and publishes frequently on SSR, security and governance issues. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Limerick in Ireland.
Assistant Director, Head of International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT)
Victoria Walker is an Assistant Director of the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), and is the Head of DCAF's International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT)
Victoria has been with ISSAT since 2008, when the team was first established, and has been intimately involved in its development. She was previously the deputy head, a senior SSR advisor, and the lead for ISSAT's advisory field support work. Her main areas of focus include strategic management and engagement, change management, risk, governance, national security strategies, and policy development. In addition she has extensive experience of assessments, programme design and M&E, having led ISSAT's development of guidance for assessments and programme design. Her country experience covers Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans, South-East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific, combined with direct experience of supporting national governments and non-state actors, bilateral donors, and multi-lateral and regional organisations such as the UN, EU, AU, Inter-American Development Bank, and OSCE.
Prior to joining ISSAT she worked with the EU in several ESDP/CSDP missions. These included political advisor to the head of the EU Rule of Law planning mission in Kosovo; working on crisis management, DDR and human rights in the Aceh Monitoring Mission in Indonesia, and head of the Albania country office for the Balkans EU Monitoring Mission. Before moving into civilian crisis management and development, she held a commission in the British Army. She has a law degree from Kings' College London, an MSc in Development Management and an MA in Social Sciences (focusing on environmental policy) from the Open University, as well as a Post-Graduate Diploma in Security Sector Management from Cranfield University. Victoria is passionate about participatory approaches to reform and supporting local ownership, as well as the political dimensions of justice and security sector reform.
Assistant Director, Head of Resources Department
Sophie Pagnetti-Takorian became Head of the Resource Department in June 2018, where she leads and develops DCAF’s overall resource management towards greater efficiency, impact and value.
Sophie directs the annual budgeting and resource planning process and is in charge of improving control environment to monitor and mitigate risk and financial exposure and ensure compliance with internal rules and regulations. She devises and drives the human resource strategy and develops the related policy framework, such as in professional development, compensation and benefits, performance evaluation, training and recruitment. She is also responsible for ensuring that personnel and financial data are controlled in accordance with the relevant legislation.
Sophie has extensive experience of transforming financial resource management and governance in international non-profit organizations. She spent eight years with big four financial auditing firms, five of which at EY, specializing in the non-profit sector, and nine years in non-profit leadership roles, including at Médecins Sans Frontières Suisse, where she overhauled accountability, internal control, grant and risk management practices.
In addition, she lectures regularly in controlling, risk and accounting at the Haute école de gestion (HEG) and the Université de Genève (UNIGE), where she led a financial module in the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Modern Management for Non-Profit Organizations.
Sophie is a certified chartered accountant and a graduate of the Burgundy School of Business and Management. She earned a CAS in IFRS and IPSAS from UNIGE.
Sophie is French and speaks French and English.
Assistant Director, Head of Middle East and North Africa Division
Robert Watkins became Assistant Director and Head of the Middle East and North Africa Division on 15 October 2018. Robert has forged a long career in international organizations, beginning with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in 1989, then the European Commission, from 2000 to 2005, and the United Nations from 2006 to 2017. He began working at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva, in early 2018, at the Centre for Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, before joining DCAF.
His assignments over the past 20 years have taken him to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.
A British and Canadian national, Robert is married with three children, and speaks English, French, Spanish, and some Arabic.
Assistant Director and Head of Public-Private Partnerships Division
Alan Bryden is Assistant Director and Head of the Public Private Partnerships Division at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). He is responsible for the planning, implementation and management of the division's programmes. Issue areas addressed include the regulation of private military and security companies, business and security sector reform / security sector governance, and cyber security.
Prior to joining DCAF, Alan was a civil servant with the UK Ministry of Defence. He has held various policy and project management posts including the Ministry's focal point for international humanitarian law issues. Alan was also seconded to the UK Department for International Development, working as a project manager in the field of humanitarian demining.
Alan holds degrees in medieval history and international relations and a PhD from the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford. He is a graduate on the International Training Course at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and a member of the Advisory Board for the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform. Alan is widely published in the field of security sector governance.
Assistant Director, Head of Policy & Research Division
Hans Born is Assistant Director and Head of the Policy and Research Division at DCAF. He has conducted policy research studies in the areas of human rights, accountability and security sector governance for the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. Furthermore, He has co-initiated the Inter-Parliamentary Forum for Security Sector Governance in Southeast Asia (IPF-SSG) and the International Conference for Ombuds-Institutions for Armed Forces (ICOAF).
He has published widely on security sector reform and governance. His latest publications include "Good Governance of the Security Sector in Southeast Asia: What Role for Parliament?"(Phnom Penh, 2016, co-edited together with Mario J. Aguja). "Making International Intelligence Cooperation Accountable" (2016, together with Ian Leigh and Aidan Wills), "Governing the Bomb: Democratic accountability and civilian control of nuclear weapons" (Oxford University Press, 2011, co-edited with Bates Gill and Heiner Hanggi), "Accountability of International Intelligence Cooperation" (Routledge 2010, together with Ian Leigh and Aidan Wills) and "Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector: ECOWAS Parliament-DCAF Guide for West African Parliamentarians" (ECOWAS, 2011). He is also the lead-author of the IPU-DCAF Handbook on Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector, which is DCAF's flagship publication for members of parliament and which has been translated into over 40 languages.
In his previous position as Deputy Head of the Research Division of DCAF, he has conducted operational capacity building activities in Southeast Asia at the regional level as well as in-country projects. These in-country operational projects included capacity building in the areas of police accountability (e.g. in Myanmar in the framework of an EU project to support police reform), parliamentary capacity building (in Cambodia, with support of the Swiss Development and Cooperation), SSR/DDR in peace processes (in the Philippines, on request of the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process of the Philippines) as well as on SSR (as part of the National Defense College of the Philippines SSR workshop cycle) or support of multi-stakeholder dialogues on SSR in Cambodia, Philippines and Thailand. He holds an MA degree in Public Administration from the University of Twente and a PhD in social sciences from Tilburg University.
Assistant Director, Head of the Gender and Security Division
Daniel de Torres leads DCAF's Gender and Security Division. A native of Spain, Daniel has enjoyed a varied professional career which included emergency relief work during and after the war in Bosnia, an embassy posting in Washington, DC, service in the Spanish Marines, and over ten years of work on gender and security. During this time he developed and managed field projects; designed and delivered training for military and police personnel, prosecutors, judges, parliamentarians, development professionals, and civil society organisations; and provided policy analysis and advice. His work has taken him to Europe, Africa, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia. A lively speaker, he regularly addresses a wide variety of audiences, from grass-roots civil society groups to Parliaments.
Head of the Asia-Pacific Unit
Albrecht Schnabel is Head of the Asia-Pacific Unit at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). He also serves as Senior Fellow in DCAF's Policy and Research Division, and as Research Associate at the Global Health Centre (GHC) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. From 2008-16 he served as Senior Fellow in DCAF's former Research Division, where he headed the Security Institutions Programme and the Human Security and SSR Programme.
Albrecht's research and operational work focusses on security sector governance and reform (SSG/R), particularly its development and post-conflict dimensions, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. Having provided training and advisory services for the United Nations, regional organisations and Swiss government agencies during the past two decades, since 2011 he has primarily been engaged in DCAF's operational advisory and capacity-building activities in Southeast Asia, particularly in Myanmar (police reform), Thailand (media training), Philippines (SSR, DDR and peace processes) and Cambodia (SSG/R and external oversight), as well as in national and regional multi-stakeholder dialogues and parliamentary capacity-building on SSG/R.
His research and publications have focused on ethnic conflict, human security, armed nonstate actors, conflict prevention and management, peacekeeping, post-conflict peacebuilding, peace processes, health security, and conceptual, urban and development dimensions of SSG/R. He currently co-leads the GHC-DCAF project on "The Security Sector and Global Health Crises" (since 2015), and serves as an associated member in the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) projects on "How to Break the Gridlock in Global Health Governance" (2015-17, with GHC/IHEID) and "Civil Wars and State Formation: The Social Construction of Order and Legitimacy During and After Violent Conflictâ (2016-18, with the University of Geneva).
Before joining DCAF, Albrecht was a Senior Research Fellow at the Swiss Peace Foundation "swisspeace" in Bern, where he was responsible for the research programme on human security (HUSEC) and the Bern-based team of the early warning programme FAST International (2003-2008). From 1998-2003 he lived in Tokyo, Japan, where he worked for the United Nations as an Academic Officer in the Peace and Governance Programme of the United Nations University. Previously he served as an Instructor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University (1994); Assistant Professor at the American University in Bulgaria (1995-96) and the Central European University (1996-1998); Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (1997); Visiting Lecturer at Aoyama Gakuin University (2002-03); Lecturer in International Organizations and Conflict Management at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern (2004-2008); and Visiting Lecturer for the Master of Advanced Studies in Security Policy and Crisis Management programme at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH) (2010-2014). He has recently been serving as an external faculty member on regional security sector development courses at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu (since 2011) and as co-director of an annual course on International Relations, Democratisation and Human Security for young professionals from Myanmar at GCSP/DCAF in Geneva (since 2013).
Further experiences include military service in the German Federal Armed Forces (1985-86), participation as an election observer in two OSCE election monitoring missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1997), training and teaching for the UN System Staff College course on Early Warning and Early Response (1999-2002) and a term as President of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (2001-02).
Albrecht studied comparative politics and international relations at the University of Munich, the University of Nevada, and Queen's University, Canada, where he received his PhD in Political Studies in 1995.
Head of the Latin America and the Caribbean Unit
Cristina Hoyos is currently the Head of the Latin America and the Caribbean Unit of DCAF. Mrs. Hoyos has more than twenty five years of experience working in development cooperation, diplomacy and security-/peace-related issues, leading multilateral and bilateral negotiations (OECD, African Development Bank, Inter- American Development Bank, and significant bilateral cooperation programmes) in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
She has been working in the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) for the last 12 years, where she was responsible for developing new approaches to countries in fragile situations and for programmes related to conflict prevention in development cooperation contexts. From 2005-2008, Mrs Hoyos was the Co- Chair of the OECD Conflict, Peace and Development Co-operation (OECD) representing Switzerland. Within the Colombian government, she was advisor to two Ministers and Head of International Cooperation in the Ministry for Environment (1998-2000). During that time she was part of the negotiation team in the peace process with the ELN (1998) and participated in the negotiations with the FARC-EP in 2000. As a Diplomat for the Colombian government she held different positions in Germany (1995-1998) and in Brazil (1991-1994).
Mrs. Hoyos holds a PhD in Geography from Humboldt University, Berlin, with a thesis about the Peace Process with the FARC-EP (1999-2002).
Deputy Head of Europe and Central Asia Division
Antje Fritz is working as Deputy Head of Operations in the Southeast Europe Division and is mainly responsible for the management of parliamentary assistance programs in the West Balkan region.
Before joining DCAF in 2001, Antje worked at NGO's, research institutes and media organisations, i.e. at the United Nations Press Centre (UNIC) in Bonn, the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) in New York and ZDF German TV Program in Mainz. She gained her first professional experience as a junior researcher and project coordinator in media analysis at the Institute for Market and Media Analysis (IFAK), Germany .
Antje Fritz holds a Masters degree in Communication Research, Eastern European History and Russian Language. Her studies include a Fulbright scholarship at Middlebury College, Vermont and language courses at the Institute for International Relations at the Simferopol State University, Ukraine. Her masters thesis on the use of prognosis in German media coverage was awarded with excellence.
Deputy Head of Middle East & North Africa Division
A Spanish lawyer of Syrian origin, Ayman Ayoub is the Deputy Head of the Middle East and North Africa Division. From 2011 to 2015 he served as the Regional Director for West Asia and North Africa at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). His previous engagement with International IDEA extended over more than six years, where he served as Senior Programme Officer and Senior Adviser.
Ayman has more than 23 years of experience in democracy building and rule of law support. He has served as senior expert and adviser for the UN system, the European Union and a large number of international organiszations specialized in democracy development support. He provided his services in numerous countries across the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.
Since early 2011 he assisted and acted as adviser for most transitional and electoral/constitutional reform processes across the Middle East. Ayman has authored, co-authored and edited a number of handbooks, studies and related knowledge tools.
Deputy Head, ISSAT
Thammy focuses on liaison between ISSAT and its Members on issues of SSR substance in order to understand their priorities and so to harness the assets of all ISSAT's service lines to meet Members' SSR needs. Additionally, she assists in cultivating the growth and value of the Community of Practice. In-so-doing, she leads on the co-ordination of ISSAT's outreach and communication. An SSR practitioner and advisor in her own right, notably in defence reform and governance, she contributes also to the development of operational tools ensuring their fit and integration into a coherent and holistic SSR methodology.
Prior to joining ISSAT, Thammy was Political Advisor for the Senior Military Representative of NATO HQ Skopje, and has a foundation in Public Relations and Qualitative Market Research. She has also served with the British Army.
A graduate in Chinese and German Studies from the University of Leeds, UK, she also holds a Master's of Science in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.
Deputy Head of the Policy and Research Division
Vincenza Scherrer is Deputy Head of the Policy and Research Division. She leads the Division's engagement with multilateral organizations on strengthening the development of their approaches to SSR. This includes supporting these organizations in reviewing their approaches to SSR support in the field or contributing to their policy and guidance development processes. Additionally, Vincenza manages the Division's programme on results-based management/monitoring and evaluation which seeks to identify approaches to strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of SSR support on the basis of empirical research. In this capacity, she also coordinates DCAF's organization-wide process of transitioning to results-based management at the corporate level.
During 2013-14, Vincenza was on a leave of absence from DCAF while on an assignment as an SSR advisor at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations / Security Sector Reform Unit in New York. Her role included drafting technical guidance on monitoring and evaluation, providing input to internal consultations on SSR-related indicators, and delivering SSR training. She was also part of the team that advised Nigeria on the drafting and negotiation of the first ever Security Council Resolution on SSR in 2014. Prior to this assignment, Vincenza was a Programme Manager in DCAF's Research Division, supporting the UN's initial efforts to develop its approach to SSR.
Prior to joining DCAF in 2006, Vincenza worked at the UNDP's Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery on small arms/ light weapons and DDR issues, and at the UK Parliament supporting case-work management. Vincenza holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and a Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
Deputy Head of Public-Private Partnerships Division
Anne-Marie Buzatu is Deputy Head of the Public-Private Partnerships Division. She is jointly responsible with the Head of Operations IV for the conceptualisation, implementation and management of the division's programmes. Issue areas addressed by Operations IV include the regulation of private military and security companies, business and security sector reform / security sector governance, and cyber security.
Before coming to DCAF, Ms. Buzatu practiced human rights law and worked with human rights and humanitarian organisations on rule of law and human rights issues. A member of the Texas Bar, she began her career working in private international commercial law.
She holds a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Texas in Austin, a Juris Doctor in international law from a joint program with Tulane University and Paris II Panthéon-Assass, and an LLM in international humanitarian and human rights law from the Académie de droit humanitaire et droits humains in Geneva, Switzerland.
Programme Manager, Public-Private Partnerships Division
Jean-Michel Rousseau is a Programme Manager within the Public-Private Partnerships Division at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). Jointly with the Head of Division, he is responsible for general management processes as well as a variety of programme management processes. He also leads the divisional engagement to strengthen private security regulation in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Prior to joining the Public-Private Partnerships Division, Jean-Michel Rousseau was Head of the North Africa desk at DCAF’s Middle East and North Africa Division, a position in which he coordinated DCAF’s operations in Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. He previously worked as a global strategy, governance, and organisational development consultant, and for German development agency GIZ in Colombia.
Jean-Michel Rousseau studied at Sciences Po Paris, Georgetown University, and the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. He has taught at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and at the Universidad Externado de Colombia.
Advisor to the Director
Mr. Yury Korobovsky is Advisor to the DCAF Director. He supports the DCAF Director in the planning and management of DCAF' external relations and daily operations of the Centre, and coordinates the work of DCAF's governing structures (Bureau, Foundation Council).
Prior to joining DCAF, Yury worked at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), first at the ICRC Delegation in Moscow, and then at the Division of International Organisations at the ICRC Headquarters in Geneva.
Yury holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO) and a Masters degree in Political Science from the Paris Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po Paris ).
Deputy Head, Gender and Security Division
Ann Blomberg is Deputy Head of the Gender and Security Division, with a special focus on research and policy. She joined DCAF in 2017, bringing her experience from a long and varied professional career in international diplomacy with her.
For more than 20 years Ann was a Swedish diplomat serving in Stockholm, as well as in Harare, Zimbabwe and in Geneva, and she has worked for UNHCR and UN Women in Geneva as well as for international NGOs, also based in Geneva. Ann's main focus has been humanitarian affairs, gender equality, human rights, development cooperation as well as donor relations and fundraising.
Ann speaks English and French fluently, in addition to her mother tongue Swedish.
Assistant Director, Head, Sub-Saharan Africa Division
Anne Bennett has spent the past decade designing and managing international development programmes in countries emerging from conflict or faced with humanitarian crisis. Her extensive field experience includes assignments in India, Algeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, and South Sudan. As Country Representative in Myanmar for the Swiss NGO Fondation Hirondelle, she led a team of experts working with ethnic armed groups participating in the peace process as well as the Myanmar parliament to address issues of transparency and credibility. She has served as a consultant to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and United Nations Office in Geneva.
Anne is a Senior Fellow and Visiting Scientist at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) where her research includes lessons learned from the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis. She is also President of the Board of Directors, and former Executive Director, of Hirondelle USA, a non-profit organization that helps to build and sustain independent media in post conflict countries.
Anne graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a degree in history and holds a Masters in international history and politics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ben Steward became DCAF Communications Manager in October 2017 and is responsible for external and internal communications.
His primary responsibilities include optimizing DCAF’s communications and leading the development of the organization’s corporate identity and branding. He is developing DCAF’s digital footprint and oversees the production of publications and other materials.
Before joining DCAF, Ben held senior corporate communications posts in diverse sectors, including publishing, shipping and broadcasting. Before that, he was a newspaper journalist in the UK.
A British citizen, Ben holds a First-Class Joint Honours BA in French and Italian from the University of Exeter, UK. He speaks English, Italian, French and Spanish.