Wilton Park Conferences
Wilton Park Conferences

Biographies of Conference Directors and Chief Executive

Donald LamontDonald Lamont
Donald Lamont was a member of the British Diplomatic Service from 1974-2006. He served as Ambassador to Venezuela from 2003-2006. He was Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands from 1999 - 2002, after working as the Chief of Staff to Carlos Westendorp, the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1997-99. From 1991-1994 he was Ambassador to Uruguay. He has also served in Berlin, Moscow, and Vienna.

During his postings at the FCO in London, Mr Lamont's jobs have included: Head of the Republic of Ireland Department from 1994 - 1997; Assistant Head of United Nations Department from 1985 - 1988; Head of Section, later Deputy Head of Department, of the Falkland Islands Department, from 1982 - 1985; and Desk Officer in the Marine & Transport Department from 1974 - 1977. Before joining the FCO, he worked in the motor industry.

Donald Lamont was on attachment to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 1988. He speaks French, German, Russian and Spanish. He was awarded an MA with First Class Honours in Russian Studies by Aberdeen University.


Nicholas HopkinsonNicholas Hopkinson
Director (Planning and External Relations) and member of Wilton Park Academic Staff since November 1987; studied International Politics, Queen's University, Kingston (BA Hons); MA in International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa and Graduate Diploma from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna. Publications include the volume "Parliamentary Democracy: Is There A Perfect Model?" (Ashgate, 2001), an investment management textbook with the Kluwer group, and articles for various magazines including Institutional Investor. Author of more than 60 Wilton Park Papers including papers and reports on the widening and deepening of the European Union, international trade, and parliamentary democracy. Co-editor of the Current Issues in International Diplomacy and Foreign Policy series, The Stationery Office.


Robin HartRobin Hart
Programme Director and member of Wilton Park Academic Staff since April 1996; studied History at Exeter University (BA Hons). From 1986-96 worked in the Ministry of Defence with postings as an analyst, researcher, trainer and liaison officer. Special interests at Wilton Park include international development and humanitarian issues (particularly relating to natural disasters), Islamic militancy and Muslim youth, agriculture, drugs and organised crime, China and the Caribbean. Runs the annual British-German Forum for young leaders at Wilton Park. Member of the German-British Forum Advisory Board. Participated in the Halki Seminar for young leaders on Shaping Europes Future in 2000 and was on the Advisory Committee for DFID-funded research project on Complex Political Emergencies.


Roger WilliamsonRoger Williamson
Programme Director and member of Wilton Park Academic Staff since November 1999. Studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (BA). Research at Hamburg and Birmingham Universities (PhD). Positions with British Council of Churches; Life & Peace Institute, Sweden; Council for Arms Control; Church of England and Christian Aid. Consultant/committee member with NGOs including Amnesty International, International Peace Research Association, Swedish Red Cross, and World Council of Churches. Specialist on international affairs, human rights, development, religion and conflict, arms trade and social ethics. Publications include: Profit without Honour? Ethics and the Arms Trade, CCADD, London, 1992; Some Corner of a Foreign Field: Intervention and World Order, (editor) Macmillan, Basingstoke and London & St. Martin's Press, New York, 1998.


Isobelle JaquesIsobelle Jaques
Programme Director and member of Wilton Park Academic Staff since January 2001; studied History with Government & Politics at the University of Kent (B.A. Hons.). Previously worked at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International (1976-1991), as a researcher covering countries in South and South East Asia, and as the head of the organisation's office at the United Nations in New York. Worked subsequently for the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, on programmes for promoting democratic transition and the rule of law in Central and Eastern Europe.


Adela GoochAdela Gooch
Adela Gooch has been a Programme Director and member of Wilton Park Academic Staff since 2003. Her work centres on emerging powers and transitional states and includes projects on Russia, China, Latin America, the European Union's role in foreign and security policy, intervention and nation/state building.

Previously, she was a foreign correspondent, based in Madrid, reporting on Spain, Portugal and North Africa for The Economist and The Guardian and travelling to Latin America also. She is a regular commentator on international affairs for Spanish television and radio, the BBC and CNN and ran Madrid's Foreign Press Club. She was awarded the Barcelona Foundation's prize for international journalism.

Adela Gooch began her career as a journalist with Reuters News Agency in London. She was posted to the United States and reported from New York, the United Nations, Chicago and Washington. She then joined The Daily Telegraph in London and covered defence issues before returning to the United States as Laurence Stern fellow at The Washington Post.

Adela Gooch read Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University (MA Hons) and studied at Seville University, also.

She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire for services to Anglo Spanish relations.


Julia PurcellJulia Purcell
Programme Director. Her current conference programme focuses on migration and refugees, human rights, organised crime, drugs policy, and she convenes the annual Atlantic Youth Forum.
Julia was previously International Development Manager and UK Co-ordination of the Kosovan Humanitarian Evacuation Programme, British Refugee Council (BRC). She was seconded to UNHCR, Western Afghanistan on the emergency shelter programme for returning refugees. Julia read English Language and Literature at Hull University (BA Hons).


Mark SmithMark Smith
Programme Director and member of Wilton Park Academic Staff from August 2006. Studied Politics at the University of East Anglia (BA Hons), and International Politics at the University of Wales Aberystwyth (MSC Econ Strategic Studies and PhD). Previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies, as lecturer in International Security at the University of Southampton, and as Research Fellow at Swansea University. Special interests include missile proliferation, counter-proliferation strategies on WMD, the transatlantic alliance, and British nuclear history. Author of NATO Enlargement During the Cold War: Strategy and System in the Western Alliance (Palgrave, 2000) and co-author of Britain, Australia and the Bomb: The Nuclear Tests and Their Aftermath (Palgrave, 2006). He has also written a number of articles on missile proliferaton.


Camilla FenningCamilla Fenning
Programme Director. Currently seconded from the British Diplomatic Service. Camilla's previous postings with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office include: Deputy Head, Republic of Ireland Department; FCO Equal Opportunities Officer; Desk Officer dealing with human rights issues in the then Soviet Union, Desk Officer for Ukraine and the Transcaucasus; Desk Officer, Far Eastern Department dealing with Japan, South Korea and Mongolia, and Private Secretary to the Ambassador, British Embassy, Tokyo. Most recently she has worked on the Civil Service Selection Board. Camilla read History at Bristol University (BA Hons), and the Art Market and Connoisseurship (MA), New York University. She undertook a year of Japanese language training at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London University.


Robert Grant
Programme Director. His current conference programme includes energy geopolitics and security, counterinsurgency and stabilisation operations, civil-military co-ordination, governance and democracy promotion, and the Balkans.

Robert was previously Senior Research Associate, U.S. Center for Research and Education on Strategy and Technology (U.S.-CREST); Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI); Senior Consultant, Ogden Environmental and Energy Services; and freelance consultant to the Institute for Defense Analyses, French-American Foundation, and Numark Associates. He has authored numerous reports and publications in the areas of foreign policy, security, and energy, including on coalition military operations, defence transformation, civil-military co-ordination, transatlantic security relations, energy security, and nuclear energy. Robert read History at the University of Michigan (BA Hons) and International Politics at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques of Paris (PhD).


Stephen Pullinger
Programme Director. His current conference programme focuses on counter-terrorism, security sector reform, responsibility to protect, NATO, and security strategies.

Stephen was previously Executive Director of the International Security Information Service (ISIS) Europe in Brussels, Advocacy and Communications Team Leader at Saferworld, and Executive Director of ISIS UK in London. He studied Politics and International Studies at Southampton University (BSc Hons), and Peace Studies at Bradford University (MA and PhD), where he was also subsequently a Senior Research Fellow. He has published numerous reports, book chapters and articles over the past twenty years on various issues relating to international, European and national security.