Chair of the Board
David Atwood is an independent consultant on security and peace concerns, based in Geneva. From 2004 to 2011 he served as Director of the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) Geneva and from 1995-2011 as QUNO's Disarmament and Representative. David holds a Ph.D. Political Science from the University of North Carolina. Among the projects in which he has been engaged, he is a co-founder of the Geneva Forum and the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform. In recent years, he has been heavily involved in issues related to armed violence reduction and prevention. Before coming to Geneva, he was the General Secretary of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (1988 - 94), based in the Netherlands, and the Tutor in Peace Studies at Woodbrooke College in Birmingham, UK (1978 - 88). He joined the Board of Acronym in 2006.
Lord David Ramsbotham
Lord David Ramsbotham has been a crossbenchÂ member of the House of Lords where heÂ focuses on defence andÂ penal affairs, since 2005. Â Lord Ramsbotham was educated atÂ Haileybury and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he read history. Â He was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade in 1957, retiring from the Army in 1993 in the rank of General, his final appointment being Adjutant General.Â He was Military Assistant to the then General Sir Michael Carver from 1971-73, and commanded 2ndÂ Battalion the Royal Green Jackets, 39 (Belfast) Brigade, 3 Armoured Division and the UK Field Army, as well as being Director of Public Relations (Army) during the Falklands War.Â Having written a report on the management of the UK contribution to UN peacekeeping operations, he was a member of a group formed by the then Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping, Kofi Annan, to revise the organisation of UN Peacekeeping operations themselves.Â From 1994-97 he was Director International Affairs at Defence Systems Limited, working to the UN and World Bank on post-conflict reconstruction including de-mining.Â From 1995-2001 he was HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales.Â From 1997-2003 he was a member of the Council of theÂ International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). Â He has been a member of the Acronym Institute Board since 2011.
Nomi Bar-Yaacov is a Middle East Foreign Policy Adviser who has been a member of the Acronym Institute Board since 2010. Between 1993 and 1996 Nomi worked for the United Nations where she held various posts in the Department of Political Affairs and the Executive Office of the Secretary-General in UN Headquarters in New York. Â Her responsibilities included speech writing for the UN Secretary-General, drafting of talking points and points of reference for the Secretary-General, working as an associate-spokesperson for the Secretary-General and advising on political, peacekeeping and human rights issues.Â She had also worked as legal adviser to the UN MissionÂ in Haiti, political adviser to the UN Mission in Guatemala, and on elections in Mozambique and South Africa.Â Between 1997 and 1998 she worked as legal adviser to various missions of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Balkans, including Albania and Bosnia Herzegovina, Serbia and in Montenegro. Â Between 1998 and 2001 she worked as a diplomatic correspondent covering theÂ Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the crisis in the Balkans for Agence France-Presse, and between 2001-2003 Nomi was a Visiting Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) before becoming a member of IISS Senior Staff and later heading the Middle East Programme from 2003 - 2005.
Nomi has been awarded a number of prestigiousÂ awards for her work, including the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Research and Writing Grant, a USIP Grant, a Ford Foundation grant and a British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) grant. Â She has a law degree from the University of Cambridge, an LL.M. in international law and human rights from the European University Institute, Florence, and a second LL.M. from Columbia University, New York. Â Nomi is the author of numerous publications on international human rights and conflict resolution and on Middle Eastern affairs.
Christine Chinkin is Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics (LSE) and a barrister, a member of Matrix Chambers. Together with H. Charlesworth, she won the American Society of International Law, 2005 Goler T. Butcher Medal 'for outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights law'. She is an Overseas Affiliated Faculty Member, University of Michigan and has been a Scholar in Residence for Amnesty International (2005), as well as Visiting Professor at Columbia University (2004) and at the Arts and Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University (2003).
She is Director of Studies of the International Law Association and has been consultant on international law to the Asian Development Bank; to the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights; to the UN Division for the Advancement of Women and UNIFEM.Â Shewasa Scientific Expert, to an Ad Hoc Committee of the Council of Europe on the drafting of a Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, and is currently a member of the Kosovo Human Rights Advisory Panel.
Christine is also the author of many articles on issues of international law, of Halsbury's Laws of Australia, Title on Foreign Relations (2nd edition 2001), Third Parties in International Law (1993), co-author of Dispute Resolution in Australia (2nd edition 2002),Â co-author of The Boundaries of International Law: A Feminist Analysis (2000) and co-author of The Making of International Law (2007). Â Christine joined the board of the Acronym Institute in 2009.
Acronym Institute’s past board members:
Dr Patricia Lewis
Sir Hugh Beach (retired General)
John Edmonds (former British ambassador, now deceased)
Dr Stephen Pullinger
Professor Paul Rogers
Dr Joanne Spear
Tim Caughley (former New Zealand Ambassador)
Dr Madeleine Rees