Director: Dr Katja Samuel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Katja is a professional, strategically minded, resourceful lawyer with multinational, multidisciplinary, academic, practitioner, military, and civil society experience gained over more than 25 years. Principally, her work has been orientated towards better informing and equipping law and policy makers, as well as practitioners, at the governmental and intergovernmental levels.
Katja served in the UK’s Royal Navy for 12 years as a sea-going logistics officer, as well as naval barrister advising on criminal, military and international law matters. As a Lieutenant Commander, her responsibilities extended to managing a large team of personnel and £multi-million assets in a busy, reactive and operational environment.
Since leaving the Royal Navy in 2004, Katja has worked mainly within the academic sector at a number of leading UK universities. A Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Authority, her experience spans the design, implementation, delivery and quality assurance of undergraduate, postgraduate and professionally orientated teaching and training programmes, as well as the instigation, management and delivery of multinational research projects.
Katja’s technical expertise comprises public international law, counter-terrorism, human rights law, disaster law (including risk reduction and management), international institutional law (especially United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), due diligence, rule of law, and aspects of Shari’ah law. She has also worked across other legal regimes, notably international criminal law, law of armed conflict, and global health law. She has undertaken diverse consultancy work, including for the United Nations. Currently Katja is engaged as an external consultant in the ‘Education for Justice’ project being coordinated by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, focusing on the development of academic resources and networks for counter-terrorism at the university level.
Her external roles have included: co-chair of the American Society of International Law’s Disaster Law Interest Group (2017-2020); Committee member of the International Law Association’s Committee on Islamic Law and International Law (2007-2014), and Due Diligence Study Group (2012-2016); member of the prestigious peer review college of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2014-2017), as well as the Global Research Challenges Fund (2017-2020).
Well-travelled, Katja is conversant, and comfortable working, with diverse cultures and traditions, and has various degrees of language skills. In her spare time, Katja enjoys doing charitable work, sailing fast catamarans, and coastal walking with her dog.
Jonathan Ammoun (email@example.com) (from 1 September 2017)
Jonathan is currently undertaking an internship with GSDM. His primary responsibilities are undertaking research, analytical and editing activities in support of GSDM projects, whilst also undertaking a number of administrative, organisational and outreach support functions. Recently, he completed the LLM in Global Crisis, Conflict and Disaster Management, University of Reading. His primary areas of interest include international disaster response law and international refugee law.