Chris Abbott

Security manager, risk adviser, and Trainer in England, United Kingdom

Chris Abbott

Security manager, risk adviser, and Trainer in England, United Kingdom

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Chris Abbott is a security manager, risk adviser, trainer and author.

Chris has spent his career protecting others. He worked with frontline environmental defenders in Latin America and Southeast Asia in the late 1990s, and then spent a decade working at the policy level protecting civilians in conflict during the 'war on terror'. He now helps NGOs and other social change agents understand and manage their security risks.

Chris is the founder and executive director of Open Briefing. Open Briefing is a social enterprise that supports at-risk organisations and activists on the frontlines of civil society. It helps them achieve social and environmental change by ensuring their physical, digital and psychosocial security or through enhancing their campaigns with intelligence and research support.

Chris is both a practitioner and a researcher. He was the deputy director of the Oxford Research Group until 2009. He has been an honorary research fellow in the Centre for Governance and International Affairs at the University of Bristol and in the School of Social and International Studies at the University of Bradford. He is the author of two popular books and over 50 influential reports and articles, many of which are required reading in defence colleges and universities around the world.

Chris's work has been widely reported on, including by the Times, Independent and Guardian in the United Kingdom and Al-Jazeera and CNN overseas. In recent years, he has also been interviewed by the BBC, Channel 4 News, the Australian, the Toronto Star, Esquire and ABC Radio among many others.

Chris is also a highly experienced trainer. In 2017-18 alone, he has run security workshops for over 50 human rights defenders and humanitarians. Over the last 15 years, he has taught approximately 100 military personnel on UK Ministry of Defence courses, lectured to 500+ senior law enforcement officers from across Asia, and three times briefed policymakers in the House of Commons and Downing Street.

Before his career in the NGO sector, Chris was an expedition leader and survival and resilience instructor.

Chris holds a Level 7 Certificate in Security Management from Oxford Brookes University, a master's in social anthropology from the University of St Andrews and a degree in psychology from Royal Holloway, University of London. He also holds certificates in Psychological First Aid and Mental Health First Aid and the security industry standard advanced first aid qualification (FPOS-I).

  • Work
    • Founder & Executive Director, Open Briefing
  • Education
    • MLitt Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews
    • BSc (Hons) Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London