Meet our passionate and creative multi-disciplinary team of experts. We are ready to listen, share and engage with you. In addition, through our Global Fellowship Initiative, we also have Fellows in residence and many Associate Fellows based outside of the Centre who share their expertise and experience with our community on regular basis.
Senior Defence Advisor, Defence and Diplomacy
Colonel (GS) Markus Schneider has been seconded to the GCSP from the German Armed Forces in June 2020.
Prior to joining the GCSP, Col Schneider supervised the Logistics department (G4) of the Rapid Forces Division in Stadtallendorf, one of the three divisions of the army which is responsible for Special Forces, Airborne operations and Army helicopters. In the field of logistics, he was also company and battalion commander in the Army and in the Joint Support Service.
Col Schneider held an instructor and lecturer position for logistics at the Joint Operations department of the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Hamburg and was department head for logistics at battalion and brigade levels.
Col Schneider spent three years at the Ministry of Defence in Berlin and worked in the department for arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation issues, most importantly in relation with the CFE Treaty, SALW and Iranian nuclear policy. He was later appointed Assistant Section Chief to the Permanent Representation of the German Armed Forces to NATO and the EU Military Committee in Brussels, dealing with EU Plans & Policy and EU Operations.
From 2016 to 2017 he took part in the 44th course of the Israeli National Defence College in Tel Aviv.
In addition, he served twice in military operations, 2008 KFOR as battalion commander and 2018/19 as Head of the German Armed Forces in Iraq (OIR, CBI).
Col Schneider started his career in the supply and transport units of the Army and studied Economics and Organisational Sciences at the Bundeswehr University in Munich (Dipl.-Kfm., WOW). He successfully graduated from the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Hamburg (Army's 43rd General Staff Course) and earned a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Haifa.
He received the Bronze and Silver Cross of Honour of the Bundeswehr and was decorated with the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal – KFOR and the German Bronze Medal for Foreign Duty for his services with KFOR and Operation Inherent Resolve -Capacity Building Iraq.
He speaks fluent German and English and has basic knowledge in French and Spanish.
Head of Counterterrorism and PVE
Dr Christina Schori Liang is Head of Counterterrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Geneva, Switzerland. At the GCSP, she designs and directs courses on Preventing Violent Extremism and on Transnational Organised Crime and Security. She leads GCSP’s Geneva Security Debates and offers academic and policy guidance for global security actors worldwide.
She is the editor of Europe for the Europeans: The Foreign and Security Policy of the Populist Radical Right and has contributed to the 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2022 and 2023 Global Terrorism Index. She has recently co-edited a Handbook on Security Science published by Springer Verlag.
Dr Liang has given over a 100 academic and policy-related presentations in 32 countries. Dr Liang testified for the US National Intelligence Council, the US State Department, the European Commission, and the European Forum for Urban Security and has given multiple presentations for the Munich Security Conference, the NATO Defense College in Rome and the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna.
She is on the advisory board of the RESOLVE Network Research Advisory Council of the US Institute for Peace, an expert for the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, and she serves on the editorial team of Contemporary Voices, the St. Andrews University Journal of International Relations, and the advisory board of Cyberwatch Finland.
Dr Liang has taught University courses since 2002. Most recently she was an Adjunct Faculty member for Boston University from 2008-2013 and since 2016, an Adjunct Faculty member of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), Sciences Po.
She holds a doctorate in International Relations and an MA in History and International Politics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland.
- Liang, Christina Schori, Building Resilience Against Uncrewed Aerial Systems, GCSP Policy Brief, April 2023.
- Liang, Christina Schori, Growing Nexus of Terrorism and Organized Crime in Masys, Anthony, Handbook of Security Science, Springer Verlag, 2022.
- Liang, Christina Schori, Technology and Terror: The New Arsenal of Anarchy, in Masys, Anthony, Handbook of Security Science, Springer Verlag, 2022.
- Liang, Christina Schori, Far-Right Contagion: The Global Challenge of Transnational Extremist Networks, Masys, Anthony, Handbook of Security Science, Springer Verlag, 2022.
- Liang, Christina Schori, "Terrorist Digitalis: Preventing Terrorists from Using Emerging Technologies", Institute for Economics and Peace, in the Global Terrorism Index 2023.
- Liang, Christina Schori, "The Technology of Terror: From Dynamite to the Metaverse", Institute for Economics and Peace, in the Global Terrorism Index 2022, Institute for Economics and Peace, March 2022.
- Liang, Christina Schori and Matthew John Cross, White-Crusade: How to Prevent Right-Wing Extremists from Exploiting the Internet, Strategic Security Analysis, July 2020.
- Liang, Christina Schori, “Hydra: The Evolving Anatomy of Extremism”, in the “2019 Global Terrorism Index: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism.” Institute for Economics and Peace. 2019 p. 82-85.
- Bak, Mathias, Kristoffer Nilaus Tarp and Christina Schori Liang, Defining the Concept of ‘Violent Extremism’: Delineating the attributes and phenomenon of violent extremism, Geneva Paper 24/19, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, August 2019.
- Liang, Christina Schori, “Unveiling the “United Cyber Caliphate” and the Birth of the E-Terrorist” in Georgetown Journal of International Affairs International Engagement on Cyber VII, Fall 2017, Volume 18, No. 3. p. 11-20.
- Liang, Christina Schori, “Leaderless Jihad in a Leaderless World: The Future of Terrorism”, in the “2017 Global Terrorism Index: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism.” Institute for Economics and Peace. 2017 p. 88-91.
- Liang, Christina Schori, “Mapping the New Global Criminal-Terrorist Networks,” in the “2016 Global Terrorism Index: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism.” Institute for Economics and Peace. 2016 p. 84-88.
- Liang, Christina Schori, “The Criminal-Jihadist: Insights into Modern Terrorist Financing,” Strategic Security Analysis – 2016 n°10, August 2016.
- Liang, Christina Schori, “ISIL Inc: A Portrait of a Modern Terrorist Enterprise,” in the “2015 Global Terrorism Index: Measuring and Understanding the Impact of Terrorism.” Institute for Economics and Peace. 2015 p. 76-80
- Liang, Christina Schori, “Cyber Jihad: Understanding and Countering Islamic State Propaganda.” GCSP Policy Paper 2015/2
- Liang, Christina Schori, “Shadow Networks: The Growing Nexus of Terrorism and Organised Crime.” GCSP Policy Paper 20, November, 2011.
- Liang, Christina Schori, “Schattennetzwerke: Der Wachsende Nexus von Terrorismus und Organisierter Kriminalität, GCSP Policy Paper 20, November, 2011. GCSP Policy Paper 20 – Deutsch.pdf (952.2 kB)
- Liang, Christina Schori (ed.) Europe for the Europeans: The Foreign and Security Policy of the Populist Radical Right (London: Ashgate Publishing, 2007), 318 p.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Mr William Tavelli is the Director of GCSP Marketing & Communications. In this role, he leads his department by leveraging three decades of unique international expertise to define, implement, analyze and drive the Centre’s MARCOM strategy. He and his team successfully build upon and reinforce our mandate of promoting peace, security and international cooperation through executive education, applied policy research and impartial & inclusive dialogue.
Prior to joining GCSP, William piloted Private Equity firm Kharis Capital Partners' Ecosystem Development Strategy uniting Family Office principals, businesses, investors and customers for nearly a decade. He most recently headed Group Communications for their Quick Service Restaurant Platform (QSRP) of over 1,000 Europe-wide restaurants including Burger King, NORDSEE, O’Tacos & Quick Burger encompassing 6,000 employees who welcome over 100 million guests annually.
William served for seven years as Country Marketing Officer at Citigroup's Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) Private Bank offices in Zürich & Geneva providing tailored Wealth Management relationship services to over 4,000 of Europe's most prominent residents. He subsequently joined Swiss Red Cross International Events to coordinate their fundraising efforts through Corporate & Private Donor Partnerships; ultimately raising over CHF 15 million for their global “Victims of Forgotten Disasters” Projects.
A decorated military veteran and graduate of Georgia’s U.S. Army Signal Cyber Center of Excellence, William served as Communications & Electronics (C&E) Office Head under the auspices of U.S. Armored III Corps Command Headquarters HHC at Ft. Hood, Texas. While stationed there, his mandate included directing Department of Defense Command & Control Communications Policy. He held a specialist supervisory lead in the qualified technical intelligence execution of unit-level battalion maintenance programs and SIGINT transmissions encryption for maneuvers Operation Warfighter, Phantom Saber & United Endeavor.
William is a cum laude alumnus of the American University of Applied Sciences Institute (AUS) in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland from where he holds dual Bachelor of Business Administration (BSBA) and Master of International Business Administration (MIBA) degrees. He is a certified IPMA Project Management Associate, holds an Associate of General Studies Degree (AGS) with honors from Central Texas College (CTC) and is B1 Secrétariat d'Etat aux migrations (SEM) certified in German & French.
William’s public engagement extends to his selection as international special panel correspondent for TV5 Monde & Télévision Suisse Romande’s 2012 U.S. Presidential Election coverage. Being a California native and 9th generation Pobladores City of Los Angeles founding family, William sits on the Board of several charitable & non-profit humanitarian foundations. As such, he continues to serve the wider community through his highly respected volunteer work mirroring the GCSP’s mission of advancing peace & international cooperation.
Director of Research and Policy Advice Department & Head of Security and Law
Tobias Vestner is the Director of the Research and Policy Advice Department as well as the Head of the Security and Law Programme. He oversees and manages GCSP’s analysis and advice activities as well as researches and teaches on the intersection between security policy and international law. Tobias Vestner regularly advises governments, international organizations, and private firms on global security and legal issues. He has published several books and papers (see below) and provided insights to various media outlets, including the U.S. National Public Radio, NBC News, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Le Temps, and RTS Geopolitis.
Tobias Vestner has many years of experience in international law, international relations, and policymaking. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Exeter University, a Fellow at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (NATO), and a Non-Resident Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). A former reserve member of the Swiss Special Forces Command, he serves as reserve Legal Advisor at the Swiss Armed Forces Staff. He is member of the Steering Committee of the Processes of International Negotiations Program (PIN), member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War (ISMLLW) and member of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL).
Before joining the GCSP, Tobias Vestner was Research Affiliate and Global Futures Fellow at Georgetown University. Prior to that, he was Policy Advisor at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, where he managed political processes with regard to the export of conventional weapons, and participated in the UN negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty. Previously, while at the Law of Armed Conflict Section at the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports, he contributed to bilateral negotiations on military cooperation, and trained military officers in international humanitarian law.
Tobias Vestner has submitted his PhD thesis at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) and holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master of Laws in International and European Law from the University of Geneva, and a Bachelor degree in Swiss law from the University of Lausanne. Tobias Vestner has Swiss and German nationality, and is fluent in English, French, and German.
- 'Ethical Dilemmas of the Global Defense Industry’, Oxford University Press, April 2023 (co-edited with Daniel Schoeni)
- 'International Law and Policy on the Protection of Civilians’, Cambridge University Press, August 2022 (co-authored with Stuart Casey-Maslen)
- ‘A Guide to International Disarmament Law’, Routledge, June 2019 (co-authored with Stuart Casey-Maslen), reviewed here, here, and here.
- ‘Artificial Intelligence and the (In-)Determinacy of Targeting Law’, in Irene Couzigou and Edouard Fromageau (eds), ‘Technological Change and International Law: Testing the Adaptability of International law’, Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming
- ‘Advancing Norms on Civilian Protection by Military Artificial Intelligence’, in Jan Maarten Schraagen (ed), ‘Responsible Use of AI in Military Systems’, CRC Press, forthcoming
- ‘From Strategy to Orders: Preparing and Conducting Military Operations with Artificial Intelligence’, in Robin Geiß and Henning Lahmann (eds), ‘Research Handbook on Warfare and Artificial Intelligence’, Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming
- ‘The Divide between War and Peace’, in Mitt Regan and Aurel Sari (eds), ‘Hybrid Threats and Grey Zone Conflict: The Challenge to Liberal Democracies’, Oxford University Press, forthcoming
- ‘The Defense Industry’s Contribution to National Security’, in Daniel Schoeni and Tobias Vestner (eds), ‘Ethical Dilemmas of the Global Defense Industry’, Oxford University Press, April 2023
- ‘Engaging Both Horns of the Ethical Dilemma (Introduction)’, in Daniel Schoeni and Tobias Vestner (eds), ‘Ethical Dilemmas of the Global Defense Industry’, Oxford University Press, April 2023 (co-authored with Daniel Schoeni)
- ‘The Russia-Ukraine War’s Implications for Global Security: A First Multi-issue Analysis’, GCSP Tailored Study, August 2022 (co-edited with Thomas Greminger)
- ‘Revisiting the Law on UN Peace Operations Support to Partner Forces’, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, August 2022 (co-authored with Ralph Mamiya)
- ‘Treaty Law to Signal to Outsiders: The Case of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’, Washington International Law Journal, June 2022
- ‘Legal Reviews of War Algorithms’, International Law Studies, February 2021 (co-authored with Altea Rossi)
- ‘Trends in Global Disarmament Treaties’, Journal of Conflict and Security Law, December 2020 (co-authored with Stuart Casey-Maslen)
- ‘The New Geopolitics of the Arms Trade Treaty’, Arms Control Today, December 2020
- ‘Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space: Multilateral Negotiations’ Effects on International Law’, Moscow Journal of International Law, November 2020
- ‘Targeting Private Military and Security Companies’, Military Law and the Law of War Review, March 2020
- ‘Addressing the Use of Human Shields’, Strategic Security Analysis, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, December 2019
- ‘Book Review of the Leuven Manual on the International Law Applicable to Peace Operations’, International Review of the Red Cross, September 2019 (co-authored)
- ‘Synergies between the Arms Trade Treaty and the Wassenaar Arrangement’, Strategic Security Analysis, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, May 2019
- ’Prohibitions and Export Assessment: Tracking Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty’, Geneva Paper 19/23, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, March 2019
- ‘Weapons Systems Supply and Operational or Logistical Support under the PSSA’, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, March 2019 (co-authored)
Select Op-eds & Blogs
- ‘Globalizing Responsible AI in the Military Domain by the REAIM Summit’, Just Security, March 2023 (co-authored Juliette François-Blouin)
- ‘Responsible AI Symposium - The Nexus between Responsible Military AI and International Law’, Articles of War, November 2022
- ‘Responsible AI Symposium - Introduction’, Articles of War, November 2022 (co-authored with Sean Watts)
- ‘The Future of Peace and War: Warfare at the Technological Edge’, GESDA Science Breakthrough Radar, October 2022 (co-authored with Thomas Greminger, Nayef Al-Rodhan, and Jean-Marc Rickli)
- ’Can the TPNW Serve Ukraine?’, Opinio Juris, April 2022 (co-authored with Juliette François-Blouin)
- ‘Die Schweiz hat durchaus das Zeug zur Grossmacht in der Uno’, NZZ am Sonntag, February 2022
- ‘Wenn der Terminator plötzlich zur Realität der modernen Kriegsführung wird’, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, August 2021
- ‘Quo Vadis, Abrüstung?’, Schweizerische Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften, October 2020
- DisarmApp, ACW - Artifex Creative Webnet, January 2020 (co-created)
Talks at the GCSP
- Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire
- International Disarmament Treaties: Trends and Lessons Learned
- War Algorithms: Who Will Decide in Future Conflicts?
- Bye-Bye, International Order?
- Do the Geneva Conventions Matter?
- Dear Geneva: Let's Talk Hybrid Warfare
- Responsibility to Protect Revisited
- Arms Transfer to Conflict-prone Regions
- Russia and Europe: International Law as Bone of Contention or Common Denominator?
- Does Law Contribute to Peace Operations' Success?
- The Trump Administration and International Law
- Special Panel on Libya
- Expert Seminar on Enforced Disappearances
- Writing on the Wall: Redefining Security and Law
- The Worth of the Arms Trade Treaty? Let’s debate!