I am an all-round ‘knowmad‘ of International Relations, with extensive experience in the fields of development, security, counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics. I am currently focusing on the nexus between AI ethics and defence for the startup RAIN Research Group, where I am director of the RAIN+ Ethics division.
Throughout my two-decades career, I have combined research with policy influencing, working on international campaigns and advocacy trajectories for organisations such as Oxfam and ICOS.
I am happiest when I can blend policy-related research with writing, my other passion. I have been a researcher and writer for the UN, the German government, the Clingendael Institute, Oxfam and European NGOs. I have written more than 50 opinion articles and many policy papers and academic articles.
I am not afraid of vast, long-term research projects; hence my 461-page PhD thesis and my 400-page book about 20 years the Netherlands in Afghanistan.
I am interested in multi-media projects that combine research/writing with videos, photos or comics. For example, in 2020 I co-developed for Oxfam the graphic novel Zahra: A policewoman in Afghanistan with the Spanish National Comic Award winning couple Cristina Durán and Miguel Ángel Giner Bou. Working on graphic novel was a dream come true, and is something I want to get back to later.
Similarly, In 2009 I worked with Chronoscoop on the documentary Afghanistan, Land of Wonders which combined historical research and filming trips to Afghanistan and Russia with a fictional story of an American novelist.
For an updated overview of my professional career, see here.