Here you can find out a little bit more about the people who work for or help to run SGR, where we've come from and the various routes we've taken to get to where we are today. The page is divided into Staff, Directors, and Advisors to the Board of Directors (the latter two groups are voluntary apart from the two ex-officio Directors). Our Patrons are listed separately.
Dr Stuart Parkinson began his career studying for a degree in physics and electronic engineering. During an industrial placement, he worked on military engineering projects, and this caused him to question the ethics of his career path. On completing his degree, he changed direction and enrolled for a PhD in mathematical modelling of global climate change at Lancaster University.
After obtaining his doctorate, Stuart then took a postdoctoral post at the Centre for Environmental Strategy (CES) at the University of Surrey, where his research mainly involved work on climate and energy policy, and environmental systems analysis. During this time he became an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and provided advice to UK negotiators to the UN climate change convention. He then spent a year working for Friends of The Earth, co-ordinating research and policy work highlighting the link between environmental problems and social injustice.
Stuart became Executive Director of SGR in 2003, having spent the previous five years volunteering on SGR's National Co-ordinating Committee. He is an author/editor of numerous SGR reports, including Estimating the military’s global greenhouse gas emissions; The environmental impacts of the UK military sector; Under the radar: the carbon footprint of Europe's military sectors; Irresponsible science? How the fossil fuel and arms corporations finance professional engineering and science organisations; UK nuclear weapons: a catastrophe in the making?; Offensive insecurity: the role of science and technology in UK security strategies; Soldiers in the laboratory: military involvement in science and technology - and some alternatives; Science and the corporate agenda: the detrimental effects of commercial influence on science and technology; and Shale gas and fracking: examining the evidence. He is also co-author of a book on the Kyoto Protocol, and an editor of the Responsible Science journal. He has also authored numerous popular science articles and academic papers, and given lectures and presentations to a wide range of audiences.
Stuart is an ex-officio member of SGR's Board of Directors.
Andrew Simms has a background in political economics and development studies. In addition to post at SGR, he is also co-ordinator of the Rapid Transition Alliance, a co-founder of the New Weather Institute, a research associate at the Centre for Global Political Economy, University of Sussex, and a fellow of the New Economics Foundation (nef), where he was policy director for over a decade. During that time, he founded the nef’s work programme on climate change, energy and interdependence, instigated their ‘Great Transition’ project, and ran work on local economies.
His books include Ecological Debt – on framing the transgression of planetary boundaries – and Tescopoly. He also co-authored The New Economics and Green New Deal. He writes for The Guardian and broadcasts with the BBC World Service and was described by New Scientist as 'a master at joined-up progressive thinking’. His latest book, Cancel the Apocalypse: the New Path to Prosperity, is a manifesto of new economic possibilities.
Andrew is an Advisor to SGR's Board of Directors.
Jan Maskell MA MSc PhD CPsychol
Jan Maskell works for SGR on a consultancy basis, co-ordinating SGR's education projects (currently mainly the Closing Loops project). Her biography can be found below.
Jan is also the Vice Chair of SGR's Board of Directors.
Dr. Emily Heath has a BSc in geophysics and a PhD in geochemistry, and has had a varied career including teaching Earth sciences for the Open University and Lancaster University, serving as an elected Green Party member of Lancaster City Council, as a branch secretary of the University and College Union, and as a former non-executive director of a local Community Interest Company that promotes sustainable living. She has been on the steering group of Ethics4USS, which campaigns for ethical investment of university staff pensions, and is chair of North Lancashire Green Party.
Emily is an ex-officio member of SGR's Board of Directors.
Liam is a political economist who has worked as a campaigns strategist and community organiser within the climate action and animal rights movements. In both his campaign strategy work with Animal Think Tank and his master's research at the University of Manchester, Liam has drawn from social movements that utilise digital technologies and democratic innovation to achieve change.
Dr Philip Webber has been Chair of SGR since its creation in 1992 (except for 2001-3). He began his career as a research physicist at Imperial College. Phil has written widely on the unacceptable risks of nuclear weapons and growing militarism. He co-authors London After the Bomb, and Crisis Over Cruise. He was one of the organisers of the London Nuclear Warfare Tribunal (1983). Since then, he has contributed to or written many articles about the Trident nuclear system, Chernobyl, Zaporizhizhia, UK military strategy and the malign influence of corporations and the military upon science and technology. He was one of the expert witnesses on the impacts of nuclear weapons for the conferences leading up to the UN nuclear ban treaty (TPNW). In 2017, this collective effort was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
After leaving academia Phil headed one of the UK's leading and award-winning environmental programmes in Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire up to 2011, where he headed a £6m ($10m) per annum low carbon renewable energy, energy conservation and grants programme. After this, he spent a short period as a vising professor at the University of Leeds working on city-scale low carbon programmes. He was director of a not-for-profit energy company (Yorkshire Energy Services, CIC) up to 2021.
Phil continues to contribute to material about new weapons systems, the pervasive influence of the military, and pathways towards a low carbon society and demilitarised human security.
Dr Jan Maskell works as a self-employed Chartered Psychologist and is a registered Occupational Psychologist, helping individuals at work, teams and organisations to achieve their potential. She has worked across all sectors and is currently focusing on not-for-profit and ethical organisations through her consultancy. Her work has included: policy development; designing and delivering assessment and development centres; facilitating events; training; management development and coaching; and she teaches part time at a university on postgraduate programmes. Jan has an MA in training and development, an MSc in occupational psychology and her PhD was in educational research.
Jan's early career was in building design and architecture and she worked on several projects including new Crown and County Courts at Oxford, Leeds and Wood Green. She is Chair of the Going Green Working Group which is part of the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology that investigates the psychology of environmentally sustainable behaviour in the workplace.
Simon Reed's professional background is in IT systems development and corporate change management. He has a masters degree in international relations and peace studies, and has a particular interest in researching, documenting and promoting alternatives to war using evidence-based methods that provide better short term and long term benefits. He is currently working on projects to improve the efficiency of security implementation in the UK.
He is a director of Conscience: Taxes for Peace not War, which campaigns for the right for those who object to war for conscience reasons to not pay for it and for less spending on militarisation and more on peace-building initiatives. Simon is also a trustee of the Institution of Analysts and Programmers professional body.
Advisors to the Board of Directors
Current Advisors are Andrew Simms and Nico Edwards
Nico Edwards BA MSc
Nico is preparing a postgraduate research project on the Ministry of Defence's Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach, supervised by SGR Patron Professor Anna Stavrianakis. She previously studied at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, gaining expertise in international humanitarian law, political economy and interdisciplinary peace and security studies.
After graduating in 2020 she undertook a placement with Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) whilst volunteering for Action on Armed Violence and Campaign Against Arms Trade, carrying out research and advocacy around arms control, disarmament, sustainable development and climate action. She now volunteers as PNND and Youth Fusion Program Officer, coordinating intergenerational cooperation in various disarmament fields.