British American Security Information Council

BASIC (United Kingdom)

BASIC is a small but influential think tank working towards a world free from the threat of nuclear weapons. A growing number of politicians, government officials and other decision-makers share our vision. We work constructively with them – and with others who are not yet convinced – to achieve our goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We leverage our reputation as a respected, trusted and independent source of information, ideas and perspectives to inform debate and foster creative solutions.
BASIC is the only peace and security non-governmental organization that is British-American in composition and focus. We work on both sides of the Atlantic to encourage sustainable transatlantic security policies and to develop the strategies that can achieve them. We partner with other international NGOs that share our goals and we promote public understanding of the danger of growing nuclear arsenals.
We have charitable status in the United Kingdom and in the United States. We operate with offices in London and Washington, a small but committed staff, and an active network of influential board members and advisers, and patrons on both sides of the Atlantic.

Contact information

British American Security Information Council – BASIC

3 Whitehall Court
London SW1A 2EL

Tel: +44 (0)20 7766 3461
Fax: +44 (0)20 7766 3465

The team

Contacts Resume Speciality

Alexandra Bell

Board Member

Alexandra Bell is the Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non­Proliferation. Bell was the Director for Strategic Outreach in the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the Department of State. Before joining the Department of State in 2010, she was the Project Manager at the Ploughshares Fund and a Research Assistant for Nuclear Policy at the Center for American Progress. Bell received a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the New School and a Bachelor’s degree in Peace, War and Defense from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2001­2003, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in southwest Jamaica. Bell is a Truman National Security Fellow, a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member, a 2017 Munich Security Conference Young Leader, a member of the Project on Nuclear Issues Mid­Career Cadre and a member of the Younger Generation Leaders Network on Euro­Atlantic Security.

Sebastian Brixey­ Williams

Project Leader

Tel: +44 20 7766 3465

Sebastian Brixey­Williams is the Project Leader at BASIC, operationally managing the research and outreach programmes. His expertise covers UK nuclear weapons policy, multilateral disarmament, nuclear norms and
responsibilities, and emerging technologies. He is also a British Pugwash Executive Committee member. Sebastian holds a Master’s in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where he received the Postgraduate School’s Prize.
  • Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament
  • Emerging Technologies
  • UK nuclear policy
  • Responsibility

Andrew Cottey

Board member

Tel: +353-21-490-2087

Andrew Cottey is Jean Monnet Chair in European Political Integration at University College, Cork. He previously worked at the Dept of Peace Studies, University of Bradford; the EastWest Institute; Saferworld; and BASIC. He has been a Nato research fellow, a research associate at the IISS and a visiting researcher at SIPRI. He writes on European and international security.
  • Multilateralism and institutions
  • European security

Trevor McCrisken

Chair of BASIC Board

Tel: +44 (0)24 7657 4693

Dr Trevor McCrisken, chair of the BASIC board since 2007, is associate professor in US Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. He is also associate fellow of the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford, a North America Region Head with Oxford Analytica, and an adviser to the journal International Affairs. His research and publications are on US foreign policy, American national identity, and US politics and culture. His recent publications include American Exceptionalism and the Legacy of Vietnam: USForeign Policy Since 1974 (2003) and (with Andrew Pepper) American History and Contemporary Hollywood Film (2005).
  • US politics and security

David Pritchard

Board Member

David Pritchard advises nonprofit, private, and public sector organizations on how to assess and increase their social impact. He supports effective change­makers by helping them plan and evaluate what they do. David has more than twenty­five years of experience working with government agencies, nonprofits and foundations in the UK and the US. He also teaches planning and evaluation methods at Adler University, Chicago. David was formerly an economist for New York City Economic Development Corporation and and Head of Measurement and Evaluation at New Philanthropy Capital in London. David has a bachelor’s degree from Oxford University, an MA in International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and an MBA from Yale University.

Zara Rizvi

Admin and Communications Officer

Tel: +44 20 7766 3465

Zara Rizvi joined BASIC in September 2016 to support the daily office operations and to help develop our communications strategy. Zara will coordinate the NextGen project and use her experience in digital communications to expand and develop BASIC’s online presence. Before joining BASIC, Zara worked as a Digital Research Assitant, where she produced a range of online publications and infographics and led a number of workshops on data visualisation and storytelling for NGOs.

Joanna Spear

Board member

Tel: +1 202-994-1088

Joanna Spear is the director of the DoD’s National Security Studies Program and the Security Policy Studies Program at George Washington University. She was director of the graduate research program in the Dept of War Studies, King’s College (1996–2003); post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University (1993-–95); and a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institute (1999). Dr Spear is author of Carter and Arms Sales (1995) and The Changing Political Economy of the Defense Trade.
  • US security policy
  • Arms transfer policies

Sam Walton

Board Member

Sam Walton is the Peace & Disarmament Programme Manager for Quakers in Britain. Whilst Sam brings an expertise in the arms trade to the board, he has also worked on nuclear weapons for over a decade, with a focus on moral issues around possession and use. Sam has an undergraduate degree in Physics from Nottingham University.

Stuart Warner

Treasurer of the BASIC Board

Stuart Warner, is a Chartered Accountant, Lecturer, Trainer and Author. Stuart joined BASIC’s Board in 2012 to which he brings two decades of experience in finance. Stuart is a director of Financial Fluency, a finance training company based in London, which delivers financial training Internationally. He previously worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers
and BPP Professional Education, part of Apollo Global. Stuart has sat on the membership services board of the Association of Accounting Technicians since 2009. Stuart is the author of ‘Finance Basics’ (Collins ‘Business Secrets’ series); ‘Making Budgeting Work in the Real World’ NelsonCroom); and co­author of ‘Dragons’ Den: Grow Your Business, which supports the latest BBC series of Dragons’ Den.

Heather Williams

Board Member

Dr. Heather Williams is a Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London, and a CSSS Fellow in the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS), funded by the MacArthur Foundation. Her research focuses on strategic stability, arms control, and trust­building in international relations. Until January 2015, Heather was a Research Fellow on Nuclear Weapons Policy at Chatham House and led projects on the Nuclear Non­Proliferation Treaty and the Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons Initiative. Dr. Williams completed her PhD, “Negotiated Trust: U.S.­Russia Strategic Arms Control, 1968­2010”, in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London in December 2014. She has a BA in International Relations and Russian Studies from Boston University, and an MA in Security Policy Studies from The George Washington University.