Project Team Leader
John Jones OBE
John Jones has over 35 years experience of security and counter-terrorism including 15 years working exclusively in the field of CBRN. His early career was in Border Security and spent 20 years is a variety of operational roles within the UK immigration Service and was recognised as one of the UK’s foremost experts in the detection of Forged and Counterfeit Travel Documents. In that role he helped design and deliver the first EU funded training course for forgery detection specialists and was responsible for technical innovation (including enclosed space detection of people) at the Intelligence and Investigation Unit at Heathrow Airport. He also served in India and Turkey and carried out audits of visa-issuing offices at UK embassies in Africa.
As a member of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) from 2002 until the end of 2013, he was the Programme Manager for the UK’s CBRN Programme. As Programme Manager he was responsible for the creation of a CBRN risk assessment methodology and a multi-agency concept of operations known as the “Model Response” and the drafting of the UK’s CBRN Strategy Strategy for Countering CBRN Terrorism . He became the lead official for the provision of CBRN detection arrangements for the London Olympics in 2012 and worked closely with Public Health England and the UK Security and Law Enforcement agencies on the concept of operations around rapid analysis of pathogens and toxins. He represented the UK at the AusCanUKUS CBR Quadrilateral conference and at GICNT meetings in London, Madrid and Paris. He was until 2013 the UK’s representative on the EU CBRN Advisory Group, chaired by DG Home and was regularly called upon to represent the UK at international conferences.
After retiring from OSCT in 2013, he was invited to become a member of the UK Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management and is now listed as one of the four most senior CBRN UK specialists on the Register of Security Engineers and Specialists (RSES). He has extensive experience of risk assessment and mitigation including work for international insurance companies. He has provided advice to UK universities and succeeded in obtaining US State Dept funding for a chemical detection system developed by the University of Cardiff. He continues to provide specialist consultancy support to the IAEA on RN response and capability development.
He was a key expert in CBRN CoE Project 26 “Strengthening Legal Frameworks in Lebanon and Tunisia” and was responsible for assembling an inventory of legislation in UK for comparison with arrangements in France, Tunisia and Lebanon. In addition, he oversaw the UK’s input to other CBRN CoE Projects (eg Project 22). In 2016, as part of a framework contract he was a senior reviewer for DG Home in examining proposed changes to EU regulations on explosive pre-cursors. Mr Jones was the lead expert in Work Package 7 (Legal Frameworks) of Project 46 ‘Enhancement of CBRN capacities of South East Asia in addressing CBRN risk mitigation concerning CBRN first response, biosafety and biosecurity, awareness raising and legal framework’ until April 2017 when he took over as Team Leader until the project successfully closed in July 2018. In October 2018 he became senior Non-Key Expert for WP1 (legislative, regulatory and procedural framework in Project 65 “Strengthening chemical and biological waste management in Central Asia countries for improved security and safety risk mitigation”. He has extensive experience of EU projects including CBRN CoE and FP7/H2020. He has recently been selected as a potential expert reviewer for the evaluation of proposals in the H2020 call (H2020-SU-SEC-2019). Finally, Mr Jones has been providing expert support to the OSA in Manila under Project 62 – specifically the implementation of CBRN National Action Plans.
Key Expert - Bio Risk
Professor Christopher Logue
Professor Christopher H. Logue is a senior expert in biosafety training and the Virology, Biosafety and Molecular Biology Training lead at UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Porton Down. He has a proven track record of design, delivery and implementation of high quality accredited laboratory training programmes throughout the UK, Europe, Central Asia, West Africa and South America. Christopher is an honorary professor in Virology at the University of Plymouth, with a strong and comprehensive research background in virology assay development, virus genomics, emerging arbovirus surveillance and field virology. Christopher leads on virology and molecular biology training in the Novel and Dangerous Pathogens (NADP) Training Group for Public Health England, an executive agency of the UK Department of Health. The training group consists of 5 scientists who deliver Microbiology and Biosafety training on how to work safely in Microbiology laboratories at level 2, 3 and 4 according to International standards.
In his role as Key Expert in Biosafety and Training for EU CBRN Centres of Excellence Project 53 “Strengthening the National Legal Framework and Provision of Specialized Training on Biosafety and Biosecurity in Central Asian Countries.” He was responsible for four of the seven work packages, including the provision of a detailed online gap analysis tool, development and delivery of in-country Biosafety & Biosecurity train the trainer workshops, resulting in over 1,800 specialists across 7 central Asian countries being trained in biosafety and biosecurity. Additionally, Christopher and his team of NKEs designed and delivered technical training in laboratory methodologies in the diagnosis of high consequence pathogens (including Ebola, Lassa, CCHFv, TBEV, HPAIv and Bacillus anthracis).
Under his direction as visiting professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), |Ecuador he helped establish Ecuador’s first Virology masters course and BSL2 virology laboratory. His research team (located both in Quito and at Porton Down) have implemented a metagenomic sequencing capacity (Oxford Nanopore minION) for detection of infectious pathogens undetected by traditional molecular techniques (real-time PCR). They have recently published the discovery for the first time, of Oropouche virus detected in a febrile patient using metagenomic sequencing, subsequently isolating and characterising the virus seen for the first time in Ecuador. Additionally, his team were also the first to isolate and sequence the full-genome of Zika virus in Ecuador.
Christopher has over 20 years experience in working in high containment microbiological laboratories. He has designed, tested and optimised molecular diagnostic assays for over 20 pathogens of public health, biosafety and biosecurity concern, including several hazard group 4 pathogens. He has over 25 peer reviewed scientific publications in the fields of emerging pathogens, diagnostic assay development and surveillance and detection of new and re-emerging viruses.
Christopher lead three field teams to West Africa during the 2013-2016 Ebola virus outbreak, first deploying to Guinea as team lead of the rapid response European Mobile Laboratory Ebola diagnostic field teams to Gueckedou (Aug 2014) and Coyah (Mar 2015) and then to Kenema, Sierra Leone as team Lead of Public Health England's Ebola Diagnostic Laboratory and in charge of implementing diagnostic training to Kenema General Hospital Clinical laboratory staff. With these first hand experiences Christopher was able to develop with his NADP Training colleagues a week-long pre-deployment Ebola field laboratory training course, which was delivered to over 400 volunteer staff between 2015 & 2016 prior to deploying to 3 UK run Ebola treatment centre laboratories in Sierra Leone. In 2016, Christopher received the Ebola Medal for Service in West Africa.
Key Expert: Legal
Dr Sonia Drobysz
Dr Sonia Drobysz is the Programme Director for VERTIC’s National Implementation Measures (NIM) Programme. She has almost 11 years of experience in the area of CBRN international law and national implementation, including expertise in EU and international law in the biological domain, covering the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 (UNSCR 1540), International Health Regulations (IHR) and Codex Alimentarius.
Dr Drobysz served as the Key Expert Legal for Project 53 until June 2019. She was responsible for Work Package 1 activities to assess and revise the national legislation and best practices of partner countries in the area of biosafety and biosecurity, and harmonisation with the appropriate international instruments such as the BTWC, IHR and Codex Alimentarius, including in the area of regional emergency response, with the aim of coming to a "One Health" system. She led the development of a matrix template for the analysis of Codex Alimentarius-related legislation; assisted in developing a survey template for the analysis of IHR-related legislation; conducted legal analyses and reviews of the legislation of partner countries; reviewed draft legislation prepared by the partner countries; liaised with the partner countries; liaised with consortium members; involved related organisations such as the World Health Organization and the BTWC Implementation Support Unit; participated in relevant meetings and events; and prepared monthly technical reports on the project.
Dr Drobysz is a Non-Key Expert for Project 61 on chemicals management in South-East Asia. In this role, she reviews the analyses of national legislation in the ten partner countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam) against the standards in international instruments on chemicals. She also served as a Non-Key Expert for the European Union’s CBRN Centres of Excellence Project 8 on CBRN national legal frameworks in South-East Asia. In this project, she analysed the legislation of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia and the Philippines across a number of international instruments on CBRN materials and participated in visits to Cambodia, Lao PDR and the Philippines. Dr Drobysz is also a Non-Key Expert for Project 67 on CBRN waste management in South-East and Eastern European countries.
Under Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/51 of 18 January 2016 in support of the BTWC, Dr Drobysz has acted as VERTIC’s expert for legislative drafting workshops organised with the BTWC ISU and UNODA (Geneva) in countries in Africa, the Middle East and South America.
As NIM Programme Director, she oversees the strategic vision and delivery of the NIM programme, which works with interested governments in all regions of the world on comprehensive national implementation of the BTWC, IHR, Codex Alimentarius, the Chemical Weapons Convention and instruments related to chemicals management, international instruments for nuclear security and UNSCR 1540. She conducts awareness-raising activities, promotes universal membership in treaties, provides legislative assistance, including drafting legislation, and the development of legislative drafting tools.
Dr Drobysz has a university level education in international legal affairs: she holds a PhD in public international law, with a focus on international nuclear law, from University Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne. She also holds a master’s degree in international law and international organisations from University Paris I, and a university diploma in international nuclear law from University Montpellier 1/ OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. She previously worked as a doctoral fellow and teaching assistant at University Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, and as an associate research fellow at the Centre for International Security and Arms Control Studies. Sonia is a native French speaker, speaks fluent English and is proficient in Spanish.