The Drone Wars Team

Drone Wars UK staff (left to right): Peter Burt, Chris Cole, Joanna Frew

Chris Cole, Director,  full-time

Chris Cole, 54, is the founder of Drone Wars UK.  He is author of two important reports on the issue: Convenient Killing: Armed Drones and the PlayStation Mentality (2010) and Drone Wars: Out of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of Control (2016).   In 2017 he authored a chapter entitled ‘Harm to Global Peace and Security’ in the book, The Humanitarian Impact of Drones.   He has submitted evidence to various Parliamentary Committees on the use of drones, including the Defence Select Committee, the Joint Human Rights Committee and the Committee on Arms Export Controls and is regularly invited to speak to conferences, public meetings and the media on drones, targeted killing and remote warfare. He is convener of the Drones Campaign Network, a trustee of the Trust for Research and Education on Arms Trade (TREAT) and a board member of the international Catholic organisation, Pax Christi.  He is a former Director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (2003 – 2010) and Joint Coordinator of Campaign against Arms Trade (1999 – 2003).  He gained a Masters in Theology from Middlesex University in 2000 and lives in Oxford with his wife, Virginia and their children.

Dr Joanna Frew, Researcher, 2 days per week

Joanna Frew has a MA in International Law and Development and a PhD in History. Prior to returning to academic study, she worked for an NGO for 10 years running training and campaigns for students on global peace and justice issues. After completing her PhD Joanna has been an occasional teacher on the history of the British empire, as well as working with refugees in London. With Drone Wars, she published a report on the proliferation of armed drones among a ‘second generation of operators’. This report was launched at the House of Commons in Westminster in May 2018 and since then she has begun research on the way in which drone use and targeted killing is communicated to the public in the UK, comparing that with US press and government communications.

 Dr Peter Burt, Researcher, 3 days per week

Before moving to Drone Wars UK Peter was Director for the Nuclear Information Service for six years, undertaking research into the costs and risks of the UK’s nuclear weapons service.  At Nuclear Information Service he authored the influential reports ‘AWE: Britain’s nuclear weapons factory’ and ‘Playing with fire: Nuclear weapons incidents and accidents in the United Kingdom’ and is considered to be a leading expert on the UK’s nuclear accident history.  At Drone Wars UK he works on issues relating to artificial intelligence and autonomy and their role in the future development of drones.  Peter is also a Trustee the Nuclear Education Trust.

Drone Wars UK Steering Committee

There are currently five members of the Steering Committee, which meets 3 times per year. All act in a personal capacity

  • Ann Feltham, Parliamentary Co-ordinator of Campaign Against Arms Trade
  • Pat Gaffney, Former General Secretary, Pax Christi
  • Penny Walker, Campaigner
  • Dave Webb, Chair, CND
  • Dr Max Brookman-Byrne, Lecturer in International Law, Lincoln University