Consultants

Armadillo are a global team of consultants who are all highly experienced at living and working in hostile environments – being present in every major conflict since 1992. They all spend sometime in the field each year working with humanitarian agencies as security advisors – reducing risk without compromising the image or principles of their charges. As trainers, they are uniquely capable of passing on their skills and knowledge.

Our team includes:

Michelle Mackintosh

Michelle has more than fifteen years experience in the humanitarian safety and security sector, much of it first hand and practical as a security officer and a global security advisor for a major INGO. She has developed organisational security plans, trained hundreds of staff, managed real crises, and helped many to avoid them. She is our lead on field operations, and is mostly still to be found in the field, side by side with humanitarian actors.

Michelle was Head of Logistics for the UN in the former Yugoslavia, responsible for a team of 150 and the resupply of over 400 locations with food, water and other essentials; in addition, she was responsible for managing the security of the team. In 1997, Michelle was in charge of the demobilisation, demilitarisation and rehabilitation of the RUF in Sierra Leone for DFID. Michelle was head of Security for the Foreign and Commonweath Office in Southern Iraq from 2004-2006, where she was responsible for more than 200 security guards and close protection operatives in order to provide security for 100 FCO diplomats. Her hostage management plan was subsequently adopted for use by the FCO worldwide. Michelle managed a number of major crises in Iraq, including attacks on the Basra Consultate office, an abduction, a kidnapping, and numerous IED and other attacks on convoys. She also provided advice on the security situation to Government ministers, including the Prime Minister.

Michelle has extensive personal experience which makes her the go-to person to deliver our new Behaviour After Capture training. She has not only managed numerous abductions and kidnaps in many contexts including Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Columbia; she is a qualified aberrant psychologist, and has personal experience of being held hostage and surviving. An ideal mix of theoretical knowledge and real world experience, which any organisation concerned for their staff's safety will certainly benefit from.

Dr Kjell Björk

Dr Kjell Björk (PhD) is the Managing Director of Armadillo. He is an expert in security systems design and has an extensive experience in Mine Action. Dr Björk has also lectured in a variety of academic institutions on the subjects: Mine Action, NGO security and Evaluation Methodology, as well as being the author of Ridding the World of Landmines: The Governance of Mine Action.

After retiring as Captain and Company Commander from the Swedish Armed Forces he went on to work in the areas of mine action and security services for NGOs, the UN, EU and governments. With experience from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caucuses and South Eastern Europe he has a strong research background in post-conflict reconstruction and development and extensive professional experience of lecturing, training and leadership in the fields of post-war recovery, organisational security management and peace-building. He has a track record of success in implementing programmes during periods of institutional and political change in multi-cultural and multinational settings. As lecturer he uses a participatory learning approach that offers a combination of theory, field experience and interactive teaching. 

All of our consultants are security practitioners first and trainers second. Armadillo security staff are require to 
spend some time each year working as security officers or managers in order to continue their employment with Armadillo.

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