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.