Dr Nick Caddick – Conference Chair

Nick is Associate Professor of Political Sociology and Deputy Director of the Veterans and Families Institute at Anglia Ruskin University. His work uses narrative as a conceptual and methodological device for understanding the legacies of war for military veterans as well as others affected by conflict. Nick is currently working on his first monograph for Edinburgh University Press entitled ‘The cultural politics of veterans’ narratives: Beyond the wire’, and is leading two major projects; the AHRC-funded ‘Stories in Transition’ project, which uses co-productive methods and creative practice filmmaking to explore veterans’ stories of transition to civilian life through arts, culture and sport, and research funded by the Forces in Mind Trust examining the impact of Non-UK service and immigration in the British Armed Forces. He is an editorial board member for the Critical Military Studies journal, and a BISA member since 2020.

Outside of academia, Nick enjoys reading, hip-hop music, mountain biking, and planning his next tattoo.

Juliet Dryden - BISA Director

Juliet has worked in the field of international relations for the last 25 years specialising in programme management, international development/humanitarian affairs and donor relations.

Juliet has previously worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), the London School of Economics (LSE Ideas) and for 15 years with the United Nations in Cairo, Gaza and Jerusalem (UNRWA, UNOCHA, UNOHCHR). Her most recent position prior to joining BISA was at the West Asia - North Africa (WANA) Institute in Amman where she was the Director of Programmes. Juliet holds an MA in International Relations from the University of East Anglia.

Juliet was also elected as a member of the Chatham House Council in July 2021.

Outside of BISA, Juliet loves reading political biographies, outdoor swimming, spending time with her family and living a quiet life after years of living dangerously!

Katie Burt - Administration and Events Assistant

Katie joined BISA in September 2022 after a varied administrative career working in Formula 1, academic publishing, market research, recruitment, and film production.

Outside of BISA, Katie is a qualified personal trainer and aspires to walk the South West Coast Path, but until then finds joy in exploring less daunting local footpaths.


Professor Mark Webber - University of Birmingham

Mark is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and a non-resident Fellow at the NATO Defence College in Rome. For eight years until 2019, he was Head of Birmingham’s School of Government. He is a former Chair and Honorary President of BISA. He is the academic lead for BISA’s annual Model NATO and climate negotiation events. He is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Outside of work, Mark supports Exeter City FC, and enjoys hill-walking and running.


Dr Columba Achilleos-Sarll - University of Birmingham

Columba is an Assistant Professor in Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. Before joining Birmingham, Columba was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Vienna, an affiliated research fellow at the Austrian Institute for International Affairs (OIIP), and a visiting researcher at the Centre for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University.  Her primary research examines the United Nation’s Security Council’s ‘Women, Peace and Security’ (WPS) agenda.


Dr Mwita Chacha - University of Birmingham

Mwita Chacha is an Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Birmingham. His research examines regionalism/regional integration and its intersection with domestic political and security outcomes. He is particularly interested in understanding public opinion towards regional organizations in the developing world, international responses to coups d’état, and the role of regional organizations in post-coup politics.


Chrissie Elliot-Duxson - Communications Manager

Chrissie has worked in marketing communications for over 15 years with experience of both the public and private sectors. Her most recent positions prior to joining BISA were at the University of Warwick and spanned marketing, communications, recruitment, student experience and project management.

Chrissie has also run her own business and was formerly the Chair of her local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses as well as Chair of Coventry and Warwickshire First Young Professionals.

Outside of BISA, Chrissie is a singer/songwriter, reviews gigs for Birmingham Live and enjoys travelling.

Freya Jones - BISA Administrator

Freya joined BISA as Administrator in January 2021 on a part-time basis alongside her other roles as a School Bursar and a Ticketing Administrator for the Friends of Oxford Botanic Garden. Previously she worked as an Account Director for an Event Management agency for nine years, organising a variety of events across the globe.

Outside of BISA, Freya enjoys Pilates and reading (when time allows!), and has recently taken up playing the piano again after a 25 year hiatus.

If you'd like to contact the conference team please email conferences@bisa.ac.uk.