Gareth Williams

Senior Associate Fellow


Dr Gareth Williams is a Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI in the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Research Group.

He has a solid scientific and technical foundation in the highly specialised field of chemical weapons, coupled with extensive experience of the broader policy, intelligence and security context.

Until October 2023, as the Head of Assistance and Protection at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), he was responsible for delivering a complex global programme of capacity building to address threats from chemical weapons. Prior to that, he was the OPCW’s Head of Chemistry and Safety, also leading routine and non-routine inspection teams, including investigations of potential use.

Before joining the OPCW in 2016, Dr Williams spent thirteen years working for His Majesty’s Government, latterly working on Counter Proliferation related issues in the Directorate for Defence and International Security at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Earlier in his career, he was the Team Leader for Synthetic Chemistry at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down, where he provided advice to numerous government departments on CBRN related issues.

He was also one of the lead chemists on the United Kingdom contingent to the Iraq Survey Group, serving a tour of duty in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003.

On joining Dstl in 2002, he worked as synthetic chemist responsible for the synthesis of classical and other chemical warfare agents. He also had responsibilities for managing safe systems of work in high-hazard laboratories and for mentoring other synthetic chemists in the synthesis of high hazard materials.

Dr Williams holds a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Manchester and a degree in Chemistry from the University of Manchester. He is a Chartered Chemist and Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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