Dr Timothy Wittig

Associate Fellow - Expert on wildlife trafficking, illicit economies, and terrorist/threat finance


Dr Timothy Wittig is an international relations scholar, former defense intelligence officer, and expert on wildlife trafficking, illicit economies, and terrorist/threat finance.

He received his PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews in 2009 and has since held various appointments at National Defense University in Washington DC; the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany; the Basel Institute on Governance in Switzerland; the University of Amsterdam; the University of the West of Scotland; and the University of St Andrews. Dr Wittig was a tenured professor of International Relations at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands until 2019, when he decided to return to practice. As a practitioner, he has lived in six and worked in nearly forty countries. He is a former US defense intelligence officer and security analyst, with specialties in threat finance and illicit networks, environmental threats, and power politics in Africa.

Timothy is a founding board member and currently Head of Intelligence for Focused Conservation, an environmental NGO that applies best practice in law enforcement, complex investigations, and intelligence analysis to support governments around the world in bringing international wildlife traffickers and their ‘untouchable’ facilitators to justice.

Dr Wittig also serves as Head of Intelligence for United for Wildlife (UfW) and the UfW Financial and Transport Taskforces, a groundbreaking programme of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. In this role, he originally designed and since 2016 has run the Taskforces’ central information sharing system, an innovative international public-private sector intelligence sharing partnership that has helped mobilise 150+ of the worlds’ largest banks, maritime shipping companies, and airlines to work collaboratively and effectively with government and law enforcement against global wildlife trafficking.

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