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Background

Head of Operations Asia-Pacific

Albrecht Schnabel is Head of the Asia-Pacific Unit at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). He also serves as Senior Fellow in DCAF's Policy and Research Division, and as Research Associate at the Global Health Centre (GHC) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. From 2008-16 he served as Senior Fellow in DCAF's former Research Division, where he headed the Security Institutions Programme and the Human Security and SSR Programme. 

Albrecht's research and operational work focusses on security sector governance and reform (SSG/R), particularly its development and post-conflict dimensions, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. Having provided training and advisory services for the United Nations, regional organisations and Swiss government agencies during the past two decades, since 2011 he has primarily been engaged in DCAF's operational advisory and capacity-building activities in Southeast Asia, particularly in Myanmar (police reform), Thailand (media training), Philippines (SSR, DDR and peace processes) and Cambodia (SSG/R and external oversight), as well as in national and regional multi-stakeholder dialogues and parliamentary capacity-building on SSG/R.

His research and publications have focused on ethnic conflict, human security, armed nonstate actors, conflict prevention and management, peacekeeping, post-conflict peacebuilding, peace processes, health security, and conceptual, urban and development dimensions of SSG/R. He currently co-leads the GHC-DCAF project on "The Security Sector and Global Health Crises"€ (since 2015), and serves as an associated member in the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) projects on "How to Break the Gridlock in Global Health Governance"€ (2015-17, with GHC/IHEID) and "Civil Wars and State Formation: The Social Construction of Order and Legitimacy During and After Violent Conflict” (2016-18, with the University of Geneva).

Before joining DCAF, Albrecht was a Senior Research Fellow at the Swiss Peace Foundation "swisspeace"€ in Bern, where he was responsible for the research programme on human security (HUSEC) and the Bern-based team of the early warning programme FAST International (2003-2008). From 1998-2003 he lived in Tokyo, Japan, where he worked for the United Nations as an Academic Officer in the Peace and Governance Programme of the United Nations University. Previously he served as an Instructor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University (1994); Assistant Professor at the American University in Bulgaria (1995-96) and the Central European University (1996-1998); Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (1997); Visiting Lecturer at Aoyama Gakuin University (2002-03); Lecturer in International Organizations and Conflict Management at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Bern (2004-2008); and Visiting Lecturer for the Master of Advanced Studies in Security Policy and Crisis Management programme at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH) (2010-2014). He has recently been serving as an external faculty member on regional security sector development courses at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu (since 2011) and as co-director of an annual course on International Relations, Democratisation and Human Security for young professionals from Myanmar at GCSP/DCAF in Geneva (since 2013).

Further experiences include military service in the German Federal Armed Forces (1985-86), participation as an election observer in two OSCE election monitoring missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1997), training and teaching for the UN System Staff College course on Early Warning and Early Response (1999-2002) and a term as President of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (2001-02).

Albrecht studied comparative politics and international relations at the University of Munich, the University of Nevada, and Queen's University, Canada, where he received his PhD in Political Studies in 1995.