Dr Siobhan O’Neil is Project Lead of the Managing Exits from Armed Conflict initiative. Prior to joining UNIDIR, Dr O’Neil was Project Lead for UNU’s Children and Extreme Violence project and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Project Manager. She was also a consultant at the UN Mine Action Service (UNAMS), providing strategic guidance and programme support for key mine action programmes in Mali and Palestine.
Dr O’Neil has experience in both the security and intelligence fields: In the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks, she worked for the newly created state homeland security agencies in New York and New Jersey, helping state and local governments build their capacity to detect, prevent, and recover from terrorist attacks. She later served as the analyst for domestic security and intelligence at the Congressional Research Service, identifying emerging threats and evaluating possible policy responses for Congress.
During the course of her doctoral studies, Dr O’Neil worked as a research analyst at the RAND Corporation on projects pertaining to counterinsurgency transitions, insurgent motivations, and civil-military coordination during domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive attacks.
Dr O’Neil holds a doctorate in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles, an MA in National Security Policy Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, an MLitt in International Relations and National Security Studies from St Andrew’s University, and a BA in Political Science and History from The College of the Holy Cross.
Her research interests include conflict resolution; counterterrorism and countering violent extremism; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; international security; mediation negotiations and post-conflict recovery; policymaking; and education.