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20 May 2021

King's Centre for Science and Security Studies welcomes new leadership

Dr Hassan Elbahtimy and Dr Filippa Lentzos appointed as new co-directors of the Centre.

CSSS blue globe
The Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS)

This week, the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) welcomes Dr Hassan Elbahtimy and Dr Filippa Lentzos as the new co-directors of CSSS. They both have longstanding associations with the Centre and bring deep experience of academic and policy work on CSSS topics.

Sincere thanks and appreciation to outgoing co-directors Prof Christopher Hobbs and Prof Matthew Moran for their leadership of the Centre over the past few years. They are stepping down to pursue new opportunities within the School, but they remain committed to CSSS and will continue as active members of the Centre.

Filippa has a joint appointment as Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies and in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine. Her research is broadly focused on biological threats and biosecurity. She has a keen interest in emerging life science technologies, like gene editing and synthetic biology, as well as their intersection with artificial intelligence, deep learning and robotics, and the implications of these developments for arms control and non-proliferation. She is also an Associate Senior Researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); a biosecurity columnist at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists; Co-Chair of the IEEE Industry Connections program on ‘Driving responsible innovation of AI, life sciences and next generation biotech’; and the NGO Coordinator for the Biological Weapons Convention.

Hassan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of War Studies, focusing primarily on international security and multilateral arms control issues. He has written widely on these topics including in Foreign Affairs, Journal of Strategic Studies, Security Studies and the Nonproliferation Review among others. In 2019, his research was awarded the McElveny Grand Prize by the Nonproliferation Review. He is an elected Trustee and Executive Committee member of the British International Studies Association (BISA) and currently chairs the L.H.M. Ling Outstanding First Book Prize by BISA. He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK.

Both Filippa and Hassan have solid track records of grants and publications. They bring significant experience from international policy processes that will contribute to and fit well with CSSS. Outgoing co-directors Chris and Matt said: 'We have very much enjoyed seeing CSSS grow and succeed on multiple fronts over the past few years and are confident that the Centre will continue to thrive under Filippa and Hassan.'

It has been exciting to see CSSS move from strength to strength in recent years as we approach its 20th anniversary. Filippa and Hassan will bring new energy and ideas as they take the reins after a hugely successful period for CSSS under the co-leadership of Chris and Matthew.

Professor Wyn Bowen, Head of the School of Security Studies and former Director of CSSS

In this story

Hassan Elbahtimy

Senior Lecturer

Filippa Lentzos

Reader in Science and International Security