Paul has several decades experience leading diverse and multicultural teams to impact decisions on existential threats, particularly nuclear war. He was the Executive Director of the transatlantic British American Security Information Council (BASIC) 2007-19, focusing on nuclear deterrence and disarmament issues in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Since 2019 he has worked closely with the Swedish Foreign Ministry crafting the Stepping Stones Approach. The associated 16-nation Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament has become a widely-acknowledged glimmer of hope for the NPT Review process.
Paul set up and ran the Trident Commission (2011-14) that considered Britain’s future nuclear weapon policy, and helped set up the Middle East Treaty Organisation in 2017. He has taught systems approaches at the Open University (1991-98) and later as part of the National School of Government’s flagship Top Management Programme (2007-12). He hosted a weekly TV talk show (2007-12) on state Iranian TV and connected with the highest levels of Ahmadinejad’s Iranian government, helping facilitate back-channel negotiations that contributed to the nuclear deal. He has also led several projects funded by the UK Foreign Office working on Middle East WMD diplomacy and nuclear responsibilities, working in areas previously deemed intractable but then receiving follow-on grants.
He was elected as a City Councillor in Oxford in 1996 and served as co-leader of the City Council in a shared administration from 2000-02. As the Green Party’s defence spokesperson he sat on the Stop the War Coalition Steering Group in the run-up to and after the war with Iraq in 2003. He was the first Chair of the Board for Crisis Action (2004-7), now an award-winning network with hundreds of partners and nine offices on four continents protecting civilians from the ravages of conflict.
Paul studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University, and then International Relations at Warwick. Paul works on the A Science of Global Risk programme at CSER.