Expert Profile

Dr Tobias Vestner
Position(s) Director of Research and Policy Advice Department & Head of Security and Law
Personal website Research and Policy Advice

Tobias Vestner is the Director of the Research and Policy Advice Department as well as the Head of the Security and Law Programme. He oversees and manages GCSP’s analysis and advice activities as well as researches and teaches on the intersection between security policy and international law. Tobias Vestner regularly advises governments, international organizations, and private firms on global security and legal issues. He has published several books and papers (see below) and provided insights to various media outlets, including the U.S. National Public Radio, NBC News, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Le Temps, and RTS Geopolitis.

Tobias Vestner is a Visiting Lecturer at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). He is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Exeter University, a Fellow at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (NATO), and a Non-Resident Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). A former reserve member of the Swiss Special Forces Command, he serves as reserve Legal Advisor at the Swiss Armed Forces Staff. He is member of the Steering Committee of the Processes of International Negotiations Program (PIN), member of the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War (ISMLLW) and member of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL).

Before joining the GCSP, Tobias Vestner was Research Affiliate and Global Futures Fellow at Georgetown University. Prior to that, he was Policy Advisor at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, where he managed political processes with regard to the export of conventional weapons, and participated in the UN negotiations of the Arms Trade Treaty. Previously, while at the Law of Armed Conflict Section at the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports, he contributed to bilateral negotiations on military cooperation, and trained military officers in international humanitarian law.

Tobias Vestner holds a PhD from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a Master of Laws in International and European Law from the University of Geneva, and a Bachelor degree in Swiss law from the University of Lausanne. Tobias Vestner has Swiss and German nationality, and is fluent in English, French, and German. 



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Digital Tool

  • DisarmApp, ACW - Artifex Creative Webnet, January 2020 (co-created)

Talks at the GCSP

For speaking engagements, please contact :

[email protected]