Phil Vernon

Director of Programmes, International Alert

Phil is International Alert’s Director of Programmes. He provides leadership and oversight of Alert’s programmes in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the former Soviet Union, and of teams that deal with cross-cutting issues of importance to peacebuilding, such as the economy, gender, climate change, natural resource management and organised crime, as well as Alert’s core advocacy, learning and training functions. In 2010, he was the principal author of Working with the grain to change the grain: Moving beyond the MDGs, which called for a radical overhaul of the international aid system. In 2015, he wrote Peace through prosperity, a major Alert report highlighting why economic development should include peacebuilding, and how businesses, governments and others can do so.

Phil joined Alert in 2004, prior to which he had worked in development, humanitarian and peacebuilding in Africa since 1985, in Sudan, Rwanda, Lesotho, Mali, Ghana, Benin, Togo and Uganda. Initially a forester by training, with an MSc from the University of North Wales, his interest in conflict and peacebuilding was stimulated by the experience of living in Rwanda from 1992–1994. From 2000–2004 he was Country Director of Care International in Uganda, and played an active role in research and advocacy on the northern Uganda conflict, helping to establish and lead the Civil Society Organisations for Peace in Northern Uganda coalition. He is also a member of the Forum on Corporate Responsibility of mining company BHP Billiton, a trustee of the International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC), and was previously a trustee of development NGO BuildAfrica and a member of the steering committee of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO).

Phil blogs on Africa, peacebuilding and development issues at