Laura SpanoArms Control Manager
Laura is the Arms Control Manager of the Centre for Armed Violence Reduction, the Secretariat of the Pacific Small Arms Action Group (PSAAG) – funded by UNSCARto improve governmental implementation of UN arms control instruments in the Pacific. She is also the Pacific Regional Coordinator for Control Arms – a global alliance advocating for a bulletproof Arms Trade Treaty.
Laura is a political analyst and researcher, specializing in providing policy analysis on armed violence, conflict prevention and civilian protection to develop strategic advocacy projects that raise awareness, build capacity and lobby governments for change at the national and international level. Previously, Laura led peace and security programming at WFUNA‘s UN NYC Headquarters. Laura was part of the intergovernmental dialogue on the sustainable development goals, advocating for agoal on peaceful societies and ran a multinational program to mobilize political will to implement the UN responsibility to protect norm and adhere to atrocity prevent frameworks. Laura has worked with UN agencies, diplomats, government officials, media, think tanks and civil society in NYC, and on the ground, in predominately conflict and/or violence-affected countries including Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, DRC, Armenia, China, Colombia, Venezuela, India, USA, Australia, Lebanon, Brazil and now the Asia-Pacific region.
Nathan PagePSAAG Project Coordinator
Nathan is Project Coordinator at PSAAG. This role involves identifying gaps in government arms control systems and building capacity for improved implementation of UN arms control instruments aimed at preventing the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons. Nathan has coordinated and facilitated at international workshops within the South Pacific region. Nathan is currently studying a Masters of Development at the University of Melbourne and has worked as a research assistant assessing the effectiveness of Australian arms amnesties. His professional and academic interests focus on “Shadow Economies” in conflict. Nathan has published in ASPI's the Strategist and E-International Relations.
Matthew RibarPolicy and Outreach Associate
Matthew is the policy and outreach officer for PSAAG. He is responsible for identifying areas for PSAAG's expansion and for maintaining its website. He also works to generate content and provide background materials to assist PSAAG's efforts around the Pacific.
Matthew is an undergraduate student in the Joint Degree Programme between the College of William & Mary and the University of St. Andrews. He has previously worked for the Teaching, Research, and International Policy Project in Williamsburg, Virginia. He has also been a research assistant at the St. Andrews School of International Relations, where he helped build a database of historical military innovations and helped write a national security strategy for the Central African Republic. He has written for policy publications like The Diplomat and International Policy Digest, and his academic work is forthcoming in International Studies Perspectives.