Christopher East

Senior Fellow and Program Manager, Janne E. Nolan Center on Strategic Weapons

Christopher is a Senior Fellow and Program Manager at the Janne E. Nolan Center on Strategic Weapons (The Nolan Center), an institute of the Council on Strategic Risks. Based in London, Christopher leads the Center’s international biosecurity initiatives. He has a particular interest in the convergence of artificial intelligence and biotechnologies and is a vocal advocate for humanity harnessing the convergence safely and for the benefit of all.

Prior to joining the Center, Christopher served in the United Kingdom’s Cabinet Office as Chief of Staff for Biological Security and was responsible for the development of the 2023 UK Biological Security Strategy. He has served in various roles across the Cabinet Office’s National Security Secretariat most recently contributing to the 2023 refresh of the Integrated Review—the UK’s seminal Foreign, Defence, and Security strategy. In 2021 he played a pivotal role in establishing the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership – a partnership of public and private sector leaders to advise the UK’s G7 Presidency on pandemic preparedness. The partnership launched the 100 Days Mission—a global effort to harness scientific innovation to have safe and effective diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines ready to be deployed within the first 100 days of the identification of a pandemic threat.

Prior to his time in government, Christopher was posted to Sierra Leone and Rwanda working for multiple international development consultancies on democratic system strengthening and education reform programs. He has also worked on the ground with national and local governments in India, Brunei and Jordan.

Christopher commissioned into the British Army Reserves having completed the Commissioning Course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2022. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford in Migration Studies where he focused on European foreign and security policy. He also holds an architectural master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Town. He was an active member of the United Nations Association of South Africa at the University of Cape Town and regularly served as chair in Model United Nations proceedings.