Leigh is a Research Officer within ODI’s Global Risks and Resilience programme, and part of ODI’s Centre for the Study of Armed Groups. His research focuses on critically assessing development approaches to illicit economies; smuggling networks and the intersection with armed conflict; radicalisation; and the security dimensions of climate change and its intersection with armed conflict. Leigh’s background includes working with specialist organisations focused on corruption, armed conflict and natural resources including Global Witness, and human rights organisations such as Waging Peace.
Leigh was part of the Knowledge Manager for the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) consortium, a £120m DFID-funded programme. Under BRACED, Leigh: co-authored a publication on the proliferation of armed smuggling networks in northern Niger; convened a series of global roundtables on the humanitarian implications of climate and conflict risk; and co-authored a series of literature scans on climate change, conflict and security.
He is part of the authorship team for publications on risk-informed development, a concept which encourages policy-makers and practitioners to consider the implications of multiple and intersecting threats and hazards. This included a case study focused specifically on policy targeting the smuggling economy in northern Niger.
He holds a Masters in Conflict, Security and Development from King’s College London, where he focused his studies on war economies, insurgency and the comparative study of civil wars.