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Leigh is a Research Officer within ODI’s Global Risks and Resilience programme, and a fellow at The Centre on Armed Groups and Civil War Paths. His research focuses on armed groups; illicit economies and development; smuggling networks and the intersection with armed conflict; radicalisation; and the security dimensions of climate change. Leigh’s previous experience 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’s work has included research on the smuggling economy and armed networks in northern Niger. Recently, he worked as part of a FCDO project focused on rethinking armed group control to help improve the monitoring of changes in armed group control during civil war. He also led a 12-month project focused on youth radicalisation in the Sahel as part of the pilot phase of a new FAO regional programme supporting youth employment and rural economies in the Sahel. Currently Leigh is involved in two multi-year projects. The first, is working with ODI Humanitarian Policy Group on how communities engage with armed actors to advance community self-protection. He is also part of the Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises programme.

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.