| Rachel Briggs|| The Kidnapping Business|
Rachel Briggs Wikipedia
Rachel Briggs OBE is the Director of the charity Hostage UK and a security expert working on security and foreign policy. Briggs acts as the Director of Research and Policy at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and was awarded an OBE in the 2014 Honours List for services to hostages and the families of victims kidnapped overseas.
While Briggs was studying in University her uncle was kidnapped. Briggs became the first Director of HostageUK and served in that capacity until February 2017. Hostage UK was the brain child of Terry Waite CBE, the humanitarian author and former hostage of the Islamic Jihad Organisation and Carlo Laurenzi OBE. Terry had a personal and very public kidnapping in Lebanon and was held for five years. Carlo, whilst head of the NGO, Prisoners Abroad, became acutely aware of the lack of provision for families of detainees and the absence of help for returnees. In 2003 Terry and Carlo met for the first time and agreed to establish a new and independent entity to support families of kidnap victims. Having put together a shadow board of trustees and supporters, Hostage UK was officially launched in the Palace of Westminster in 2004. In 2014 Hostage UK’s work was recognised by the UK government when Hostage UK’s director Rachel Briggs was appointed an OBE in recognition of the work that Hostage UK do.To provide specialist services and pastoral support to hostages and their families, both during and after the case.
To provide specialist education and independent advice to organisations with employees facing a kidnap risk to help them improve family support;
To campaign and advocate for improved government and organisational policy and practice around kidnapping incidents.
In addition to running an organisation to help the families of Hostages, Briggs has significantly contributed to our understanding of the kidnapping phenomenon writing papers on the business of kidnapping, keeping people safe overseas and Corporate security. In 2014 Briggs was awarded an OBE for her work with hostages.
Having studied geography at Girton College, Cambridge, Briggs began her career as a Researcher in 2001 at The Foreign Policy Centre where she initially focused on Kidnapping. Between 2003 and 2008 she has worked at the London think tank Demos as Head of International Strategy and Head of the Identity Programme. Since 2010 Briggs has been the Director of Research and Policy at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue where she oversees their work on extremism, including their programmes on Technology and extremism, the Against Violent Extremism network, and the Far Right.
Briggs' research and writing spans the fields of terrorism, cultural diplomacy and foreign policy and has been supported by governments around the world. She is a regular media commentator around issues of extremism and has appeared on BBC Newsnight in addition to writing for the Huffington Post and other international publications such as ABC.