Watchman operates worldwide at the intersect of impact projects and local communities, enabling a peaceful environment in which both can thrive. We de-risk client operations by tackling the root causes of insecurity and applying human rights based solutions.
Business operations that affect the environment and its inhabitants gain advantage by understanding local dynamics. Awareness of issues such as land rights, ethnic composition, political affiliation and criminal influence contributes to a project’s long term success. When these dynamics are addressed without due care, all sides suffer. Staff and assets may be targeted, neighbouring livelihoods are weakened and frictions can develop with a host government.
Watchman seeks to decrease the threat to its clients by reducing the motivation to harm them in the first place. It achieves this by ‘holistic security’ in which the many contributors leading to instability are analysed and deftly treated. Over reliance on ‘hard’ security, such as armed guarding and physical protection, creates mistrust and the expectation of trouble, alienating locals and eroding an organisation’s license to operate. Watchman's approach fosters community acceptance that sustains a project throughout its life span and beyond.
Chris Goodwin-Hudson - Prior to founding Watchman, Chris held senior positions with the international security teams at Goldman Sachs and the Aga Khan Development Network. Brought up in South America, Chris’ interest in the impact of major projects on local communities began whilst conducting postgraduate fieldwork amongst indigenous groups in Chile’s II region.
Gabriel Carter - Associate Director. Gabriel has held a number of senior roles in the private security industry, and in 2012 founded a successful Afghanistan focused security company that supported numerous British and US development projects. He developed an industry-leading GIS / Intelligence system to support tactical operations; and is the author of a definitive industry text on Oil & Gas security strategy. Gabriel started his risk management career in crisis response at Goldman Sachs and is a double honours graduate of Cambridge University.
Elise Groulx - Specialist Adviser. Elise is an international human rights lawyer and mediator who is recognized as a leading expert in her field. She is ranked in the top tier of BHR legal practitioners by Chambers and Partners and one of very few lawyers to have focussed exclusively on business and human rights for over a decade.
Elise is internationally renowned as a thought leader and has contributed to key submissions to the European Union (EU), the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). She advises on the legal issues surrounding conflict, natural resource pillage, modern slavery, social license and access to remedy for people complaining of human rights abuse.
Nigel Hawkins - Associate Director. Nigel is a senior security risk management advisor with extensive experience in Africa. He provides detailed geo-political analysis, community focused solutions and human rights investigations to projects across the Watchman footprint. Nigel has demonstrable success in security risk planning, systems design and VPSHR compliance, including supply chain audits to assess modern slavery risks. A former director for a risk management consultancy and a military officer, Nigel has specific expertise in the mining sector around precious metal security.
Don McFetridge - Strategic Adviser. Don has specialised in Security and Human Rights for over two decades across multiple sectors and global operating environments. In the 2000s he personally developed and wrote the first industry standard VPSHR program which he then implemented on behalf of the World Bank Group-MIGA. His expertise has guided numerous client companies through the complex accession process to membership of the Voluntary Principles Initiative. A former Colonel in the US Army, Don has also been Senior Security Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston.
The team's combined experience in multi-national finance, development, energy and the natural resource sector gives Watchman rare security understanding and reach ensuring that its solutions are both proportionate and sensitively delivered.
Multi-level risk assessment using Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping.
Objective, high grade investigations that help balance mainstream media narratives. Ground truth that filters conjecture from fact.
Governance. Evaluation of existing security and investigations infrastructure to assure fitness for purpose.
Capacity building. Establishing structures and systems that promote security best practice in line with globally recognized standards. E.g. The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.