William W. Thomson

Conflict Intervention Analysis & Mediation

Securing Human Needs in Conflict


Bill is a former Royal Marine, combat paramedic, and counter-terrorism operative. He was previously the CEO of a emergency response disaster management consultancy, training SAR personnel, governments and NGOs. He attended the University of Aberdeen, obtaining the Degree of Bachelor of Theology, Honours, (due to his interests in religious conflict), and a Masters in Political Research and International Relations, (MRes) . His PhD was awarded by the University of St Andrews, School of International Relations, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in Scotland. He has lectured in peace studies, conflict and security, global health, disaster management, emergency humanitarian intervention and health security in conflict, at the Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Manchester (Humanitarian Conflict Response Institute). As a practitioner, Bill has undertaken over 3000 field assessments and training initiatives in hostile operations, medical response and crisis intervention. His primary interests are in, mediation, conflict and crisis intervention analysis, with an emphasis on peacemaking and human needs development in conflicts. www.williamwthomson.co.uk

Academic qualifications:

  1. Degree of Bachelor of Theology (Honours): University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. This developed my understanding of peace, conflict, ritual and belief, particularly within Jewish, Christian and Islamic theology. My work in this area extends to interpreting scripture in world religions to nurture scholarly debate on interfaith issues in conflict.
  2. Masters Degree of Research in Political Research and International Relations, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. With a focus on quantitative and qualitative research methods in Peace and Conflict Studies.
  3. PhD in International Relations in Peace and Conflict Studies, University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK. The PhD analysed state, non governmental organisations and civil society approaches to human needs development and health security, in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The book, (forthcoming 2018), takes a historical, balanced, yet contemporary view of the conflict, relying on longitudinal research outputs (1993-2018), to examine the relationship of conflict intervention types, and the impact these have had on the human needs of Israelis and Palestinians, which continually drive the conflict forward.


An NGO (www.sector-3.org) is being launched in 2017 to collaborate with my academic research interests in crisis and conflict settings, with the primary aim of developing research, monitoring and evaluation of peacemaking, humanitarian and mediation processes. Each advisor in the NGO has a different research interest. However, my approach is solutions-focused, especially towards transforming the human needs of actors in conflict. One of my primary interests and aims will be to implement mediation projects and to assess the processes of third party engagements, and also provide intervention consultancy in mediation services, to aid agencies and conflict actors, developing humanitarian access in conflict and peacemaking initiatives. My approach to mediation is built on three theoretical principles:

  1. Conflict Management Mediation: Evaluating the apparatus of state mediation and policy in conflict, and offering a solutions-based approach to transform and develop peace negotiations, ceasefires, humanitarian intervention, humanitarian corridors and human needs.
  2. Conflict Resolution Mediation: Applying a conflict resolution mediation approach, allows for the analysis of the "problems" which require mediating as part of the conflict dynamic. As a practitioner, I develop working groups, back channel negotiations and problem solving workshops for conflict communities.
  3. Conflict Transformation Mediation: Transformative mediation involves working with state and grassroots conflict societies, transforming through negotiations and workshops, state policy and human needs, while promoting an ethos of nonviolent engagement, conflict prevention for sustainable peacebuilding.