Virginia set up the IISS Security and Development Programme in 2014 to focus on hybrid insecurity and study how armed violence affects large urban centres in less-developed countries. Previously, she had been a member of the IISS Transnational Threats and Political Risk team working on international terrorism, radicalisation, organised crime and conflict with a special focus on West Africa, the Sahel and Latin America. In this capacity she was seconded to the UK Ministry of Justice.
Virginia is a member of the European Expert Network on Terrorism Issues (EENeT) and of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organised Crime. She sits on the international advisory board of the African Centre for Peace Building, Ghana, and on the steering committee of Football for Peace. She also acts as a Project Associate for the International Drug Policy Project at the London School of Economics and as a Technical Advisor at the Global Drug Policy Observatory at Swansea University.
Virginia holds a First Class Honours degree in War Studies and American Studies (University of Wolverhampton) and a Master’s degree in Intelligence and Strategic Studies (University of Wales, Aberystwyth). She is the author of Boko Haram: Nigeria’s Islamist Insurgency (London: Hurst Publishers, 2015).