Virginia Comolli

Senior Expert, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime

Virginia is a Senior Expert, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime. She conducts, commissions and manages original research on environmental crime and illicit financial flows relating to environmental commodities in Africa and Asia.

Prior to joining GI-TOC in 2020, she spent 14 years with The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, most recently as head of the Conflict, Security and Development programme. During her time there she has worked on organized crime, violent extremism, conflict, insurgency and how these phenomena intersect. She maintained a special focus on West Africa and the Sahel and, to a lesser extent, Latin America and parts of South Asia– all regions in which she conducted field research.

Additional experience includes a secondment to the UK Ministry of Justice and working for the intelligence unit of a private security firm and with a strategic intelligence company.

Virginia is currently a Technical Advisor to the Global Drug Policy Observatory at Swansea University; she seats on the advisory board of Independent Conflict Research & Analysis (ICRA) and is a Participant of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS).

Virginia has spoken at conferences internationally and briefed senior politicians and corporate clients as well as military and academic audiences, and the media. She holds a First Class Honours degree in War Studies and American Studies from the University of Wolverhampton (UK) and a Master’s degree in Intelligence and Strategic Studies from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (UK).