Graham Nelson is an East Asia specialist, technologist and international relations professional with a skill set including innovation, crisis response, political and socio-economic analysis, change management and technological disruption.
Ten years researching East Asian affairs and working throughout its borders has given Graham an unusual combination of experience, insight and languages to bring to bear on the challenges and opportunities of this Asian century. Presently with the British Diplomatic Service, Graham is its only member with working proficiency in Japanese, Mandarin and Korean.
A Mathematician and technologist by trade, Graham works to bring new insights to organisational and policy challenges, then create systems and models to disrupt and re-envision them. Graham’s innovations have delivered significant improvements to global delivery, efficiency and professionalism – saving millions, shifting perceptions and improving support to highly vulnerable individuals. He is also proud to have worked on multilateral disarmament policy, analysis for business start-ups in Asia, strengthening China’s civil society and responding to crises including the 2005 London Bombings, 2010 Japan Earthquake and 2018 Salisbury Poisonings.
Graham now leads the Open Source Unit – a new capability within the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office transforming the way the UK makes and assesses the impact of its international policies. The OSU combines advanced open source intelligence, behavioural and data sciences approaches to help the UK and its partners stay abreast of global developments. The Unit is growing quickly to become a cross government resource, and plays a central role in identifying the opportunities and countering the threats of the Information Age.