Head, Global Maritime Crime Programme, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Alan Cole joined the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in May 2009, initially to deliver its response to Somali piracy. He now heads the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme, which supports regional criminal justice systems with the investigation and trial of persons suspected of maritime crime. His team addresses the full range of maritime crime including terrorism, trafficking of people and narcotics, fisheries crime, maritime hostage taking and maritime piracy.
Prior to joining UNODC, he served for 18 years in the UK Royal Navy in frigates, destroyers and submarines stationed in the Adriatic, South Atlantic, Persian Gulf and Far East. In 2008, he served as the first UK legal advisor to Combined Maritime Forces based in Bahrain and supported a range of maritime security operations in the Gulf and Northern Indian Ocean. He co-authored the US Navy War College led Multinational Rules of Engagement Manual which has subsequently been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish and published by the International Institute for Humanitarian Law. He qualified as a barrister in 1999 and practiced in both civilian and military courts as a prosecutor and defence advocate. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Criminology from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.