Alyson J.K. Bailes is currently Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland, teaching on general security topics and on Nordic and European security. From 2002 to 2007 she was Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the first woman ever to hold that post. Alyson Bailes’ former career was spent largely in the British Diplomatic Service which she joined in 1969 after graduating from the University of Oxford. From 1996 to 1997 she was a Vice-President responsible for security policy programmes at the New York-based East West Institute, and from 1997 to June 2000 the Political Director of the Brussels-based European defence institution, Western European Union. From November 2000 to June 2002 she was British Ambassador in Helsinki, Finland.