Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS)

Jonathan Robinson

Jonathan Robinson

Humanitarian Adviser

Jonathan Robinson is a specialist in aid worker security, conflict analysis, and humanitarian access. With nearly a decade of experience working in the Middle East, Jonathan has collaborated with numerous local, regional, and international humanitarian, civil society, and peacebuilding organizations in complex emergencies and post conflict settings.

Jonathan is currently a contracted humanitarian operations specialist supporting a professional military education institution in New England. His previous work has included supporting The Carter Center’s Syria conflict resolution program, the International NGO Safety Organization’s (INSO) Syria team, as well as the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) in Syria, The Halo Trust’s Yemen program, and Caritas Switzerland’s Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Ukraine programs. Prior to joining the humanitarian sector, Jonathan worked as a security analyst in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and southern Iraq. In 2016, he also founded Graduates in Security, an online platform dedicated to providing free resources to any student or graduate seeking a career in security.

Jonathan holds a Masters in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Edinburgh, UK, and an undergraduate degree in archaeology from Durham University, UK. He has also supported the CHRHS and the U.S. Naval War College’s annual civilian-military humanitarian response workshop and symposium since 2020, co-leading the aid worker security working group.

Jonathan seeks use his professional experience to help bridge the gap between academic approaches and on the ground realities. His research interests focus on Russian humanitarian operations, the use of data in the humanitarian sector, and civil military guidance. He is a global fellow in his personal capacity.

Select Publications

Robinson, Jonathan (2023) "Exploring Russia's Views on Humanitarian Aid in Syria," Fikra Forum, Washington Institute for Near East Policy. 4 January 2023.

Stall, Hampton; Hudson, Jennifer; Leendertse, Evan; Prasad, Hari; McNaboe, Chris; Shabb, Rana; and Robinson, Jonathan (2022) "Mapping Unexploded Ordance in Syria: Harnessing the Power of Open-Source", The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction: Volume 26: Issue 1, Article 10.

Bebbington, Carmen, Fang-Horvath, Sierra, Harrington, Georgia, Polatty, David, Robinson, Jonathan, (2022) “Reviewing Guidance and Perspectives on Humanitarian Notification Systems for Deconfliction”, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University.

Robinson, Jonathan (2022), “Russian Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Identifying Trends Using 15 Years of Open-Source Data”, Expeditions with the Marine Corps University Press (Digital Journal)

Robinson, Jonathan and Baade, Christoph (2021), "Measuring Explosive Munitions Use with Open-Source Data: A New Tool for Enhancing Humanitarian Mine Action," The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction: Volume 25: Issue 1, Article 24.

Robinson, Jonathan (2021), “Five years of Russian aid in Syria proves Moscow is an unreliable partner”, The Atlantic Council’s MENASource.

Robinson, Jonathan (2020), “Russian aid in Syria: An underestimated instrument of soft power”, The Atlantic Council’s MENASource.

Robinson, Jonathan and Sosnowski, Marika (2020), “Mapping Russia’s soft power efforts in Syria through humanitarian aid”, The Atlantic Council’s MENASource.