Anna Macdonald is Director of the Control Arms Secretariat, a global coalition working for international arms control, and played a significant role in the civil society campaign to achieve the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty. Her fellowship project asks whether the treaty—and other efforts to address a problem through the creation of global norms—has actually delivered tangible progress on the ground. Citing similar campaigns (on landmines, cluster munitions, and the rights of refugees, among others), she notes that NGOs often see the achievement of a multilateral legal framework as the culmination of their advocacy efforts. At a time when the rules of global governance are under increasing stress, she is investigating what additional means are needed to make sure such conventions do not end up being largely symbolic.
Previously, Macdonald worked at Oxfam for 18 years in range of positions, including Head of Arms Control, Campaigns and Communications Director, and International Campaign Manager. She received her MA from Leeds University in Development Studies.