Samuel Paunila joined the GICHD in 2013. Since 2019 as Head of the Ammunition Management Advisory Team (AMAT), he implements AMAT’s response mechanism. Managing the strategy, resources and team in partnership with the United Nations SaferGuard Programme, he assists States and organisations with safe, secure and effective ammunition management in accordance with the International Ammunition Technical Guidelines. Samuel serves as focal point for the AMAT Advisory Council and the UN SaferGuard Technical Review Board. He was previously responsible for managing the GICHD’s activities in characterising explosive weapons, residual explosive contamination, and providing an advisor function within ammunition operations.
From 2003 to 2012, Samuel directed mine action, refugee protection and armed violence reduction programmes with the Danish Refugee Council in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Prior to this he led ammunition engineering and disposal operations, training and quality management projects, and peacekeeping units with the Finnish Defence Force. The work has taken him to over forty countries, with the longest missions in Afghanistan, the former Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka and Uganda.
Samuel holds an ammunition and weapon systems technical officer degree, a BSc in automation engineering and an MSc in Resilience from Cranfield University, Defence Academy in the United Kingdom.