Sam Daws

Senior Advisor

Sam Daws is Senior Advisor to the Oxford Martin AI Governance Initiative, and has worked for 35 years in multilateral diplomacy. He served as First Officer to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York, and advised the British Prime Minister on the SDGs as Deputy Director (UN) in the Cabinet Office. He previously served as Senior Principal Research Analyst (Multilateral) in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Executive Director of UNA-UK, and UK Representative to the UN Foundation.

He is a recognised expert in multilateral strategy, geopolitics, the science-diplomacy interface, peace and security, and sustainable development. His work at Oxford focusses on diplomatic trust building and policy coordination in multilateral AI governance. With a background in social anthropology and international mediation, as well as in international relations and international law, he has a particular interest in how AI can be strengthened by international cultural diversity, as well as in the opportunities and risks arising from the AI-life sciences nexus.

He has written or co-edited 14 books, including The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations and The Procedure of the UN Security Council (Oxford University Press). He was visiting fellow in international law at Cambridge University, in UN studies at Yale, and an associate fellow in international law and governance at Chatham House, the Royal Institute for International Affairs. At Oxford he serves as senior advisor on multilateral diplomacy to the Oxford Martin AI Governance Initiative where he is mapping the dynamics of UN, regional, and ‘mini-lateral’ AI governance initiatives across APEC, ASEAN, AU, BRICS+, CICA, CIS, Council of Europe, EU, GCC, G7, G20, OECD, OAS, and the SCO, and the opportunities for greater interoperability and policy coordination. He is also an associate of the University of Oxford China Centre, and a senior practitioner associate in the Department of Politics and International Relations, where he has been directing a project on UN governance and reform, and served as policy lead for the Oxford-UN Academic Impact hub on peace and conflict resolution. He is an alumnus of the Oxford Artificial Intelligence Programme, and serves as sector consultant (Government, IOs, and AI governance) to Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

Beyond Oxford, he is designing a diplomacy policy network,, and serves as senior advisor to the company DiploAI, supporting AI-powered regulatory analysis for global manufacturers. He founded and directs the policy consultancy 3D Strategy, and served as strategic advisor on AI governance to the Simon Institute for Longterm Governance in Geneva. He designed the inaugural digital UN training for the FCO’s diplomatic academy, and has trained diplomats across 15 countries, and from every region of the world. He lectures at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, on diplomacy and strategy at the LSE and Oxford, and at the UNU in Tokyo. He has been invited to speak to foreign ministries and universities on multilateral diplomacy and AI governance worldwide, from Beijing to Brasilia, and Nairobi to New Delhi.