Christopher is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from James Madison University in Virginia (’99) and a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Sydney, (’07).
His research is the first doctoral study on the “politics of shark attacks,” looking at policy responses to shark bites in Australia, South Africa and the United States. He expects to complete his degree in early 2013.
Christopher’s most recent academic work has been published in the journals Marine Policy (2012) with co-author Dr. Jean Yang and in Coastal Management (2012). In 2012, he presented his latest research at the Australian Political Studies Conference in Hobart. In 2011, he presented his research at two scientific conferences: the International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria, Canada and the International Congress for Conservation Biology.
His research has also been noted in Time magazine, New Scientist magazine, the Washington Post, Australia Geographic, BBC radio, the Cape Town Times and the Sydney Morning Herald. In May 2012, Christopher gave a ‘TED Talk’ on his research for TED’s Global Talent Search salon at TEDx Sydney and in August 2012 he appeared in the Shark Week documentary ‘How Jaws Changed the World.’
Current work projects:
Christopher was a casual lecturer at the University of Sydney in the Department of Government and International Relations in 2012, teaching Issues in Public Policy. He will continue teaching in 2013. In addition, Chris has provided consulting services to governments as they develop shark bite response strategies and worked as a researcher and commenters on nature-film documentaries, including working as Associate Producer for the Nat Geo Wild / ABC (Australia) documentary Shark Harbour.
Previous work experience:
In addition, to his doctoral research, Christopher also serves as the Deputy Executive Director of the Palm Center, an academic think-tank addressing openly gay service in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Previous experience includes congressional work in the offices of former Senator John Warner (R-VA) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV). In 2002, Christopher became the first full-time lobbyist for the repeal of ”Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” working at Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) where he worked for more than 4 years. Christopher also worked for the public relations and advertising firm DDB Issues & Advocacy as a Senior Program Manager.
In December, 2007 Christopher was hired as Executive Director of Outright Vermont, a queer youth center and state-wide advocacy organization. In 2008 & 2009, Outright’s budget grew by 60% and its youth attendance doubled. A full list of accomplishments from Outright is available on the youth empowerment tab of this website: http://christopherneff.com/?page_id=7 . In January 2010, Christopher was sad to move on from Outright but was asked to continue his work in DC full-time on DADT repeal before beginning his PhD.
Christopher is currently on the Executive Committee of the Australian Political Studies Association. He has previously served on the Board of the Equality Federation of state-wide LGBT political organizations (2001-2006) and served as the President of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.. In 2006, he started the first LGBTQ lobbyist’s group in Washington, Q Street, in 2005.
Christopher is an avid international traveler and enjoys pushing his normally conservative diet a bit further. Christopher is a member of Red Sox Nation, never misses a Patriots game and enjoys just about all sports, including water-skiing, soccer, cricket, surfing, golf, baseball, basketball, bowling, lawn bowling, running and swimming.