Lennie Phillips started his career in the research and technology laboratories of ICI C&P Ltd, armed with a degree in applied chemistry. After a few years he moved into plant operations and technical optimisation of production plant, during which time he also studied for a degree in chemical engineering. A subsequent move to Associated Octel, saw a move from a large scale dedicated continuous production plant to a relatively small scale multi-purpose batch production plant.
In 2008, Lennie started work as an inspector for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In 2011 he became a team leader, primarily for routine inspections under Article VI of the Chemical Weapons Convention, but also related to demilitarisation activities.
In 2013, he was part of the team that monitored the destruction of declared production equipment related to the Syrian chemical weapons programme. From 2015 to 2017, he was team leader for OPCW’s Fact-Finding Mission, focussing on allegations of use of chemical weapons in areas outside the control of the Syrian Government. Amongst the allegations investigated by him and his team was the use of sarin in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017. After standing down from the Fact-finding mission, in 2018 he produced a Lessons’ Learned document for the Office of the Director General to inform future policy decisions.
In 2018, he was awarded an OBE for services to international security.
After leaving OPCW, he carried out consultancy work related to policy and international investigations.