2021 speakers

Dr. Anita Abbott, APSI Forum, New Zealand

Dr. Anita Abbott is the chair of APSI Forum committee, and adjunct professor at Charisma University. She was a research fellow at NATO Defence College. She regularly contributes to publications and is invited nationally and internationally for research projects and speaking engagements. Her research areas include strategic foresight analysis and future warfare. She has published more than 40 articles. Her first book develops education sovereignty model in international negotiation. In her second book, published by Palgrave MacMillan, she uses Indonesia and several countries as examples of how negotiation works for maintaining sovereignty in education.

Major General (Ret) Gert-Johannes Hagemann, APSI Center of Excellence

Major General Gert-Johannes Hagemann is the Deputy Commander of Headquarters Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ RRC-FR) in Lille, France. Created in 2005, HQ RRC-FR is a French NATO certified headquarters able to command a national or multinational force of between 15,000 and 60,000 personnel. 

With around 450 military coming from fifteen different nations, HQ RRC-FR is stationed within a 17th-century citadel also known as the Queen of the Citadels, designed by the famous French Field Marshal Vauban. Reactive, flexible and ‘open to the world’, HQ RRC-FR is a purpose-built organization, designed to handle the complexity of military operations of the early twenty-first century.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy Commander of NATO’s HQ RRC-FR, Major General Gert-Johannes Hagemann was Commander of the Infantry School and the Infantry Training Center in Hammelburg, Germany and the General of the German Infantry. From 2011 to 2013 he was the twelfth Commander of the German-French Brigade in Müllheim, after having served as Regional Commander of NATO’s Training Mission Afghanistan.

Lieutenant General Olivier Rittimann, NATO Defense College,Italy

Lieutenant General Olivier RITTIMANN was born on the 17th of July 1961.   A graduate of the Military Academy of Saint Cyr and the Army Engineer School, he first served with the Foreign Legion.

In 1984, he was posted to the 4th Foreign Legion Regiment as a platoon leader in charge of
the basic instruction of new Legionnaires. In 1986 he joined the 6th Foreign Legion Engineer Regiment where he served as platoon leader and company commander. During these years he went on operational deployments in Chad, Mayotte, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Six years later, in 1992 he was selected as an instructor at the Military Academy, and in 1994 he was sent to the United States Army General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. Upon his return to France, he successfully completed the course of the Joint Defence College in Paris and, in 1996 returned to the 6th Foreign Legion Engineer Regiment – this time incharge of operations and training.

After an operational tour in the NATO-led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (SFOR), he was assigned to Allied Forces North Headquarters in Brunssum, Netherlands, in 1998 where he served in both the ‘Training and Exercises’ and ‘Policy and Concepts’ Branches as the first French officer inserted within the NATO Command Structure, as a result of the implementation of the Combined Joint Task Force concept.

In 2001, he took command of the 1st Foreign Legion Engineer Regiment. Following a successful command, two years later he attended the Pakistani National Defence College in Islamabad and was then assigned to the French embassy as the Defence Attaché until 2007. 2007 brought a posting to Joint Staff in Paris, as Chief of the NATO branch. When the French political authorities decided to return to a full military participation in NATO, he was in the negotiations leading to an increase of the French military presence within the NATO Command structure.

Promoted to Brigadier General in 2010, he was assigned to Allied Force Command Heidelberg   as the Director Joint Coordination Centre in the Deployable Joint Staff Element. This enabled him to be deployed to HQs International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) from January 2011 to January 2012 as the Chief of Operations, covering current operations, force generation and counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) issues.

In 2012, he was assigned as the French Deputy Military Representative (MILREP) in NATO Headquarters. Then in August 2015 he became the French National Military Representative to NATO’s Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium, and few months later, in January 2016 promoted to Major General.  On 1 st September 2017 he was promoted to Lieutenant-General and appointed Chief of Staff at Joint Force Command Brunssum with effect the 8th September 2017.

On 1st July 2018 he was assigned as Vice Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. In March 2019 he took the Command of Operation ALTHEA, Bosnia and Herzegovina.Lieutenant General Olivier RITTIMANN is married to Claudine and they are blessed with five children.

Lieutenant Colonel John W. Black, Regional Affairs Officer United States Marine Corps

Lieutenant Colonel (LtCol) Black is an Infantry and Regional Affairs Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He has served in the Marine Corps for more than 24 years. As an Infantry Officer, he has commanded at the platoon, company, and battalion levels. He has served in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM – AFGHANISTAN, and has completed two deployments with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit – Special Operations Capable (MEU SOC) in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

As a Regional Affairs Officer, he has served as a Country Director for Marine activities in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific Islands, and Timor Leste, and as the Office of Defense Cooperation Chief at the American Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand.

LtCol Black holds a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He is a graduate of Harvard's Program of Leadership Development. He is currently serving as the Marine Corps' National Security Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Security Studies Program for Academic Year 2020-2021. He will promote to Colonel in Fiscal Year 2021.  LtCol Black's awards include the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, U.S. Department of State Meritorious Honor Award, a Commendation from the Chief of the Australian Army, and the German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency (Gold).

LtCol Black is married to Dr. Aime Black, former Education Advisor at the American Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand.  She is currently an Evaluation Specialist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) John H. Glenn Research Center.  She leads several evaluation studies, including a program-level evaluation study of the NASA Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP), one of four Congressionally-funded programs that NASA manages. 

General Paolo RUGGIERO, Italian Army, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation

General Paolo Ruggiero assumed duties as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation on July 19, 2019. Born on September 26, 1957 in Naples. He is a graduate of the Italian Military Academy in Modena and was commissioned as a Field Artillery (FA) Officer on September 1, 1977.

As a junior officer he served in the "Ariete" Armoured Division as FA Battery EXO, Battery Commander, FA Battalion S3 and S1. As a Lieutenant Colonel, he commanded the 1st FA Battalion at the Field Artillery School and as a Colonel he commanded the 52nd FA regiment "Torino". He held several positions as a staff officer at both the Italian Army and Defence General Staff, including Chief of the Operations Office at the Army General Staff; Chief of the Executive Office of the Chief of Italian Defence Staff; Chief of the Executive Office of the Deputy Chief of the Army General Staff; and Chief of Staff of the Army Logistics Command.

From 1997 to 2000, he served as Assistant Army Attaché and the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C..
Promoted to Brigadier General in 2005, he commanded the 132nd "Ariete” Armoured Brigade. During this period, he was deployed as the Commander of the Joint Task Force - Sector West to South Lebanon within the UNIFIL Operation (October 2007 to May 2008).

In 2009, he was promoted to Major General and commanded the Field Artillery Headquarters.
He was promoted to Lieutenant General on the 1st of July 2014, and served as Commander of the Army Command for Education, Training and School of Applied Military Studies in Turin. From February to September 2015 he was deployed to Afghanistan first as Chief of Staff and then as Deputy Commander for Transition of the NATO "Resolute Support" mission. On January 15, 2016, he was appointed Deputy Commander NATO Land Command in Izmir, departing in June of 2019. General Ruggiero received his fourth star on the 15th of July 2019. Highlights of studies and courses he has attended include Officer Advanced Course, at the US Army FA School in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma (1987); Basic and Advanced Staff Courses at the Italian Army Staff College (1991 and 1995); Command and General Staff Course at the US Army Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas (1992). He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Strategic Military Studies.

His principal honorary awards include the Army Meritorious Gold Cross; Army Meritorious Silver Cross; Commander of the Meritorious Order of the Republic of Italy; Army Gold Medal for Longevity in Command; the U.S. of America Legion of Merit; NATO Medals for peace-keeping missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan ; UN Medal for participation in the UNIFIL Mission; US Army Meritorious Service Medal; Order of the Cedar of the Republic of Lebanon; and the Medal of Multinational Cooperation (level II) of the Republic of Slovenia.

He is married to Holly Ann, and they have two daughters, Adriana and Valeria. General Ruggiero enjoys running, jazz music and history.

Colonel Shigehiro Noshita, Defence Attaché to Papua New Guinea and the Army Attaché to Australia, Fiji and New Zealand in the Embassy of Japan in Canberra, Australia.

Colonel Shigehiro Noshita is currently the Defence Attaché to Papua New Guinea and the Army Attaché to Australia, Fiji and New Zealand in the Embassy of Japan in Canberra, Australia.

As a transport officer, he has held a variety of command, training and staff appointments at the tactical, operational and strategic levels. These include serving in Timor Leste as a movement control officer in 2003 and 2004, and commanding the Japanese Transport and Engineering Unit of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force from 2011 to 2012.

Colonel Noshita is a graduate of the National Defence Academy Japan (1999), the United States Army Logistics Management College (2007), the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force Command and Staff College (2009), the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping India (2011), the Australian Command Staff College (2015) and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (2018). 

He holds a Bachelor degree of Social Science and a Master of Military and Defence Studies from the Australian National University.

Anthony A. Spadaro Sergeant Major (Retired), USMC. Former Command Senior Enlisted Leader, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command

Anthony Spadaro is a retired United States Marine Corps senior noncommissioned officer (Sergeant Major) who retired from the United States Marine Corps in 2020 after a distinguished 35-year military career. During his service, Anthony served at the most senior levels for the Marine Corps and Department of Defense. He culminated his service to our Nation as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest geographic combatant command with 380,000 uniformed (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines),and civilian members along with 36 partner nations.  In this role, he provided the commander with the enlisted perspective on theater security cooperation, encouraging peaceful development, responding to contingencies, and deterring aggression throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Additionally, he was responsible for mentoring senior enlisted leaders at four component commands, and coordinating with command joint directorates and senior enlisted members on matters pertaining to the command’s mission, vision, core values, commander’s intent, enlisted utilization, and professional development.

Hailing from New Brunswick, New Jersey, Anthony enlisted in the Marine Corps on 3 April 1985, and attended recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.

His operational assignments (Fleet Marine Force) included: Artillery Fire Direction Controllman and Artillery Nuclear Projectileman, Battery R, 5/11; Assistant Operations Chief, Battery G, 3/12; Intel Analyst/Chief, 11th Marines S-2; Regiment/Area Guard Chief; Regimental Meteorological Chief, 11th Marines; HQ Battery Platoon Sergeant; 11th Marines, Regimental Survey Chief, 11th Marines; Battery First Sergeant, Battery B, 1/12, Sergeant Major, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165, Sergeant Major, Aviation Combat Element, 15th MEU, Sergeant Major, Marine Aircraft Group-16.

His supporting establishment tours included: Watchstander, American Embassy Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire; Assistant Detachment Commander, and Detachment Commander, American Embassy Gaborone, Botswana; Drill Instructor, Senior Drill Instructor, Chief Drill Instructor, Company I, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego; Instructor, Drill Instructor School, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego; Company First Sergeant, Special Training Company, MCRD San Diego; Company First Sergeant, Company C, First Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD San Diego; Sergeant Major, First Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD, San Diego.

Combat Tours and deployments include, Desert Shield/Storm with Battery G, 3d Battalion, 12th Marines (attached to Battalion Landing Team, 3/1); two Unit Deployment Programs (UDP) to Okinawa (with Battery B, 1st Battalion, 12th Marines); Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) (with the Aviation Combat Element of the15th Marine Expeditionary Unit) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), with the Aviation Combat Element, Regional Command Southwest, First Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

At the General Officer/Flag Officer Level, SgtMaj Spadaro served with: 3d Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward); the Aviation Combat Element, Regional Command Southwest, First Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward); the Third Marine Aircraft Wing; Marine Forces Reserve/Marine Forces North; and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Sergeant Major Spadaro’s military education encompasses all levels of Professional Military Education courses: NCO Academy, SNCO Career Course, SNCO Advance Course, First Sergeant’s Course, Expeditionary Warfare School (by extension), Command and Staff College (by extension), Navy Senior Enlisted Academy, the Senior Enlisted Professional Military Education Course, the Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education Course, the Keystone Fellows Course (National Defense University), the Asian-Pacific Orientation Course and the Asia-Pacific Senior Executive Course, (Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies).  SgtMaj Spadaro holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (Summa Cum Laude), from Rutgers University in Labor and Management.  He is currently enrolled in the John F. Kennedy School, Harvard University (completing a Masters Degree in Public Policy).  SgtMaj Spadaro served as a Senior Mentor for the Keystone Course, (National Defense University) and the Regional Leadership Development Program – Pacific, (United States Army Pacific).

SgtMaj Spadaro’s significant awards and decorations include: the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (with Gold Star), the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (with Gold Star), the Air Medal (with strike numeral “3”), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (with three Gold Stars), the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal the Combat Action Ribbon, and Naval Aircrewman Insignia. He was inducted into the Honorable Order of Saint Barbara in 1996.

Though recently retired from the Marine Corps, Anthony’s next chapter has him serving as a consultant and strategist with the following companies/organizations: The Robert Irvine Foundation, Beaver Fit USA, and Bravo Sierra, Additionally, he serves on the advisory boards for: Emory Healthcare, Veterans Program, FourBlock.org, FitOps and the Youth Impact Program. Furthermore, he is the Vice President for Training, 5th Principle LLC; a leadership coach with the Resilience Building Leader Program and an Adjunct Faculty member with the Marine Corps University. Anthony owns his own consulting firm, Gravitas Leadership Solutions, LLC. He continues to focus his attention on empowering and assisting military members, veterans, and their families.

Anthony and his wife, Kathryn reside in Honolulu.

Major General (retd) John Hartley AO

John Hartley graduated from Duntroon in December 1965. Three months later, he deployed to South Vietnam as a platoon commander. He returned to Vietnam in 1970 as a senior adviser to a South Vietnamese infantry battalion. He was wounded three times, twice mentioned-in-dispatches, awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, the US Army Commendation Medal for Valour on two occasions and the US Air Force Air Medal for Valour.

As a General Officer, he headed Army’s Training Command, was Director of the Defence Intelligence Organisation, Deputy Chief of the Army and Head of Army’s Land Command.

He was appointed Institute Director and CEO of Future Directions International, in September 2009.

​Dr Jesus S. Domingo, Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa & Tonga

Jesus “Gary” S. Domingo is a career Philippine Foreign Service Officer.  His diplomatic assignments have included postings at the Philippine Missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, and the Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia.  He has also served as Philippine Focal Point for Multilateral Humanitarian Affairs and Disarmament, and coordinated international assistance for Supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013 –  one of the biggest  civilian and military humanitarian operations to date. 

Ambassador Gary is a graduate of the Georgetown University School  of Foreign Service, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, National Defense College of the Philippines, and the Philippine College of Criminology.  He is an advocate of Human Security, and  has developed  “Universal Diplomacy” – a framework for multi-stakeholder and grass-roots Public Diplomacy.  He also holds commissions in the Philippine Marine Corps Reserve and Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary.  He is married to Maria Remedios, they have a daughter, Julianne Marie.

Jim Boult, Queenstown Lakes District Council, New Zealand

Jim Boult is a well-known senior member of the New Zealand business community, in both Management and Governance.
His current roles include: -
•             Mayor Queenstown Lakes District Council
•             Member of the Downer NZ Advisory Board
•             Chairman of Wayfare Group
•             Director and Shareholder Partners Finance and Leasing Ltd 
•             Director and Owner of Telelift Sales and Hire Ltd
•             Previous National Chairman and current board member of Child Cancer Foundation

Previously, Jim has been: -
•             CEO and director of Christchurch International Airport Ltd
•             Director Hawkins Group
•             Member of NZ Customs Audit and Risk Committee
•             CEO of  the Shotover Jet  Group
•             Executive Chairman of Baycorp Holdings Ltd
•             Deputy Chairman of Tourism New Zealand
•             CEO of Queenstown Resorts Ltd
•             Chairman McConnell Property
•             Member of the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority

In December 2013, Jim completed five successful years as Chief Executive of Christchurch International Airport and was a government appointee to the CIAL board for six years before that. During his time at CIAL, he managed the airport through the period of and the recovery after the Christchurch earthquakes. He also oversaw the development of a new terminal, which was completed on time and on budget.

He has had extensive business interests in many fields, including construction, aviation, tourism, financial services, property, automotive, plant leasing, publishing and hospitality. Jim has resided at Lake Hayes in New Zealand’s South Island for the past 37 years, where he and his wife Karen have brought up two children – James and Victoria. In his home town of Queenstown, he has chaired several charities, council-sponsored working parties and community groups. His personal interests include jogging, reading and motorsport where he has competed nationally and internationally winning the national Class B Production Sedan Racing series in 2005.

Jim was elected mayor of Queenstown Lakes District Council in October 2016, by a “landslide” majority and was re-elected in October 2019 by a significant margin. Jim was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2014 (for services to Tourism and the community), a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management in 2012, and given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce in 2014.

Hunter Stires

Hunter Stires is a Fellow with the John B. Hattendorf Center for Maritime Historical Research at the U.S. Naval War College. His area of inquiry centers on maritime strategy and logistics in the Western Pacific. Mr. Stires has been recognized twice in the U.S. Naval Institute’s General Prize Essay Contest, winning 1st prize in 2018 and 2nd prize in 2019. His 2018 winning entry is published as “The South China Sea Needs a ‘COIN’ Toss” in the May 2019 issue of Proceedings alongside a companion piece, “Why We Defend Free Seas,” and his 2019 entry, “Win Without Fighting,” is published in the June 2020 issue. His related article “’They Were Playing Chicken:’ The U.S. Asiatic Fleet’s Gray-Zone Deterrence Campaign against Japan, 1937-40,” is featured in the Summer 2019 issue of the Naval War College Review. He is a freelance contributor to The National Interest and a graduate of Columbia University. 

USNI Profile: https://www.usni.org/people/hu...

The National Interest Profile: https://nationalinterest.org/p...

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hu...

Professor Sascha Dov Bachmann, University of Canberra

Professor in Law at Canberra Law School - University of Canberra

Extraordinary Reader (Docent) in War Studies – Swedish Defence University (FHS) Stockholm 

Fellow - NATO SHAPE, Hybrid War and Lawfare Pacific

Research Fellow - CEMIS, Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University

State Exam (Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität, Germany), Ass Juris, LLM (Stell, RSA), LLD (UJ, RSA) Attorney (Munich High Court)

Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (UK)

Dr. Sascha Dov Bachmann, Assessor Jur., LL.M, LL.D is an international scholar and former Lieutenant Colonel (GER Army Reserves with operational experience in the Balkans and as an exchange officer to the US Marines) and a career professional in law and higher education. In the last 20 years he worked in various capacities and functions in the USA, the Middle East, South Africa and various European countries. He joined Canberra Law School in September 2019. The University of Canberra is ranked among the top 2 per cent of universities in the world, top 10 in Australia and 34th among the THE Young University group.

Prior to that he worked as an Associate Professor at Bournemouth University (UK) since 2013 and the University of Lincoln in the UK, and as a Docent (Reader) in War Studies at the Swedish Defence University in 2016. In November 2017 he was appointed (Professorial) Research Fellow at CEMIS, Faculty of Military Science, Stellenbosch University. Dr. Bachmann was educated in Germany (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), South Africa (Stellenbosch University and University of Johannesburg) and the United Kingdom (University of Portsmouth). 

He has presented to NATO, US CENTCOM, US AFRICOM, the Austrian Ministry of Defence, the Swedish Defence University, the Royal Danish Defence College, the South African National Defence Force and the Australian Defence College on the subjects of Hybrid War/Threats, Lawfare, InfoOps and Targeting.

His research, consisting of more than 70 academic outputs, is interdisciplinary and discusses topical issues arising from new Security Challenges of the 21st Century such as Hybrid Warfare, Information Operations, the use of Lawfare, Cyber Enhanced Hybrid Warfare alongside other law topics such as International Criminal Justice, HumRts Litigation. He is a regular contributor to NATO’s Legal Advisor Web (LAWFAS), with his publications often being used as NATO reference documents. Last but not least, he is a Fellow of NATO SHAPE for the Asia Pacific (Hybrid Threats and Lawfare).

Nicholas Dynon

Nicholas Dynon is chief editor of New Zealand defence security and safety publications Line of Defence Magazine, New Zealand Security Magazine and FireNZ Magazine. He also practices as a security consultant specialising in protective security documentation, culture and communication. Nicholas previously served 14 years with the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection, which included diplomatic postings to Shanghai, Beijing and Suva. A graduate of the Royal Military College of Australia, he served part-time in the Australian Army as both a non-commissioned and commissioned officer.

Nicholas holds a B.A. with Honours and an M.A. in Asian Studies from the Australian National University, and a Master of International Studies with Honours from the University of Sydney. In addition to a significant body of media reportage, his scholarly articles have been published in The China Journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, China: An International Journal, and Massey University’s National Security Journal, of which he is an editorial board member. His research focuses on China-West security relations, theories of security and national power, and the role of public-private partnership in New Zealand’s national security.

Prof. Dwi Andreas Santosa

Professor Santosa is the Head of M.Sc. Program on Soil and Environmental Biotechnology at Bogor Agricultural University (IPB).   He is also the Chairman Governing Board Indonesian Center for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, National Chairman Indonesian Farmer Technology and Seed Bank Association, and Associated Scholar Center of Reform on Economics (CORE) Indonesia and Thamrin School. He holds a PhD in Life Sciences from Braunschweig University of Technology. He was awarded fellowships and postdoctoral fellowships from Yonsei University in South Korea, German Research Center for Biotechnology, German Federal Research Center for Nutrition and Food, and School of Pharmacy at Oregon State University. He has written numerous articles in food security, system and policy, bio politics, and the politics of global food security. He is also the holder of international patent (US Patent 9, 977, and 375; European Patent EP 1 791 823 AO) and national patent.

Dr Andrew Dowse, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Dr Dowse joined Edith Cowan University after a 37 year career with the Royal Australian Air Force.  He joined the RAAF as an engineer cadet in 1981 and, after completing a degree in Communications and Electronics Engineering at RMIT, graduated as an electronics officer. 

His career included working in air defence and communications, as well as managing command and control systems and information technology.  He has also had key leadership roles in electronic and information warfare, and broader capability planning.   

Between 2008 and 2012, Andrew worked to develop future capabilities for the Australian Defence Force, the efforts of which were recognised with his appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia.  Subsequently he was in charge of Air Force strategy and planning, then was the Head of Defence’s Information and Communications Technology operations, and in recognition of his performance in these roles he was promoted to an Officer in the Order of Australia.

In addition to his bachelor degree, he has a Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies, Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy.  He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Fellow Chartered Professional Engineer. 

Don Lord, Hagar New Zealand

Don previously worked for World Vision in New Zealand and Mongolia. Don has been involved in research on Trafficking in Cambodia and has worked in Mongolia on the formulation of an anti-trafficking project to be spearheaded by local project staff. He has also had extensive involvement in developing tools to work with trafficked women and children in Cambodia, National Child Protection standards and systems in Mongolia, and global Children in Crisis initiatives. Don established Hagar NZ in 2009.

Bill Keh-Ming Chen

Current Position: Representative, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New Zealand (Since March, 2018)


 B.A. in Business Administration, National Taiwan University

 Intensive English Language Program, Leeds University, U.K.


  • Director-General, Department of Policy Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mar 2017-Mar 2018)
  • Senior Negotiator, Office of Trade Negotiations, Executive Yuan (the Cabinet) (Sep 2016-Feb 2017)
  • Deputy Chief Negotiator, Office of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Economic Affairs (Sep 2015-Sep 2016)
  • Deputy Representative/Director of Public Affairs, Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Canada (Apr 2009-Aug 2015)
  • Executive Secretary/Senior Specialist, Department of Policy Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Jan 2007-Apr 2009)
  • Assistant to the Representatives, Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative Office in the United States (Jun 2000-Jan 2007)
  • Assistant to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs (May 1999-May 2000)
  • Section Chief, Office of Parliamentarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Dec 1998-May 1999)
  • Special Assistant on Home Assignment, Department of North American Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Aug 1997-Dec 1998)
  • Special Assistant, Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Houston (Jul 1991-Jul 1997)
  • Desk Officer, Department of Information/Department of North American Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Jan 1988-Jul 1991)

Simon O Connor

Simon is currently the Member of Parliament for the Tamaki electorate in Auckland. He has been appointed as the National Party’s Spokesperson for Customs, and Arts, Culture & Heritage, as well as Associate Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. In previous Parliaments, he was the Chair of the Health Committee and, more recently, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. Simon is also a part of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, an international group of legislators working towards reform on how democratic countries approach China.

Simon was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Tamaki in 2011, and is now serving this fourth term in Parliament. Prior to his election, his background included a broad range of experiences from the commercial, public, and voluntary sectors respectively.

Simon was educated at the University of Auckland and earned several degrees there; most recently, he completed a Masters of Political Studies in 2010, which he undertook while working full-time. 

Between 1995 and 2004, Simon trained to become a Catholic priest. Though he completed his training, he did not seek ordination. Instead, he sought wider involvement in the community to make a practical, hands-on difference.

Simon is married and has 5 stepchildren.

Gillian Somerville, GES Consulting, New Zealand

Gillian is a highly skilled Human Factors Engineer with 25 years’ international experience integrating human factors through complex systems.  Her strength lies in her ability to create highly efficient operational environments by working collaboratively with people across all levels of an organisation through the application of a user-centred design process.

She has applied this process across a range of high-risk industries including aviation, marine, utilities (power and water), and underground and over ground rail, in the UK, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Australia and New Zealand.  She is currently the Human Factors Specialist on a number of rail projects in Australia including Human Factors Specialist in the design team for a new $1.26bn rail maintenance depot.

Her qualifications include a BA Geography (NZ), CoP Marketing Management (NZ), Diploma in Environmental Management (NZ), and MSc Ergonomics (UK).  She has also completed the Creating Living Buildings course and the Regenerative Practitioner.

Dr Barnaby Pace

Dr Barnaby Pace is a trained human factors psychologist and cognitive scientist who holds Masters degrees from the University of Waikato and Massey University. He has 15 years experience in risk management and behavioural analysis, having worked in both the public and private sectors. He is an experienced researcher with more than 40 publications and has been an invited speaker at many international conferences. Most recently Mr Pace presented a workshop at the Australian Enterprise Risk Management of Government Conference on the use of design thinking for risk management framework development.

Pamela Williamson MCTS, LL.B

Pamela Williamson practiced as a Barrister and Lawyer specialising in litigation and the resolution of family conflict from 1997-2015. Prior to that she was a psychotherapist for 14 years. As an Executive Coach she obtained a US Corporate Masters Pin in Goal-setting. She obtained a Masters in Conflict and Terrorism Studies in the inaugural MCTS programme at the University of Auckland (2017-2018). Her Dissertation was on Strategic Narratives: Effectiveness of Communication Strategies to Disarm Russian Information Warfare (IW) and Immunise Populations Against Influence Operations (IO).

Since 2016 she has curated an international social media network of subject matters experts and maintained a daily blog on Geopolitics, International Relations and Law, Psychology, AI, Extremism, and Terrorism. She is a writer of strategic narratives with a New Zealand theme and opened her consultancy SKY CANOPY in 2019.


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