Anita Abbott

Anita Abbott is the chair of APSI Forum committee, and  strategy director at the Asia Pacific Global Foundation. She teaches International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy 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, strategic partnerships and alliances. She has published more than 40 articles. She has written four books. 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. Her two other books focus on the practice of strategic foresight analysis.

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

Major General Gert-Johannes Hagemann retired as active military September 2020, after having served almost 43 years as a Paratrooper and Infantryman in the German Army. He joined APSI Forum in 2020.

Between 2016 and 2020 he was 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 (Ret) Hagemann was Commander of the Infantry School and the Infantry Training Center in Hammelburg, Germany and the General and Director of the German Infantry, Paratrooper and Mountain Infantry. From 2011 to 2013 he was the twelfth Commander of the German-French Brigade in Müllheim, after having served as the German Regional Commander of NATO’s Training Mission Afghanistan 2010 to 2011.

His operational experience and theatre expertise covers additionally the Balkans, Iraq, Somalia, Lebanon, Djibouti, Chad, Central African Republic and Mali. Major General (Ret) Hagemann is decorated with various German, Belgian, U.S., French and NATO medals and was made a member of the French Légion d’Honneur. His fellowships include associations in Norway and Switzerland.

His academic expertise stretches from University studies (graduation in macroeconomics and business management, summa cum laude) to post-graduate studies and courses in Germany and Belgium, covering a wide array of topics in Military Affairs, Defence and Security, Politics, History and Social Science.

Dr. Vira Ratsiborynska

Dr. Vira Ratsiborynska is an Adjunct Professor on NATO and transatlantic approaches to security and Global politics at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium. She is also Academic Scholar, Digital Forensic Research Lab, Atlantic Council, DC, USA. Dr. Ratsiborynska is also Associate Research Director at the Asia-Pacific and Europe Global Foundation (APEG).

Her areas of research interests include the relations between the EU-NATO and the Eastern partners, Russia and Central Asia, e.g. in energy, trade, geopolitics, border security, conflict management and peacekeeping.

Vira Ratsiborynska holds a Ph.D. from the University of Strasbourg, France. She wrote her dissertation on the European Neighbourhood Policy (with regard to the East) and publishes extensively in English and French on the topics of the European Union and the Eastern flank’s security, the relations with the Eastern Partnership countries, NATO and Russia. She obtained a Master’s degree in EU Studies from the College of Europe (Belgium) and a Master in Political and Social Studies from Sciences Po (France).

 Her professional experience includes working in support of such organizations as the European institutions and NATO entities. She also has corporate experience in an American public affairs consultancy in Brussels as well as experience in communication and diplomatic fields. Dr. Ratsiborynska speaks English, French, Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish.

Kenneth T. Davis, PhD

“I always encourage young professionals to get overseas as quickly as they can, to cut their teeth and make sure that’s what they want to do.”

– Kenneth T. Davis

BIED Society was founded by Kenneth T. Davis, PhD, in 2014. He has experience in National Security working as a United States Marine Corps Officer and in the Foreign Service as an Economic Growth Officer with the United States Agency for International Development. Kenneth is also a Behavioral Economist and has spent time in 77 countries.

Kenneth has experience working as the Army Deputy Chief of the Senate Liaison Division and as the Director for Systems Engineering Outreach with the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Davis loves International Affairs and helping build strong policy professionals!

“I am most proud of helping our students get into their law school of choice or graduate school, or get their dream job with, for example, the FBI. They have huge smiles and really appreciate someone taking time to help mentor them on their journey.”

Joanne Hand
North Island Manager

Hagar NZ

Joanne works for Hagar New Zealand, a global charity doing intensive trauma recovery for women and children who have survived extreme human rights abuses such as modern slavery, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation. Hagar also engages in prevention activities and builds the capacity of governments, social service structures and local duty bearers in the nations they work in.

During her career, Joanne has been involved in multiple issues that disproportionally impact women and girls including domestic violence, HIV infection, and gender equity issues.  She spent many years working in Turkey on projects to empower Kurdish women.  Her commitment to the status of women and girls in the world continues with the work of Hagar New Zealand. 

Joanne has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a minor in Women’s Studies, and a Masters in Nonprofit Management, both attained at the University of Central Florida, USA.  Joanne was born in California, USA, and now resides permanently in Auckland.

Jasmine Retief (LLB)

Jasmine Retief is currently studying a Post Graduate Diploma specialising in Cyber and Intellectual Property Law.  She has a keen interest in Cyber Security, particularly the legal aspects, and seeks to become the expert in this field through further study and research.

She is a firm believer in teaching what you know to others.  She would always quote the Chasidic saying: "If only you know aleph (the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet)—teach aleph!”  She believes that the more knowledge she gains in her research the more she can teach to others, especially in the field of cyber law.

She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Law attained at the University of Waikato and has been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.  She has spent some time working in law firms Frankton Law and Allen Needham and Co mainly in the fields of property, wills, and estates.  She has also volunteered for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and the Community Law Centre.  She was awarded with the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia conferred by John Key and consequently spent 5 months studying Chinese Law and Language on exchange in Shanghai.  She has also worked for Student Job Search as a Brand Ambassador for the Waikato region.

Jasmine is a mother of three young children and has learned more about people from raising children than any other experience in her life, and has become especially aware of the dangers of the effects of cyber related threats to our countries families.

“When families begin to break down, the country soon follows” – Jasmine Retief.

Dr Ellen Joan Nelson

Dr Ellen Joan Nelson is an ex-army academic business mum, with deep expertise and practical experience in leadership, gender, well-being and the future of work. Ellen has spoken at TEDx Auckland in 2022, advised many corporate and government organisations, including the NZ Army, and her research and ideas to improve the working world have been published multiple times. As a speaker, facilitator and consultant, Ellen helps organisations to remove structural barriers facing women and parents, while simultaneously experiencing improvements in organisational metrics such as: wellbeing, retention, leadership, productivity, innovation and business performance. She is involved in the Food and Fibre leadership development project with Rural Leaders. Her volunteer team evacuated 563 people from Afghanistan to New Zealand (and Ellen was recognised as a semi-finalist (top 10) for the Kiwi Bank New Zealander of the Year 2023 ‘Local Hero’ category and was awarded Person of the Year 2022 - Manawatu Standard). Ellen started the #workschoolhours and #belongingautonomypurpose movements.

Ron Aledo

Ron Aledo is a retired US Army officer who was stationed in Europe for almost 5 years. 

Ron Aledo was a senior Defense Intelligence Agency analyst (ctr), CIA analyst (ctr) , intelligence and operations officer at the US Joint Staff at the Pentagon, DHS Director for Policy for the Mexico border and advisor to the Afghan Police in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ron gave dozens of conferences and master classes about geopolitics and strategic intelligence in France, Romania, Colombia, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, the United Kindgom. He resides in Miami Florida and is own a consulting company for matters of economic and geopolitics. 

Tracy Wilder

Tracy worked as a Staff Operations Officer in the Central Intelligence Agency's Counterterrorism Center before, during and after September 11th 2001, and as Special Agent at the FBI. During her time at the CIA, Tracy lived in and travelled to countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe as well as served in war zones. She was detailed to the CTC’s Weapons of Mass Destruction group.  After the CIA, Tracy became a Special Agent at the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office, Santa Ana Resident Agent, specializing in Chinese counterintelligence operations, specifically the Tai and Chi Mak case, profiled on CNN and in the New Yorker. 

Following her time at the CIA and FBI, Tracy became a teacher and created course on national security and foreign policy for young women.  Tracy now works as a teacher and an adjunct instructor of Criminal Justice at Texas Christian University and is the 2022-23 Leader in Residence at the Virginia Military Institute.  She sits on the board of Chapman University’s Atallah College of Education, and the Highland Park Education Foundation.  She has appeared on CBS, NPR, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, MSNBC, BBC, CNN, News Nation, The Science Channel, History Channel, Law & Crime Network, among others.  Her book, “The Unexpected Spy”, has been translated into four languages, was a digital book best seller, and has been optioned by Netflix along with Wonderland Sound and Productions (Charlie’s Angels, Easy A, etc.)

LTG Jeff Buchanan 

LTG Jeff Buchanan commanded US Army North (Fifth Army), and after a 37 year Army career, he retired from active duty on 1 September 2019. LTG Buchanan was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry under the ROTC program after graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Ecology in 1982. He earned a Master of Arts in Leadership Development from the US Military Academy in 1992 and was the Distinguished Graduate of a year-long international security fellowship at the Geneva Center for Security Policy in 2002. He commanded at every level from Platoon to Theater Army, and his assignments include tours in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, 25th Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, the 10th Mountain Division, and I Corps. He served four combat tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. From 2016-2019, he served as USNORTHCOM’s Joint Forces Land Component Commander and led the operational-level military response in support of FEMA for five major hurricanes (Matthew, Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Florence) and in support of the US Customs and Border Protection Agency for SW border security.

Upon retirement, he and his wife moved home to Patagonia, Arizona, where he consults from his home office. In addition to serving as a Senior Fellow for National Defense University’s CAPSTONE and KEYSTONE programs, LTG Buchanan provides keynote speeches to government agencies, universities, NGOs, and corporate audiences. He currently serves on three not-for-profit boards: Worldmaker International/The National Resilience Institute, 360 VA, and the Vet Voice Foundation. Jeff also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona State Parks and Trails, and as a Commissioner for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. He is an advisor to the Board of Directors for the Autonomy Institute and recently joined Entrustment Health as their Chief Learning Officer. Jeff and his wife Laura have three adult children (all married) and seven grandchildren. 


Major General Rajan Kochhar, VSM, PhD is a former MGAOC Central Command and presently Vice Chairman, National Council of News and Broadcasting. He is an alumnus of National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and College of Defence Management. He has commanded key logistics units of the Indian Army such as Commandant of a Central Ordnance Depot and Divisional Ordnance Units of an Infantry and RAPID divisions. He has done active service in operational areas of Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East. He has also been an Instructor at the College of Materials Management, Jabalpur and Aide-de-Camp to the Governor of Tamil Nadu, AQMG of an Infantry Division and Col Q (Wks) of a Corps. He holds a doctorate in Emotional Intelligence and is a certified NLP practitioner coach and is a reputed expert on military logistics and supply chain management. He also holds post graduate degrees in MBA, Master of Management Studies and MSc (Defence Studies). He has been a Dean of Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology and is presently Member Board of Studies and Faculty with them. He is a prolific writer and defence analyst and presently associated with Economic Times Government as a regular contributor to articles on National Security, Defence Modernization and Geo-politics issues. His recent book, “Breaking the Chinese Myth” is a best seller on Amazon. Gen Kochhar is a regular invitee as defence expert commentator on various national news TV channels. He is a distinguished member with Manohar Parrikar Institute of Defence Studies & Analyses, USI, Centre for Joint Warfare Studies (CENJOWS) and Society of Aerospace Maritime and Defence Studies (SAMDES) and a Senior Adviser with Defence Research and Studies (DRaS), PCRI and Indic Research Forum. He is also the Director of Environmental and Consumer Protection Foundation of India. He is the recipient of Vishisht Seva Medal awarded by the President of India. He has also been awarded the Army Commanders Commendation twice.

Dr. Eddy Kristianto

Dr. Eddy Kristianto graduated from Trisakti Faculty of Medicine Jakarta in year 1990. Worked at antiaging clinic Jakarta in 1990-1992, worked as rural medical doctor at Sekadau Hulu region, West Borneo in year 1993-1996. Member of Indonesian Physicians Association since year 1993 until now, work at our own medical clinic, since year 1997 to now. Mastering in herbal medicine at Toshashimizu Hospital Japan in year 2000. Worked as herbal medical consultant in Malaysia & Singapore in year 2000-2002. Indonesian herbal researcher in Indonesia Government Ministry of Health, year 2015-2018. Forest honey researcher & inventor of forest honey fermentation year 2006-2010. Founder & Mentor of Community Development Cell Group (CDCG) since year 1993 until now. This program focus on local resources development by innovation, eliminate the food crisis & fighting poverty. Teaching Community Development at Hope Asia Foundation Tangerang, since year 2016 until now. Mentor at Community Development Cell Group of Transformation Connection Indonesia (TCI) since year 2016 until now. Teaching Community Development at Holistic Mission Training Center at West Borneo, Central Borneo, West Java, Palembang, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Palu, North Sumatra, since year 2017 until now. Teaching Community Development at Maranatha Christian University Yogyakarta since year 2019-2020. Director of PT. Hasil Bumi Melimpah, producing The Golden Trees Honey Wine at Bali, since year 2019 to now. Founder & Commissary of Samasta Integrated Medical Center at Jakarta, since year 2020 until now. Village developments consultant for Indonesia Government Villages Ministry, since year 2020 until now. Member of APSI since year 2021 until now.

Brigadier Kuldip Singh (retd)

1. Commissioned in the Indian Army (Armoured Corps) in December 1976. Apart from holding prestigious regimental, staff, technical, instructional and command appointments in the military, and participation in active military operations, he has also served:- In India’s Defence Research & Development Organisation on two national level projects (1988-1992). As the Director (Intelligence Coordination), Defence Intelligence Agency (2003-2005). As the longest serving (2006-2015) Head of the Defence Wing in the National Security Council Secretariat, Prime Minister’s Office, where he specialized in strategic estimates, intelligence handling, macro-economics, demographic & environmental studies, advanced technologies, NBC/CBRN and space technologies. As a Senior Consultant in the National Disaster Management Authority, Govt of India (2016-2021).

2. Presently, working as a Consultant (Disaster Risk Management) & Country Representative (India), Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, Thailand.

Joyce Chitsulo, Member of Parliament for Mwanza West Constituency

Joyce Chitsulo is a Member of Parliament for Mwanza West Constituency , Chairperson of the Public Appointments Committee of Malawi Parliament,  Chairperson for the Monitoring Committee of the Office of the Director of Public Officers Declaration and Chairperson for all Chairpersons in Malawi Parliament.  She is also a Member of Parliamentary Women Caucus and a Member of the Media, Communication and Information Committee of Malawi Parliament . 

Before joining politics,  she worked in various Non Governmental Organisations working on promoting women and girls education, gender, HIV/Aids and youth empowerment, in various capacities

She worked as a Gender Officer and later acted as the National Coordinator for Forum for African Women Educationalists in Malawi (FAWEMA),  worked as a Programme Coordinator for Teacher Education in Sub Saharan Africa Project (TESSA) in partnership with the Open University UK and worked as an Assistant Programme Officer for the World University Service of Canada  (WUSC) Student Refugee Programme

Before joining the NGO sector, she worked as a teacher in various secondary schools in Malawi.

Maxwell Abbott, BTheo

Maxwell is the  managing director of Asia Pacific Global Foundation. He holds a degree in Theology from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and a CELTA certificate from Cambridge University. He is completing his postgraduate study in business at Southern Institute of Technology.  He taught international students and adult students at community education in Christchurch and Auckland.  

At APSI Forum, he has assisted its community hub to expand. 

His passion is to assist his wife, children, and write poems. 

Leighton Baker

Leighton is the former leader of New Conservative, a political party in New Zealand.

Leightons background has been mainly in the trades where has run his own building and insulation businesses, specialising in energy efficient buildings that provide healthy living environments.

He spent 6 years as a tutor with at risk youth using carpentry to help them re-engage in society.

Leighton has participated relief work in Fiji and Cambodia, as well as working with children, youth and adults in various voluntary positions.

 Leightons 5 years of leader of the New Conservative political party was spent emphasising the need to value all sectors of society, the benefits of a healthy democracy and the importance of family.

His main claim to fame is choosing his wife well.

Grzegorz Kowal


A graduate of the Institute of Political Science and Journalism at the University of Warsaw, acquired a Master of Arts degree in International Relations in the International Relations Faculty. He also took a PhD course at the University of Warsaw; Institute of Political Science and Journalism.


A graduate of the National School of Public Administration. A member of the Polish foreign service since 2008. He first served at the Asia-Pacific Department and then was posted to the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in the Republic of Korea. Upon his return to Warsaw, he worked at the the Office of the Internal Control and Audit completing his duties as a Deputy Director – Chief Audit Executive.

In September 2019 he was appointed as a Director of the Asia-Pacific Department. In August 2020 he was nominated to be Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to New Zealand, Independent State of Samoa, Kingdom of Tonga and Tuvalu.  

Tim van de Molen

MP for Waikato

Born and bred in the Waikato, Tim van de Molen was elected as the Member of Parliament for Waikato at the 2017 General Election, then re-elected in 2020.

Tim was educated at Matamata College and gained a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Waikato. Following his formal education he worked as a dairy farmer and ran his own rural construction business before joining the commercial sector, as a rural bank manager. Alongside this, Tim has owned several small businesses and served as an Officer in the New Zealand Army Territorials.

 With a strong passion for the primary industries, Tim was proud to be named the 2012 Australasian Rural Ambassador. In 2013, he won the prestigious New Zealand Young Farmer of the Year Award. Tim is also a graduate of the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme.

 Alongside his commitment to the role of MP for the Waikato electorate, Tim currently holds the roles of Opposition Spokesperson for Defence, Veterans, Building and Construction, and ACC.

 As part of the National team, Tim is focused on ensuring the Government is firmly held to account for policy decisions around the community cornerstones of healthcare, policing, and education.

 A keen outdoorsman, Tim relishes every opportunity to enjoy New Zealand’s natural environment, particularly scuba-diving, fishing, and getting off-the-beaten track exploring forests, ranges, and National Parks. Tim lives rurally in Tamahere with his wife Hilary, daughter Isobella, son Arthur, and the family’s two golden retrievers. 

Lt Gen Leonard Kosinsi

Lt Gen Leonard J. Kosinski is Director for Logistics, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia. As the Director for Logistics, he integrates logistics planning and execution in support of global operations and assists the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in fulfilling his responsibilities as the principal military advisor to the President and Secretary of Defense.

Lt Gen Kosinski received his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1993 as a distinguished graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Operations Research. He has served in operational assignments flying the KC-135, Stratotanker, C-5 Galaxy, and C-17 Globemaster

He is a distinguished graduate of the Defense Language Institute and was an Olmsted Scholar in Tokyo, Japan. Lt Gen Kosinski has also served in major operations including Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ALLIED FORCE, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and UNITED RELIEF. Prior to his current position, the general was Deputy Commander, Fifth Air Force, and Director, Joint Air Component Coordination Element-Japan, Yokota Air Base, Japan.

Rt. Hon Winston Peters

Former Deputy Prime Minister

Former Treasurer

Former Foreign Minister

Leader of New Zealand First Party

Longest serving modern New Zealand politician

First entered Parliament 1978.  Left Parliament November 2020

Member of the Privy Council


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