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.”
North Island Manager
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. www.ellenjoannelson.com
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.
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 DR RAJAN KOCHHAR, VSM, PhD (RETD)
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.
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 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.
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.
Dr Jose L Sousa-Santos
Jose Sousa-Santos is a leading expert on regional security in Asia and the Pacific Islands region focussing on transnational crime, non-state spoilers and state-condoned illicit disruptors, irregular warfare and the nexus with terrorism and geopolitics, cultural intelligence and cultural diplomacy. He is a research scholar with Massey University investigating the nexus between transnational crime and climate security in the Pacific Islands, a senior fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and a visiting fellow with the Macmillan Brown Pacific Studies Centre, at the University of Canterbury. In 2021, Sousa-Santos was appointed to the Global Initiative against Transnational Crime panel of experts and consults with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. He has previously held positions as Senior Fellow (transnational crime) at the Australia Pacific Security College, Australian National University (2020-2023); subject matter expert (transnational crime and terrorism) with the executive educational cadre for the United States INDO PACOM and SOCPAC Cooperation Against Transnational Threats programme and Pacific Area Security Sector Working Group (2015-2019); and in 2020-21 was a Visiting Fellow with the Australian National University Cyber Institute. Sousa-Santos was formerly an advisor on conflict mediation and dispute resolution to HE Dr Jose Ramos-Horta during his terms as Timor-Leste’s prime minister and president. In 2007 Sousa-Santos was nominated for the United Nations Sergio Vieira de Mello Human Rights Award for achievements in the area of community conflict mediation and dispute resolution during the Timor-Leste 2006 crisis as well as receiving numerous commendations from the United Nations Police for investigative work on transnational crime (human trafficking). Sousa-Santos was formerly the lead analyst on disrupters and spoilers with the United Nations Joint Mission Analysis Centre in Timor-Leste. Prior to this, Sousa-Santos served with the Australian Defence Force. His expertise on cultural intelligence was promoted by the New Zealand Institute of Intelligence Professionals which hosted a three-city lecture series and at the Asia Pacific Defence Intelligence Chiefs conference (2016) and in 2023 he briefed the United States House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Indo-Pacific on transnational crime and the intersection with foreign interference in the Pacific. He has published widely and is a frequent commentator for media.
David S. Jonas is a partner at the law firm of Fluet, Huber & Hoang. He has extensive experience in national security issues and is recognized as one of a handful of experts worldwide in nuclear nonproliferation law. He was a career member of the Senior Executive Service, and served as General Counsel of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for nearly ten years. NNSA has a budget of nearly $13B and approximately 37,000 employees and is responsible for vital national security missions such as nuclear weapons production, nuclear nonproliferation and naval nuclear propulsion. In this capacity he negotiated numerous multilateral and bilateral international agreements to include the U.S. – India Civil Nuclear Agreement where he was a lead negotiator. He also served as General Counsel of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board and Director of Legal Strategy and Analysis at the Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Energy.
Prior to his civilian service, he was a career Marine Corps officer where he held a wide variety of command and staff billets. He served as nuclear nonproliferation planner for the Joint Chiefs of Staff negotiating multiple international agreements and has worked extensively with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Conference on Disarmament, and the United Nations. He is one of the only judge advocates to have commanded two units, including a company in an infantry regiment, the 5th Marines. He argued the case of Davis v. United States, 512, U.S. 452 (1994) at the Supreme Court becoming the first judge advocate in the history of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force to do so. He received the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Award for Excellence in Legal Writing in 1992 and was selected as the Outstanding Career Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps in 2000. He concluded his military service as a lieutenant colonel.
Mr. Jonas was recently a vice president at PenFed Credit Union and is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington (GW) University Law School and has also taught at the U.S. Naval War College. He teaches nuclear nonproliferation law and policy and was a pioneer in developing the academic coursework in this discipline. He frequently speaks, consults, and is widely published on this topic. He has spoken at Penn Law School, Baltimore Law School, the ABA National Security Law Conference, Daemen College, and on ESPN radio. He was recognized as Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at GW. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Naval War College Foundation and the Marine Executive Association. He is also on the American Bar Association Advisory Committee on Law and National Security.
Mr. Jonas holds a BA from Denison University, a JD from Wake Forest University School of Law, an LLM from the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's School, an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center, and an MA from the U.S. Naval War College.