By November 18, 2020 December 7th, 2020 No Comments

Christopher Pyne (AU)

Christopher Pyne served as the 54th Australian Defence Minister, and was responsible for delivering the $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history.

Serving previously as Minister for Defence Industry, Christopher assisted in the development of the 2016 Defence White Paper and implementing the Integrated Investment Program.

During his time as a Cabinet Minister in the Defence portfolio, Christopher:

Christopher also worked to ensure the growth and sustainment of Australia’s Defence Industry, and thus implemented Australia’s Defence Export Strategy, Defence Industrial Capability Plan, and the Naval Shipbuilding Plan. He also created the Defence Cooperative Research Centre, the Centre for Defence Industry Capability, the Defence Innovation Hub, and the Next Generation Technology Fund.

On an international scale, Christopher was responsible for creating the Pacific Step Up to strengthen Australia’s strategic role in the South Pacific, and was the architect of the Australian Government’s position that Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel and East Jerusalem the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Christopher also worked to strengthen Australia’s defence ties with other countries, establishing the Australia France Initiative to take advantage of the close relationship with France through the Attack Class Submarine Project. He settled Defence Memoranda of Understanding with Israel, China, and Switzerland, and initiated Memoranda of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Christopher was also the driving force behind the establishment of the Australia Space Agency.

Christopher was a Minister in the Howard, Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Governments, holding various portfolios including Ageing, Education, Industry Innovation and Science, and Defence.

As a Minister for Education and Minister for Industry Innovation and Science, respectively, Christopher delivered the National Innovation and Science Agenda, reformed the national curriculum, introduced compulsory literacy and numeracy testing for Australian teaching graduates and expanded phonics teaching.


Avi Dichter (IL)

Member of the Knesset

Mr. Avi Dicter is a member of the Knesset from the Likud party. He is currently the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. MK Dicter is former Minister of Public Security, Minister of Home Front Defense and former Director of Shin Bet – the Israel Security Agency.

Additionally, and not less importantly for Mr. Dicter, as the son of Holocaust survivors, he took a volunteer position as Chairman of the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel between 2013-2015.

Born in 1952 in Israel, Mr. Dicter served in the Israel Defense Forces elite commando unit known as Sayeret Matkal. Upon finishing his military service in 1974, he joined the Shin Bet where he advanced up the ranks from air marshal to Director of the Agency. He held this position from 2000-2005, a period of significant Palestinian terrorist activity which included the Al-Aqsa Intifada or Second Intifada. Mr. Dicter is credited with reforming the Shin Bet to effectively deal with this challenge, leading to a dramatic reduction in the number of terrorist attacks and to a restoration of public morale and safety.

Before reaching the top post at Shin-Bet, initially as an appointee of Prime Minister Ehud Barak and then, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, he served as director of the Southern District, including Gaza, Director of the Security and Protection Division - a position he took on after the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin - and as Deputy Director of the Agency.

As Minister of Public Security Mr. Dicter built Israel’s Witness Protection Program, and formed a national crime-fighting unit – Lahav 433 - modeled after the FBI. Additionally, he succeeded in passing the Communications Data Law and at the same time implementing the electronic gathering of fast, accurate and actionable intelligence. This led to the jailing of most of the heads of the largest crime organizations.

During his term as Minister of Public Security, he also introduced and signed cooperation agreements with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with Canada’s Ministry of Public Safety, and with countries in the European Union.

During last few years Avi has been promoting the basic law: “Israel as the National State of the Jewish People”.

MK Avi Dicter holds a BA in Social Sciences from Bar-Ilan University, and an Executive MBA from Tel Aviv University. He also served as a research fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. He speaks Hebrew, Arabic and English fluently. He is married to Ilana Dicter, and has three children and seven grandchildren.

Maj. Gen. Amos Gilead

Executive Director, Institute for Policy & Strategy (UPS) & Chairman of the Annual Herzliya Conference Series, IDC Herzliya

General Amos Gilead is the Executive Director of the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) at IDC Herzliya and is the Chairman of the Institute’s Annual Herzliya Conference Series. Concurrently, General Gilead teaches security and intelligence studies at IDC Herzliya’s Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy.

Prior to assuming his current position in February 2017, General Gilead led a distinguished career for more than three decades in the IDF and in the Israeli Defense Establishment, his last position being Director of Policy and Political-Military Affairs at the Ministry of Defense. In that position, which he held for more than 13 years, General Gilead managed Israel’s international defense and political-military relations and played a key role in developing Israel’s defense relations with key Sunni-Arab nations.

General Gilead dedicated most of his military career to the Military Intelligence Corps. As Chief of the Intelligence Research and Analysis Division, General Gilead was responsible for producing the national intelligence assessment and national strategic (political and military) production and analysis. Prior to this, General Gilead also served as the Spokesperson of IDF and as the Military Secretary (Aide de Camp) to Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Yitzhak Rabin.

Achieving the rank of Major General in 2001, General Gilead was appointed Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). In that position he held through 2003, General Gilead was responsible for the overall relations with the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority. In 2006, he was reassigned to this position in addition to his position in the Ministry of Defense.

General Gilead participated in several rounds of the peace process and negotiations with the Palestinians, including as a senior member of the Israeli delegation to the IsraeliJordanian/Palestinian peace talks following the Madrid Peace Conference. General Gilead was a special envoy on the Israeli MIA soldiers to PLO Chairman Arafat. In 2008, General Gilead headed the Israeli team of the military affairs working group in the negotiations following the Annapolis Peace Conference.

General Gilead earned his Master’s degree in National Security Studies from the University of Haifa and the National Security College. He is the recipient of the U.S. Legion of Merit and of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Director’s Award.


Jamal Al Musharrakh (UAE)

HE Jamal Jama Al Musharakh has been the Director of the Policy Planning Department at the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, since 2019. Prior to his current position, he served as the youngest Deputy Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations (2013-2017). He currently holds the rank of Counsellor.

With a diplomatic career spanning over a decade, he worked in the European Affairs Department, the UAE Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Office, the United Nations Department (Acting Deputy), and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Office . He is also currently a co-lead of the Communications Working Group of the Global Coalition against Daesh.

Al Musharakh holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies with a concentration in International Relations from The American University of Sharjah, as well as a Master’s degree in Diplomacy and International Affairs with distinction from Zayed University.

He has completed the New York University program titled Law and Practice of the United Nations: An advanced Course for Diplomats. In addition to receiving diplomatic training at American University Washington, the United Nations Institute for Training and research, and the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. In 2018, he was inducted to the American University of Sharjah Alumni Wall of Fame, and occasionally lectures at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy.

Hend Al Otaiba (UAE)

H.E. Hend Manea Saeed Al Otaiba

Director of Strategic Communications, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

H.E. Hend Al Otaiba leads the UAE Foreign Ministry’s (MoFAIC) Strategic Communications Department, reporting directly to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. She is responsible for representing the country’s foreign policies, serving as the principal point of contact for international media, and overseeing the communications efforts of the UAE’s diplomatic missions.

Al Otaiba joined MoFAIC in April 2017 as an advisor to the Foreign Minister. She was appointed to establish and head the new department in 2019.

Previously, Al Otaiba served as Director of Communications at Abu Dhabi Media. In that role, she developed and supervised the company’s corporate communications and public affairs functions across 27 different media brands and business units. She also launched and led high-profile collaborative communications initiatives across the Government of Abu Dhabi.

Earlier in her career, Al Otaiba managed communications for cultural programs at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority. During her tenure there, she played a leading role in promoting Abu Dhabi’s cultural institutions and positioning the Emirate as a world-class cultural hub.

Al Otaiba received her Master’s degrees from the Paris Sorbonne Abu Dhabi and the UAE National Defense College.

Dr. Sultan Mohammed Al-Nuaimi (UAE)

His Excellency Dr. Sultan Mohammed Al-Nuaimi holds the position of Director General at the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. He is a lecturer at various UAE colleges, including the National Defense College and the UAE Joint Command and Staff College. He has delivered several specialized lectures in countries including the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

His Excellency is also a researcher in political affairs, an expert in Iranian affairs, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award, and has participated in preparing curricula for the Emirates Diplomatic Academy.

Dr. Sultan Al-Nuaimi received a bachelor’s degree in Persian Language and Literature from Ain Shams University, Egypt, where he was also awarded his master’s and doctoral degrees. His master’s degree thesis was titled ‘Political Currents in Iran from 1979 to 2000’, while his doctoral degree thesis was titled ‘Iranian Political Thought: An Analytical Study in Light of Persian Sources’.

Dr. Sultan Al-Nuaimi has participated in several symposia and conferences in the UAE and abroad, where he delivered research papers. He has also published articles in a number of Arab newspapers, such as Al-Ittihad and Asharq Al-Awsat.

Dr. Sultan has written several political books, including Zayed: Identity of the People and Nation; Iranian Political Thought: Origins, Sources and Impact; and, Iranian Presidential Elections: Effects and Results… 2013 as an Example. He is also interested in literature and has published a short story collection titled Seven Minutes in Solitude and a novel, Today.

Albert Dadon

Albert is a musician, entrepreneur, and chairman and founder of the International Institute for Strategic Leadership Dialogue.

He is the founder and executive chairman of Ubertas Group, a prominent property development company of medium and high-density projects in residential apartments and hotels.

He supports numerous philanthropic initiatives and works for the community in a range of activities covering international affairs and cultural events.

In 2008, he was awarded an Order of Australia for services to the arts, particularly through the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, to the community through philanthropic support for cultural and charitable organisations, and to business. He founded the Australia Israel Cultural Exchange in 2002, an organisation launched through a joint communiqué between the Australian and Israeli Governments (the only such joint communiqué to date). The organisation was launched simultaneously by the then respective Foreign Ministers of the two countries, Alexander Downer and Benjamin Netanyahu.

He then launched the Australia Israel UK Leadership Dialogue to promotes trilateral relations between Australia, Israel and the United Kingdom. It evolved from the first forum that took place in Israel in June, 2009, under the leadership of then Deputy Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and five Dialogues took place. This year it is reorganised and expanded into the International Institute of Strategic Leadership Dialogue.

Mr Dadon is also an active performing jazz musician and has released a dozen albums since 1990. Last year he was awarded the Chevalier of


Henry Ergas (AU)

Economist, columnist

After studying economics, Henry worked at the OECD in Paris, where he was responsible for structural adjustment issues and counselor for microeconomic policies in the economics department.

He has written on a broad range of topics, including innovation, labour markets, regulation, tax and health policies, and taught at a number of universities, including France’s École nationale de la statistique et de l’administration économique, the Kennedy School of Government and (most recently) the University of Wollongong, as well as being a columnist for The Australian. Additionally, he has been a member of and chaired a number of government inquiries, covering intellectual property law, telecommunications regulation, export infrastructure and defence. His most recent publications include work on the history of ideas, public economics and Australian economic history. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2016.


Tim Smith (AU)

Tim Smith MP is the State Member for Kew in the Parliament of Victoria. He is the Shadow Minister for Planning and Heritage, Local Government, Housing and Population.

Tim was born in 1983 and grew up in the Melbourne suburb of Camberwell. He now resides in Kew.

Tim attended school in both the United Kingdom and Australia – at Scotch College and Rugby School. Tim attended the University of Melbourne and Ormond College where he undertook a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics.

While at university, Tim rowed for Australia between 2003-2006, winning a Bronze Medal at the 2004 World Championships.

Following his rowing career Tim returned to the University of Melbourne to complete a Master of International Politics. As part of his degree he was accepted into the Hansard Research Scholars Program at the London School of Economics. During this time, he was privileged to work as a researcher for the Rt Hon. David Davis MP, Shadow Home Secretary.

Tim worked as a political adviser for the Hon. Bruce Billson MP and the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, whilst he was the Leader of the Opposition.

In 2009 Tim was elected the youngest ever Mayor of Stonnington in Melbourne.

At the conclusion of his term as Mayor Tim joined PricewaterhouseCoopers, working in their Management Consulting practice, at first in Economics and Policy and subsequently in Strategy, providing strategic advice to governments across Australia and New Zealand. He was promoted to the Office of the Executive Board of PwC Australia in 2013.

Tim was elected to the Victorian Parliament in 2014. During his first term in parliament, Tim was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition and Chair of the Victoria Population Policy Taskforce. Between September 2017 and December 2018 Tim was the Shadow Minister for Education.

Tim has been published regularly in newspapers and magazines, including the Age, Herald Sun and The Australian, and is a regular contributor on radio and SkyNews.

Tim is an active member of our local Kew community and is honoured to represent the people of Kew in the Parliament of Victoria.


Zvi Eckstein (IL)

Former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel; Dean, Tiomkin School of Economics & Head of the Aaron Economic Policy Institute, IDC Herzliya

Professor Zvi Eckstein holds a BA in Economics from Tel Aviv University and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota. He is currently serving as Dean of the Tiomkin School of Economics at IDC Herzliya. He is also the Head of the Aaron Economic Policy Institute at IDC and Judith C. and William G. Bollinger visiting professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He previously served as Deputy Governor Bank of Israel and he is emeritus professor of Economics at Tel Aviv University.

Professor Eckstein is a Fellow at Econometric Society and gave the Walras-Bowley lecture at the Econometric society and served as editor of the European Economic Review. He was a lecturer in leading U.S. universities, including Yale, Carnegie – Mellon, Boston University and the University of Minnesota. Prof. Eckstein has won many prestigious academic and professional awards, published in leading economic journals, books by academic publishers and was a member of several professional committees on behalf of various government agencies.


Andrew Percy (UK)

Member of Parliament for Brigg and Goole
CFI Parliamentary Vice-Chairman

Andrew Percy has been the Member of Parliament for Brigg and Goole since being elected in the 2010 General Election.

Andrew is a Vice-Chairman of CFI’s Parliamentary Group, and has visited Israel with CFI on a number of occasions.

Before stepping down following the 2017 General Election, Andrew served as Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse from July 2016.

Andrew served as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Canada until 2019, and previously served on the Regulatory Reform Select Committee, Panel of Chairs, and the Health Select Committee. He was a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee from November 2012 until March 2015. Andrew was also a member of the Procedure Select Committee from July 2010 until 2011.

Andrew currently serves as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Surrogacy and as Vice-Chair of the APPG Against Antisemitism.

He previously worked as a secondary school history teacher and has taught in several schools, including in the United States and Canada.

Before being elected to Parliament at the 2010 General Election, Andrew served as a parish councillor for Airmyn, near Goole, and from 2000 to 2010, as a councillor for the Bricknell ward on Hull City Council.

Sanjeev Sabhlok (AU)

Sanjeev Sabhlok arrived in Melbourne in December 2000 from India where he had been a member of its permanent senior civil service. In Melbourne he worked first in the Victorian WorkCover Authority as an executive followed by 15 years as a senior economist in Victoria’s Department of Treasury and Finance. On 9 September 2020 he resigned from the Treasury to protest the pandemic policies of the Victorian government and explained the reasons in an op-ed in the Australian Financial Review. 

Thereafter he has written a book, The Great Hysteria and The Broken State to explain why he believes the government's approach to the coronavirus pandemic is inconsistent with the science and the laws. After further research he has arrived at the view that in addition to causing extensive economic harms, lockdowns have caused significant harm to the health of the people and has lodged a complaint with the International Criminal Court for what he believes are crimes against humanity in Australia.

Sanjeev has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Southern California and is a prolific author on Indian issues in Times of India where he also has an online blog. He is also author of a book, Breaking Free of Nehru, and in 2013 founded India's only classical liberal political party, Swarna Bharat Party, which is committed to liberty and to bringing the world's best policies to India. He is an Australian citizen since 2005 and an overseas Indian citizen which provides him residency but not voting rights in India.


Stephen Conroy (AU)

Profile coming soon


Boaz Ganor (IL)

Founder and executive director, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism

Professor Boaz Ganor is Ronald Lauder Chair for Counter-Terrorism and dean of the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, Israel. He serves as the founding president of the International Academic Counter-Terrorism Community, an international association of academic institutions, experts, and researchers in fields related to the study of terrorism and counter- terrorism. Boaz previously held positions at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, the Hoover Institution (Koret Distinguished Visiting Fellow), the Monterey Institute of International Studies, MIPT (The National Memorial for the Prevention of Terrorism), Hebrew University and Bar Ilan University. He was also a member of the international advisory team of the Manhattan Institute to the New York Police Department.

He is a member of the International Advisory Council of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological University, The Republic of Singapore. He is also a co-founder of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, a partnership between the University of Pennsylvania, Israel’s Interdisciplinary Centre, London’s King’s College and and the Regional Center on Conflict Prevention in Jordan. Since 2014, Ron has been a member of the executive committee of the academic advisory to the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy.

He has given briefings and/or testimonies to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, the Australian Parliament, the US Congress, the US Army, the FBI, the US Department of Homeland Security, as well as numerous intelligence, security and police services throughout the world. In 2001, Ron was appointed as a member of the advisory committee of the Israel National Security Council on Counter-Terrorism, and he has previously served as a member of the Israeli delegation to the Trilateral (American-Palestinian-Israeli) Committee for Monitoring Incitement to Violence and Terror. He also advised the Israeli delegation for peace negotiations with Jordan. In 1995, he was a consultant to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his book Fighting Terrorism – How democracies can defeat domestic and international terrorism.

Ron has published numerous articles on terrorism and counter-terrorism. His book The Counter-Terrorism Puzzle – A Guide for Decision Makers (Transaction Publishers, 2005), is used as a text book in universities worldwide and his upcoming book, Global Alert: Modern terrorism rationality and the challenge to the democratic world will be published by Columbia University Press. He is also the editor of Countering Suicide Terrorism (2001) and Post-Modern Terrorism (2006). He a frequent media and television commentator and has appeared on the BBC, CNN, CBS, ABC, and in The New York Times, the Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and many other Israeli and international publications.

Gal Hirsch (IL)

Brigadier-General  (Res)

Gal Hirsch is one of the most experienced in the IDF in the areas of counter terrorism, counter insurgency and guerilla warfare.

He spearheaded Israel’s fight against terror for 25 years in all fronts as a commander of several elite units and as a field officer. He is a decorated soldier and his overt activities are well known and highly acclaimed in the security circles in Israel and its allies.

From 2012 to 2015 Mr Hirsch was deputy commander (Active reserve) IDF’S Depth Command. Before that he commanded the 91st Division, responsible for Israel’s northern border and defending the country against terror attacks from there.

Between 2003 and 2005 he commanded the IDF’s Officer Academy responsible for foundations for the future junior leaders of Israel in the IDF and as civilians

Before that he was Chief of Operations at Central Command and responsible for all IDF’s anti-terror activities in the Central Command

For the two years up to 2001, Mr Hirsch commanded a regional, multi-forces (Benjamin) brigade during the period of peace activities with the Palestinians (the “Oslo Accord”) and subsequent transition to defending against its terror attacks

Before that he was Chief of Operations of Central Combat Regional Division (G-3) and Commander of the Air Force (“Kingfisher”-”Shaldag”) special forces.

He was badly injured in combat in 1997, but returned to service after a year in hospital and complicated recovery procedures.

Mr Hirsch has a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Mid-Eastern studies (graduating with honours), along with an MBA from Bar Ilan University and has many publications to his credit.

He was born in 1964, and is married with three children.

Yaniv Cohen (IL)

Adv. Yaniv Cohen, Executive Director & Co-Founder, Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy, IDC Herzliya

Prior to joining the Abba Eban Institute, Yaniv lived in New York City and served as the Head of SVP Development of the America-Israel Friendship League - a New York-based, pro-Israel, non-profit organization led by Esq. Kenneth J. Bialkin. Between 2009 and 2015, Yaniv worked as a corporate M&A attorney with the Tel-Aviv leading law firm of Naschitz, Brandes, Amir and Co., where he progressed from intern to senior associate.

Yaniv, an IDF Major (res.), is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Global Business Leaders Program (2020), he holds an M.B.A. (International Program), LL.B. Law and B.A. in Governance, Diplomacy and Strategy (Magna Cum Laude, specialized in Counter-Terrorism), obtained from IDC Herzliya.

He also serves as a board member of two startups (one social and one business-oriented).


Sen. Kimberley Kitching (AU)

Chosen by the Parliament of Victoria in 2016 to represent that State in the Senate.

Committee service

Party positions

Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament


Jason Thomas (AU)

Director, Frontier Assessments

Jason specialises in field-based, geo-political risk assessments as well as the design and implementation of stability programs to neutralise threats to projects in complex operating environments. He works

by, with and through local leadership to develop adaptable approaches to exploiting uncertainty  in the face of risks from terrorists, insurgents and other violent non-state actors. He has a specific interest in cross-border assessments and areas located near porous international boundaries. Jason has conducted field assignments for a range of organisations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Peru, Philippines, Jordan, Iraq, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, Syria, Cote d’Ivoire, southern Mali, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. On behalf of the Asia Development bank he completed the only successful field-based risk assessment of almost the entire Turkmenistan- Afghanistan-Pakistan pipeline.

Jason is a lecturer at Swinburne University where he teaches risk management and the high-risk strategies MBA unit. He has conducted research into the use of kidnapping by jihadist groups, as a tactic to influence Western government’s strategic policy. Other research interests are focused on how terrorists and insurgents evolve in response to being engaged by special operations forces. He also advises Australian Industry Group members. Jason completed his PhD (Curtin University) in 2016. He has an M.A (Distinction) from Otago University, NZ. He is a Paul Harris Fellow.