2016. Forum Speakers

Shlomo ShpiroShlomo Shpiro

Crisis Communication, Social Resilience and the Protection of Critical Infrastructure

Prof.dr. Shlomo Shpiro is Head of the Political Studies Department at bar Ilan University and Senior Research Fellow at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies. Since 2008 he is also Chairman of the International Intelligence History Association (IIHA). 

He specializes in intelligence, terrorism and security studies. His research activities concentrate on the role of intelligence services as political mediators in the international arena, the intelligence activities of terror organisations, intelligence ethics and political influence, and on security crisis management and crisis communication.


Antonia Dimou, Senior RIAS Advisor

Antonia Dimou

„East Mediterranean Energy Cooperation and Security Challenges“ 

Antonia Dimou is Senior RIEAS advisor and serves as diplomatic advisor at the Hellenic Parliament. She is associate at the Center for Strategic Studies, University of Jordan, and senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Development University of California, Los Angeles, Unites States, since 2006. She is also head of the Middle East Unit at the Institute for Security and Defense Analyses based in Athens, and Advisory Board member of the European Rim Policy and Investment Council based in Cyprus.

Ms. Dimou served as Advisor to the Foreign and Defense Relations Committee, Greek Parliament; Advisor to the Greek Ministers of National Defense; Expert at the General Directorate of Industrial Development, Ministry of Defense; and expert at the Center for Analysis and Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She received an IVLP fellowship by the US State Department, a scholarship by the Greek and Jordanian governments, and a Project Inter-change fellowship of the AJC.

She holds a certificate on American National Security from Harvard University and on Terrorism and Counter-terrorism from Georgetown university.



John M. NomikosJohn M. Nomikos

"Intelligence Requirements for Energy Security in Greece."

John M. Nomikos (PhD) is the Director at the Research Institute for European and American Studies, Chairman of the Mediterranean Council for Intelligence Studies (MCIS), Chairman of the Greek Intelligence Studies Association (GISA), Chairman of the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) and Founding Editor, Journal of Mediterranean and Balkan Intelligence (JMBI). 

He is Assistant Professor in the Webster University (Athens Campus) and Head, Department of International Relations, History and Politics. He is also Visiting Professor at the Peace Keeping Security Studies (postgraduate program) in the University of Rome (Tre) in Italy. He was Adjunct Professor (2005-2007) at the Department of International Relations in the University of Indianapolis (Athens Camus).

He earned his Bachelor Degree in Sociology at the Northeast Louisiana University in 1987, his Masters Degree in European Integration and Cooperation at the University of Hull, 1991, and his Doctorate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Washington International University in 2001. He specializes on transatlantic intelligence studies, intelligence reform, and national security architecture. He has done research and studied in various research institutions in USA, UK, Norway, Finland, Germany and Israel.


Davor Šinka, Slavko Krajcar, Tomislav BajsDavor Šinka

„Assessing Terrorist Threats for Energy Infrastructure by Combining Historical Data and Expert Judgments“

Davor Šinka was born in Zagreb, Croatia, where he finished his elementary and high school education. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the Department of Energy and Power Systems, University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. In 2014, he earned his Ph.D. from the same department with the thesis titled "Quantitative Terrorism Risk Assessment and Management Method for Energy Systems".

Since 1996, he is employed in privately owned company ENCONET. His main working areas are technological risk analysis and nuclear/radiological emergency preparedness and response. He participates in various projects in both safety and security domains, where quantitative risk assessment and management methods have to be applied. Also, he organizes education, training and exercises.

In the period from 1998 to 2008 he was a member of the centre for providing expert support in case of a nuclear accident, operated by the Croatian State Office for Nuclear Safety. Since 2004, he is a member of the working group for the development of the European early notification and data exchange systems used in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency.

He is an author or co-author of more than 20 scientific or expert articles and more than 40 reports prepared for state institutions and industry. He collaborated on scientific projects sponsored by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports. He is a member of the international organization Society for Risk Analysis.


Dejan Škanata, Nenad Debrecin
Dejan Škanata

Safety and security in nuclear power sector“ 

Dejan Škanata was born in 1958. Graduated in 1983 from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Croatia. Background in nuclear engineering. In 1996 carried out the fellowship at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA. In 1999 get the Ph.D. degree with the thesis “A Method for Risk Assessment of Radioactive Waste Repository”. 

He has almost 30 years of working experience in the field of Radioactive Waste Management and Risk Analysis. Acting as a teaching professor at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing (Risk Analysis - postgraduate program) and University of Applied Studies Velika Gorica (System Reliability and Risk Assessment - graduate program and Corporate Risk and Security - postgraduate program).

He participated in several international certified training programs related the Radioactive Waste Management, Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Planning and Risk Assessment and Management. Participated in several international scientific programs such as: Harmonization of Nuclear Emergency Preparedness (IAEA); Use of Probabilistic Safety Assessment for Nuclear Installations with Large Inventory of Radioactive Materials (IAEA); Integrated Health and Environmental Risk Assessment and Risk Management in Large Industrial Areas (UNEP, WHO, UNIDO, IAEA); and Decommissioning Risk Management (IAEA). He was co-director of the Advanced Research Workshop on Computational Models of Risks to Infrastructure held in Primošten, Croatia, 2006, supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme.

He published some 95 professional papers and four books. Won the Josip Juraj Strossmayer Award for scientific contribution in the field of technical sciences for the year 2000.


Pavle Kalinic

Pavle Kalinić

„Critical infrastructure protection in the Zagreb city region“

He graduated from the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Zagreb in 1982. In the same year, he received his master's degree in International Relations. He worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Political Science from 1986 to 1987, and at the College of Technical Science from 1987 to 1991. In 1989-1990, as an assistant at the Faculty of Political Science, he participated in the scientific project "Characteristics of Political Behavior in the Region". In 1989 he founded Fokus, the first independent magazine in Croatia, which was published until the end of 1990. During 1991, he participated in the Homeland War as an army officer. He underwent medical treatment in the US after being wounded on the battlefield. He resided in the United States the following two years, returning to Croatia in 1994.
He worked for the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in 1994 and 1995. In 1997, he became a member of the Zagreb City Assembly, as well as a member of the Croatian Parliament in 2000. In 2006, he became head of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports in Zagreb; as of 2008, he is the head of the Zagreb Office of Emergency Management. In July 2012, he obtained his PhD with the thesis The politics of G.W. Bush administration and Islamic terrorism.


Chikara HashimotoChikara Hashimoto

„National Critical Infrastructure Protection in the United Arab Emirates“

Dr. Chikara Hashimoto received his Ph.D. in International Politics from Aberystwyth University, the UK. He is Assistant Professor in International Relations, University of Sharjah, the UAE, and Assistant Editor of Intelligence and National Security. His doctoral thesis was awarded the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize for the best Ph.D. dissertation on a Middle Eastern topic of 2014. His book based on his PhD, British Intelligence and Counter-Subversion in the Middle East, 1948-1963, is forthcoming by the Edinburgh University Press.

Ioannis Anastasakis, RIEAS International Advisor and Founder of ROSED Ioannis Anastasakis

„The Protection of Critical Energy Infrastructure: The Case of Greece“ 

Ioannis Anastasakis is an Air Force Academy (Greece) graduate who retired as Lieutenant General-Air Force pilot. He is RIEAS International Advisor and Founder of the Regional Observatory for Security and Economic Development (ROSED).
He was designated “Expert Group” chairman to the multinational Wassenaar Arrangement, which deals with export controls of military and advanced technology goods and technologies. He was also member of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ International Sanctions Monitoring Working Group. 

Lt General (ret) Anastasakis is experienced in MoD international and bilateral relations, with specialty on security, cooperation, procurement, defense investment and armaments. He was previously posted to NATO/SHAPE staff in Belgium as “Reaction Forces exercise planner”. Periodically he performs as Guest speaker in Institutions, Military and Diplomatic Academies, Staff Colleges, C-5 and RIEAS courses. He is author of two books titled: “Asymmetric Threats and Controlled Items” and “Controlled Items of Military Significance: Case Studies".


Darko Trifunović

Darko Trifunović

„Russian energy policy in South-Eastern Europe“

MSL, PhD  Senior Research Fellow and representative for Serbia and Montenegro of the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), Defense & Foreign Affairs publications, and the the Global Information System (GIS). 

Dr Darko Trifunovic is a Research Fellow and lecturer at the Faculty of Security Studies-University of Belgrade, a specialist in Counter-Terrorism, National and International Security Studies. He has been elected to the position of the visiting professor at the Fudan University in China, Center for American Studies as well as Research Fellow of the Shanghai Institute of European Studies.
Dr Darko Trifunovic is Senior Advisor at the RIEAS- Research Institute for European and American Studies as well as member of Advisory Board of the Institute of Transnational Studies.
He is former First Secretary of the Foreign Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the UN, Adviser to the State Secretary for War Crimes of Republic of Srpska for Terrorism and Violence and he was (in 2005) Adviser to the Minister of Police of the Republic of Srpska, BIH. 

The Shanghai Center for International Studies appointed Dr. Darko Trifunovic  as the first foreign expert for the Olympic Games (2008) security preparation in China.
He was engaged in World Expo Security preparation 2010, Shanghai, Chaina.
Dr Darko Trifunovic is one of the founding members of  ICTAC – International Counter Terrorism Academic Community.


Gintaras BagdonasGintaras Bagdonas

“NATO Role in Energy Security: the Perspective of Energy Security Centre of Excellence”

In 1991. he graduated from Kaunas University of Technology, Faculty of Energetics with an engineering sciences degree. Between 2004 - 2006 he studied at the Institute of International Relations and Diplomacy at Vilnius University and holds an MA in Political Sciences.

In 2002 Col. BAGDONAS completed the strategic senior officer course at NATO Defence College, Rome, Italy. 

Career: Col. BAGDONAS was appointed as Director of NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence (NATO ENSEC COE), based in Vilnius, Lithuania in August 2014. Prior to this appointment he had a two-year assignment as a Minister Counsellor and a Head of the Special Mission of the Republic of Lithuania to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Kabul under the subordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania. Before this appointment he served as Commandant of the General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania; the Director of Intelligence of the EU Military Staff, (interim Brigadier General Rank) in Brussels, Belgium; the Director of the Second Investigation Department (Military Intelligence and Security) under the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania. From 1995 to 1998 he served as Defence Attaché of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republics of Latvia and Estonia. 

Col. BAGDONAS has published several articles on different aspects of strategic partnership and international relations. He has also given lectures on "Intelligence and State" for the Military Diplomacy Master Students at the Military Academy of Lithuania.
Besides native Lithuanian language, Col. Bagdonas speaks English and Russian and has acquired basic knowledge of French and Persian. His interests and hobbies include mountaineering, cycling, professional and historical literature.


HrvojeSagrak, G.Marković, S. VidovićHrvoje Sagrak

„Generic Control System Architecture for Critical Infrastructure Protection: Example of Energy Sector“ 


Hrvoje Sagrak is a graduate lawyer with a diploma from the University of Zagreb. He completed also the Executive MBA two year post graduate programme at the Cotrugli Business School in Zagreb. He started his professional career in the public sector, working for the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 11 years and being posted, among other duties, for two mandates abroad in Embassies (Canada and Germany) as a Head of Consular Section. Returning to the Ministry, he worked for the Political Analysis Department as a Counsellor.

Since 2004 he is in the IT industry, working for leading Croatian IT companies in a capacity of business development manager and as project director in complex projects.  From 2008 until 2012 he held a pro bono position of the president of the ICT Branch association of the Croatian Employers' Association (CEA ICT) and from 2012 until present, he is vice-president and Head of the Section for e-Business and e-Government. At INFODOM, Mr. Sagrak has been a sales and marketing director, then director of the Public Sector business line and director of the Export Programme. 

As a project director and business consultant, Mr. Sagrak recently worked on the following projects: 

  • Ministry of Finance – Customs Administration – eGovernment Operations Platform and e-Inspections
  • World Bank project in the Croatian Health Insurance Fund Business Process Re-engineering
  • World Bank project for the Ministry of Health and Croatian Agency for Public Health, Integration of National Health registers
  • World Bank project in Kosovo – ePublic Procurement system implementation

Mr. Sagrak has been leading and supporting several national initiatives through the Croatian Employers Association- ICT Branch Association, such as Transparency in procurement of ICT solutions, Standard Project of the Electronic Document Management in Public Sector, and e-Invoicing. He headed an expert team of the CEA ICT in cooperation with the Ministry of Administration – Department for eCroatia for setting up the Strategy of e-Croatia 2020.


Anna AbelmannAnna Abelmann

„Securing Castor Transports and Nuclear Energy Materials – The Case of Germany“

Anna Abelmann is a research associate and PhD candidate of the Ruhr University of Bochum, Germany, Executive Director of the “International Intelligence History Association” and member of the Editorial Board „Journal of Mediterranean and Balkan Intelligence“.

Her doctoral thesis deals with the work of German political foundations in Israel.

She specializes in German relations in Israel and the Middle East since 1945, Intelligence and Security Studies and transatlantic security cooperation after World War Two.


Ephraim LapidEphraim Lapid

„Coping with terror – The Israeli experience“

Brigadier General (Res.) Ephraim Lapid has a rich career in military and public service in Israel. He served as a Senior Intelligence officer and the Spokesperson of the Israel Defense Forces (I.D.F). He was an Instructor in the Israeli National Defense College. 

After retiring from the Israeli Military, he served as a senior official in the Jewish Agency. He is a lecturer at Bar-Ilan and Haifa Universities. Ephraim Lapid holds M.A. in Political Science from the University of Haifa, and a teaching certificate.
He is now a Ph. D. candidate in Bar-Ilan University.


Erica Keen ThomasErica Keen Thomas

„United States Energy Security Policy“

Erica assumed her position as the Counselor of the Energy, Environment, Science and Technology Unit at the U.S. Mission to the European Union in August 2014.

Prior to coming to Brussels, she spent the previous four years in China as the Environment, Science, Technology and Health Counselor at U.S. Embassy Beijing, where Erica was best known for her work on air monitoring.
The Air Monitoring program run by Erica’s team was pivotal in drawing worldwide attention to China’s air pollution problem, which China is now working diligently to address.

In 2009, Erica was the Senior Coordinator for the first annual meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, which included approximately twenty U.S. and Chinese cabinet level officials.From 2006-2008, Erica was the Unit Chief of the Trade, Transportation and Services Section within the Economic Section of the U.S. EmbassyBeijing and from 2001-2005, Erica was the Environment, Science, Technology and Health Officer at the American Institute in Taiwan in Taipei.
Erica developed her background in international public policy from 1992-1997 and 1999-2000while serving in the State Department's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs in Washington, D.C. working on marine conservation issues.

Erica began her career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1990 and between 1990 and 1992 worked both at the EPA and at the White House Counsel on Environmental Quality on U.S. preparations for the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.  Erica has a Master's in Public Policy from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.


Velimir Ostoić, Damir KovačVelimir Ostoić

„Protection of Oil Pipeline facilities - Practical experiences from Croatiay“

Velimir Ostoić, CEO of Adriatic Security Solutions d.o.o., born 1950. in Varaždin, Croatia, graduated from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Traffic and Transportation Sciences. He is an entrepreneur mainly involved in project management, consulting, development of threat assessments and risk analysis,  security systems design, project revision and facility security plan development.
Involved in the area of intelligent transportation systems applications in which he published several papers.


Damir Kovač, project manager at Adriatic Security Solutions d.o.o., born 1970 in Baden, Switzerland, earned his bachelor degree from the Polytechnic Electrical Engineering and later graduated from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Traffic and Transportation Sciences.
Previously actively envolved in research and development of mobile core networks on projects like GPRS Gateway Support Node, Policy Control Server, Intelligent Packet Solution, Packet Data Gateway.
Currently involved in security systems design, project management and consulting.


Danny LackerDanny Lacker

Emergency Preparedness and Security of Israel's Water Infrastructure

Manger of water security and emergency Division of the Israeli Water Authority.

Responsibility and regulation for all The issue of water security and emergency in The State of Israel.

Born in the U.S raised in Kibbutz Givat Haim Eichud.

B.A. In political science and public administration from the Bar-Ilan University (1995). M.A In political science and public administration from the Bar-Ilan University (2004).