SMS2019 Coordinator's Address

GeoLab Laboratory for Geocultural Analyses Ionian University

SanRocco Campus - Ippokrates Building

Corfu, GR-49100 Greece



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Twelve Confirmed

Professor Julian Richards

Julian Richards, Senior Lecturer and Co-Director, BUCSIS, UK - Terrorism, Political Violence, Intelligence


Professor Julian Richards gained a PhD in political violence in Pakistan, at Cambridge University, in 1993. He then spent nearly 20 years working in intelligence and security for the British Government, returning to academic life as a Research Fellow with Brunel University’s Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies in 2006. In 2008, he jointly founded the new Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (BUCSIS) at the University of Buckingham, and became a full-time member of staff at the university two years later. As a Professor in the department, he is Programme Director for three MA programmes and the convenor of BUCSIS’s research school of MPhil and DPhil students. Julian Richards is the author of four books and a number of papers and book chapters on a range of security and intelligence issues. He has given formal evidence to Government inquiries on privacy and security issues and is a regular media commentator on security and intelligence issues for national and international television and radio, including the BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera, LBC radio, and the Islam Channel. His current research interests include a range of issues concerning global security and security policy; questions of extremism and radicalization; and the development of techniques in intelligence analysis.

Dr. Vassilis Kappis

Vassilis Kappis, Lecturer, BUCSIS, UK - Geopolitics in the Mediterranean, Decision making in security crises


Dr. Vassilis (Bill) Kappis is a Lecturer in Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham. He holds a DPhil degree from the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney (2016) and Master’s degrees in Strategic Studies and European Integration from the Australian National University (2007) and the London School of Economics (2006) respectively. Bill’s academic interests lie in the strategic and psychological aspects of security crises and foreign policy decision-making. His current research highlights the changing security dynamics in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, focusing on issue areas such as great power rivalries and alliances, as well as the evolution of NATO in response to the re-emergence of Russia as a great power in Eurasia. Bill is, finally, an awarded academic instructor by the University of Sydney and a member of the Teaching and Learning Politics standing group of the European Consortium for Political Research.

Ana Isabel Páramo


A freelance analyst and trainer in intelligence analysis, in possession of a Degree in Law by Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE), Madrid. Having gained experience in the field of insurance credit for exports, Ana was engaged between 1999 and 2019 by the Spanish Ministry of Defence, firstly as an analyst and subsequently as a trainer in analysis and dissemination of intelligence. During her career, Ana cooperated with professionals from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. She, moreover, has substantial instructing experience, having taught at public and private institutions in Spain as well as in the private sector. Ana has, finally, contributed articles pertaining to intelligence analysis in restricted access magazines.

Dr Ruben Arcos

Dr. Ruben Arcos, University Rey Juan Carlos Madrid, Spain - Roundtable on intelligence analysis and production, Interactive simulation exercises, Roundtable on international cooperation in intelligence and   Mediterranean intelligence communities


Rubén Arcos, PhD, is a Lecturer and Researcher in Communication Sciences and Director of the Graduate Programe of Specialist in Strategic Communication, Hybrid Threats and Security at Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid. He is founding co-director of IntelHub, a joint initiative between the American Public University System, the University of Leicester in the UK, and Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain. He is a freelance contributor to Jane’s Intelligence Review and deputy editor of the International Journal of Intelligence, Security, and Public Affairs. He served for almost ten years as instructor and coordinator of the first ever Master’s degree in Intelligence Analysis in Spain. He is a member of the research group Ciberimaginario. He was appointed national member of NATO Task Group SAS-114 on “Assessment and Communication of Uncertainty in Intelligence to Support Decision-Making.” His research is focused on intelligence analysis and production and strategic communication, and his research has been published in Intelligence and National Security, International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Public Relations Review, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, and the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, among others. His latest books are The Art of Intelligence: More Simulations, Exercises, and Games (edited with William J. Lahneman) and Intelligence Communication in the Digital Era: Transforming Security, Defence and Business (edited with Randolph H. Pherson).

Evgenia Karatari


Evgenia Karatari is the Head of Sector Crisis Response in the EU Situation Room at the European External Action Service. She has 29 years of experience in the European institutions and bodies, 11 of which in the domain of external relations, where she has worked in intelligence analysis, covering Sub-Saharan Africa. Her areas of specialisation include irregular migration, terrorism and radicalisation, maritime security and energy security. Her academic background includes studies in business and human resources management, history, geopolitics and EU affairs. She speaks Greek, English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Professor Stavros Katsios

Prof. Dr. Stavros Katsios, Director of the GeoLab Institute, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece - Economic Crime, Corruption, Tourism and Crime, Governance

Stavros Katsios is Professor of International Economic Relations and International Economic Crime at the Ionian University, Corfu, Greece and Director of the Laboratory for Geocultural Analyses / the Geolab Institute. He is a lawyer, member of the Thessaloniki Bar since 1990 and of the German Bar Association since 1996, practicing in the fields of economic crime, company law and real estate. His research is focused on International Economic Law and Economic Crime (e.g. corruption, money laundering). He has studied law at the Cologne “Albertus Magnus” University , and Saarland University, Germany, at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., USA  and at the Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece (Ph.D. degree in Commercial and International Economic Law. He has been appointed by a decision of Minister of Finance as the head of the WGII of the Greek National Risk Assessment Expert (NRA) Committee on Money Laundering and Corruption (August 2017). He is coordinator of the Yellow Tourism Consortium on Tourism and Crime and a frequent invited speaker at the International Symposium of Economic Crime held annually in September at Jesus College, Cambridge University, UK (since 2009). He has lectured on Economic Crimes/Money Laundering, Police Academy, School of National Security and on Anti-Money Laundering policy at the Hellenic Banking Institute of the Hellenic Bank Association in Athens. He is author of four books and numerous scientific article in journals and the director of the publications’ series “Globalization and Governance” and “Geolab Library” of Papazisis Publications, Athens, Greece.

Associate Professor Sotirios Livas

Associate Prof. Sotirios Livas, Head of DFLTI, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece 

Associate Professor Sotirios Livas has a PhD in International Relations. His PhD dissertation thesis (2004) was about Turkey's relations to the countries of the Middle East. Previously, he worked as a Lawyer in Athens, specializing in civil and commercial law. He is a member the Mobilities network, of the Hellenic Association of International Relations and International Law and a founding member of the Politics and Language Laboratory of the Ionian University. He is currently president of the Department of Foreign Languages, Translation and Interpreting of the Ionian University as well as cooridnator of the placements program of the said department and director of its postgraduate program: Language and Politics. Sotirios Livas has written three books in Greek (about religious zelotism in Islam, Hizmet movement and Fethullah Gulen and human rights in Turkey), translated and edited three more and has written four chapters in English and Greek in collective volumes (about international law and the status of minorites). He has written extensively (more than thirty articles and seventy book reviews) and is a regular media commentator on Middle Eastern issues for television, radio and journals (including Le Monde, Guardian, etc). His current research interests include a range of issues: extremism and religious zelotism, immigrant flows, compatibility of Islam with western values, human rights in Turkey and the Middle East, dehumanization process in political language and modern political networking. 

Dr. Petros Savvides

Petros Savvides is a modern historian and a geopolitical analyst specializing on defence, security and conflict. He received a BFA in Art/Philosophy from the University of Iowa in the United States, an MPhil in History from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in Modern History from the University of Birmingham. The topic of his doctoral thesis was “The Role of Athens and the Invisible Factors that Formulated the Outcome of the Cyprus Crisis in 1974”. Between 2015 and 2017, he was a lecturer at the Department of International Relations and Governance of the School of Law at the University of Nicosia, a researcher at the Cyprus Center for European and International Affairs, and founding editor of the scholarly journal Eastern Mediterranean Geopolitical Review (EMGR) and the electronic series Eastern Mediterranean Policy Notes (EMPN). He is currently cooperating with the Institute for Cypriot Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Mϋnster and is the co-coordinator of the international conference “The Fate of Religious Spaces in Conflict: Cyprus, Lebanon, Bosnia”, to be held at the University of Nicosia in November 2019. He has extensive experience on archival/primary source researching and field research (Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon) and his research interests focus on Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus Problem and the geopolitics of the Eastern Mediterranean. He wrote extensively on the security of the Eastern Mediterranean and recently published (in Greek) the monograph The Islamization of Occupied Cyprus (Nicosia: Armatolos, 2019).

Archpriest Dr. Themistokles Mourtzanos

Archpriest Themistokles Mourtzanos (PhD Theology, Philologue, Gen. Archieratical Commissioner of Holy Metropolis of Corfu Paxi and Diapontian Islands) - Religion and Extremism in the Mediterranean


Archpriest Themistoklis Mourtzanos completed his encyclopedic studies in Larissa. In 1992 he received a degree in Philology / classical literature (1992) and a degree in Theology from the University of Athens (1997). He obtained a Master's degree and an PhD from the Department of Pastoral and Social Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2001). He was ordained Deacon (1995) and an Elder in September 1996, and pronounced  Economos (1998) and Protopresbyter (1999). He serves at the Holy Metropolis of Corfu since 2003. During his service at the Holy Metropolis of Demetriados (Volos) he was head of the Magnesia of the Panhellenic Union of Theologians (2001-2003), as well as Vice-President of the Youth Association "Hellenic League". He has been a contributor to scientific conferences focused mainly on the Church-youth relations. Since 2002, he is serving as an Educational Theologist in Secondary Education being appointed in 2003 at the 7th Gymnasium of Corfu. He writes regularly in the daily and periodical press, as well as in ecclesiastical publications. In the Holy Metropolis of Corfu he serves as Archieratical Commissioner and Youth Commissioner. He is responsible for the publication of the newspaper "Corfu's Truth" and the youth magazine "Steps", for the Church camps and the circle of meetings for students and young scientists of the Holy Metropolis. He writes regularly in the daily and periodical press, as well as in ecclesiastical publications. He is author of three books and numerous articles. 

Yvonni Efstathiou


Yvonni Efstathiou is a Research Analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, where she specializes on the implementation of the new European defence initiatives, European capability shortfalls and the EU-NATO relations. She also works on maritime security and collects and validates naval defence data for The Military Balance and the Military Balance+ database. She has extensively published on the implementation of the PESCO defence projects and their value to Europe’s overall security. Her latest publication examines the military balance in the Mediterranean*. Ms Efstathiou completed her studies at the University College London (UCL), where she read Security Studies.

Diego Bolchini

Diego Bolchini, Analyst, Gino Germani Institute Associate Research Fellow and Lecturer at Florence University – Post-Graduate Course in Intelligence & National Security


Cultural analyst and IAI (Istituto Affari Internazionali) think tank contributor. Diego is a lecturer in intelligence analysis at Florence University - Post-graduate Course in Intelligence & National Security and a Gnosis – Italian Intelligence Review and Limes – Italian Geopolitical Review author. He is in possession of a Degree in Political Science by Federico II University (Naples) and holds a Master of Arts in Geopolitics from La Sapienza University in Rome and a Master of Arts in Strategic Analysis from Florence University. He also attended a Training Course in Globalization, Security and Humanitarian Policy at Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) / Hautes Etudes Internationales (HEI) in Geneva, Switzerland designed for Junior Swiss Diplomats. Since February 2018 is a Research Associate Fellow at Gino Germani Institute of Social Sciences and Strategic Studies. In June 2018 he has been panelist for the Maghreb/Sahel Area at the International Conference “Africa-Europe Relationships: a Multi-Stakeholder Perspective” (Luiss University, Rome). Since March 2019 he is an occasional writer for “Diritto 24 – Il Sole 24 Ore”, on-line edition, one of the principal Italian economic and financial magazine.

Panayiotis Hadjipavlis

Panayiotis Hadjipavlis is an aviation and defence professional with over 25 years of experience in strategic planning, analysis and geopolitics. He holds an MBA, an MSc in Aviation Safety Management, a Master in Research in Geopolitics and Strategy and a Professional Master in Superior Military Studies whilst he is currently a Doctorate Candidate in Airspace Geopolitics at the Newcastle University, UK. He is an associate researcher at the University of Nicosia in the Department of International Relations and has been also an associate editor of the Eastern Mediterranean Geopolitical Review a peer-review journal specialized on geopolitics. He regularly participates in the issue of policy papers as well as in debates, conferences and meetings with prominent politicians and scholars discussing various geopolitical and security matters. As regards his professional career Major (AF) Panayiotis Hadjipavlis is currently a strategic analyst at the European External Action Service while he has been for more than five years the Deputy of the European Defence Agency Affairs’ Office of the Cyprus Ministry of Defence, responsible for Research and Technology. In 2008, he served as strategic analyst for the European Union Mission for Chad and CAR. He had the opportunity to work in a very demanding, complex, multinational environment where cooperation, negotiation, self-motivation and of course analytical skills were imperatives for the efficient and effective functioning of the analyst team.

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