GAVIN MCNICOLL, DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER
Gavin has worked on and studied National Security for 25 years. He spent the decade post 9/11 founding and coordinating some of the most significant transatlantic intelligence, police and defence gatherings to focus on asymmetric threats including terrorism, cyber security, post conflict reconstruction and influence. The main body of this work was performed with the support of all of the branches the UK’s security forces. In 2009 he co-founded one of the first cyber intelligence firms, which worked with major blue chip clients on this ground-breaking field of cyber security, until he departed that firm to join a multi-family office where he has focused on value investing, while maintaining Eden’s thought-leadership meetings and consulting for clients.
Afzal (Affi) Ashraf was brought up and educated in London. His first degree was a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering, following which he worked on military aircraft design research and development for British Aerospace.
In 1982, he was commissioned in the Royal Air Force and reached the rank of Group Captain during which time he filled a variety of operational and staff appointments. He was on the Multi National Force Iraq staff, based in Baghdad, where he contributed to the development of a political, military and economic strategy for Iraq, and with ISAF in Kabul. On his return UK based appointments he advised government at a senior level.
Ashraf has a Masters in Defence Studies from Kings College London, a PhD at St Andrews University (CSTPV) in Al Qaeda’s ideology and has completed advanced management studies with Manchester Business School.
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR JOHN WHEELER, JP, DL
The Right Honourable Sir John Wheeler, JP, DL, was the Chairman of the UK government review into airport security with particularly with reference to the role of the police. In 2005 he was Head of the Review into Airport Security and Policing for the Australian Government. Deputy Secretary of State, Northern Ireland Office 1993 – 1997; he was Minister of State for Security and for the Criminal Justice System and Finance Minister. He served as a Member of Parliament 1979 - 1997 and on the Home Affairs Select Committee from 1979 – 1992, as Chairman 1987 – 1992. During this time 67 reports were produced including several inquiries into criminal justice and police policy issues, and in 1988 he delivered the recommendation to set up the National Criminal Intelligence Service.
He was Chairman of The Service Authorities for the NCIS and the National Crime Squad from 1997 - 2002. He was appointed a Member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council in 1993 and a Member and Trustee of the Chapter General of the Order of St John and St John’s Ambulance in 1990 and has served as Chancellor from 2002.
DR. MAGNUS RANSTORP
Dr Magnus Ranstorp is the Research Director of the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies at Swedish National Defence College. He has directed two major research projects in last 5 years, funded by Civil Contingency Agency, one on radicalisation processes and counter-radicalisation policies within Europe and one on CBRNE terrorism. Prior to CATS, he was the Deputy and later Director of the world-renowned Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews. Since 1994 and was largely responsible with other colleagues for the unparalleled reputation CSTPV gained worldwide before and after 9/11. In 2003, he was invited to testify before the 9-11 Commission in its first hearing. Since 2009 he has been a Senior Fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at the George Washington University. Dr Ranstorp is on the Steering Committee of the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) and is Working Group Leader of EU RAN INT/EXT (on foreign fighters). He is also Chairman of the Expert Group on Prevention of Violent Extremism at Copenhagen Municipality. He was also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Terrorism during 2011-2014 and is currently on the Global Agenda Council on Conflict, Fragility and Violence. He is an elected Fellow of The Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences.
Dr Ranstorp’s recent focus has been related to ISIS’ micro-finance techniques within the European Union and Foreign Fighters flows in Europe and radicalisation processes.
NEAL A. POLLARD
Neal A. Pollard is a Principal for Cyber Incident and Threat Management at PwC. He has previously served as Director for Counterterrorism on the staff of the US Commission on the Prevention of WMD Proliferation and Terrorism. He is Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law, Columbia University of New York and at Georgetown University. He is a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council. Previously, he was Board Director and General Counsel of the Terrorism Research Center, a corporation he co-founded in 1996, and now strategic partner with Total Intelligence Solutions LLC. He was also Vice President of Hicks & Associates, Inc., where he managed its homeland security and counterterrorism programs. He was an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations (2005-2006), and is a Term Member of the CFR. He is admitted to the Virginia Bar, and is a native Oklahoman.
Originally from Alaska, Brynn O’Connell is a graduate student at the London School of Economics. She completed her undergraduate in War Studies at King’s College London. Her research interests include approaches to counterterrorism, the political economy of conflict, and evolutions in strategic thought.