Lydia Khalil

Research Fellow, Transnational Challenges
Lydia Khalil
Biography
Publications
News and media

Lydia Khalil is a Research Fellow on Transnational Challenges at the Lowy Institute. She manages the Digital Threats to Democracy Project and convenes the Lowy Institute’s partnership with the Global Network on Extremism and Technology.

She has a broad range of policy, research and private sector experience, and has a professional background in international relations, national security and strategic intelligence analysis. Lydia has spent her career focusing on the intersection between governance, technology and security — examining the rationales behind terrorism and counterinsurgency, how to create governance systems that lead to functioning societies, the role of effective policing strategies and the effects of new technology.

Lydia serves as an editorial board member of the academic journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. She is also an Associate Research Fellow at Deakin University’s Alfred Deakin Institute, where she is the Coordinator of the Addressing Violent Extremism and Radicalisation to Terrorism (AVERT) Research Network and serves as liaison to the Research and Evaluation Working Group (REWG) of the Countering Violent Extremism Sub-Committee (CVESC) of the Australia–New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee.

Lydia is a research member of the Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies (CRIS) where she leads the Crisis Points project on the intersection of disasters, extremism and disinformation. She is also a member of the US-based Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Working Group and the United Nations Security Council’s Global Research Network (GRN). Lydia is a member of the Victorian Government Countering Violent Extremism Expert Advisory Committee, among other government advisory appointments.

Lydia has held previous appointments as an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and Macquarie University. Prior to moving to Australia, she served as a political adviser for the US Department of Defense and as a senior policy adviser to the Boston Police Department. She has also worked as a senior counter-terrorism and intelligence analyst for the New York Police Department.

Lydia is a frequent media commentator and conference speaker and has published widely in both popular and academic publications on her areas of expertise. She holds a BA in International Relations from Boston College and a Master’s in International Security from Georgetown University.

She is the author of the book Rise of the Extreme Right: The New Global Extremism and the Threat to Democracy (Penguin, 2022).

Commentary
The New Wave of Middle-East Media Repression
In an opinion piece published in Project Syndicate, Lydia Khalil describes how the governments of Egypt and Saudi Arabia have suppressed unfavorable information to hold on to…
Commentary
US killing of Soleimani hands Iran a new opportunity to expand power
Originally published in ABC Online.Lydia Khalil
Sistani: The (not-so) hidden hand behind Iraqi politics
Sistani: The (not-so) hidden hand behind Iraqi politics
The influential Shiite cleric has avoided formal participation in government, but what he does now could be critical.
The vulnerable state of Islamic State
The vulnerable state of Islamic State
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was likely trying to forge an alliance to stave off fighters defecting to other jihadi groups.
Trump’s troop withdrawal and what’s next for Islamic State
Trump’s troop withdrawal and what’s next for Islamic State
Having pre-emptively declared the militant group “100% defeated”, the pull back from Syria raises different threats.
The curious case of Hamza bin Laden’s death
The curious case of Hamza bin Laden’s death
Why is the world only now hearing about the apparent death of the al-Qaeda scion, and will it hurt the terrorist group?
‪ISIS: women’s work?
‪ISIS: women’s work?
The courts should regard crucial domestic, educational and other influences by women in ISIS as terrorist “support”.
Behind the Veil: Women in jihad after the caliphate
Analyses
Behind the Veil: Women in jihad after the caliphate
How the Islamic State has expanded the role of women in jihad and what that means for the future of jihad
Caliph emerges without his caliphate
Caliph emerges without his caliphate
From the clothes to the location, the ISIS leader’s video tells much about the group’s ambition.
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