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
Islamic State's three tactics that will bring terror closer to home
Originally published in ABC Opinion. Lydia Khalil
Commentary
Sri Lanka’s perfect storm of failure
Originally published in Foreign PolicyLydia Khalil
The case to prosecute “jihadi brides” at home
The case to prosecute “jihadi brides” at home
Women played a key role in ISIS – while there are dangers, countries have a responsibility to see justice done.
Repatriating female foreign fighters: political not personal
Repatriating female foreign fighters: political not personal
Many foreign women who join ISIS were not duped or coerced. It is time to recognise Shamima Begum’s agency.
Commentary
Terror: time to stop politicising and start getting practical
Originally published in Sydney Morning HeraldLydia Khalil
Concerns over Saudi Arabia go far beyond Khashoggi
Concerns over Saudi Arabia go far beyond Khashoggi
The death of the dissident journalist has exacerbated regional worry about the many missteps by the Saudi Crown Prince.
Egypt’s new media law is ahead of the curve
Egypt’s new media law is ahead of the curve
The regime has unabashedly claimed that what is up is down and what is black is white.
Commentary
Trump's goal is regime change
Originally published in the Australian Financial Review.Lydia Khalil
Decay and new growth
Decay and new growth
The Middle East lacks the frameworks needed to capitalise on green shoots of change.
Top