Lydia Khalil is a Research Fellow in the West Asia Program at the Lowy Institute.
She has a broad range of policy, academic and private sector experience, and has spent her career focusing on the intersection between governance and security — whether it be understanding the rationales behind terrorism and counterinsurgency, how to create governance systems that lead to functioning societies, effective policing strategies or the security and policy effects of new technology. She is currently a director of Arcana Partners, a strategic consultancy firm.
Lydia’s professional background in politics, international relations and security has focused on US national security policy, Middle East politics and intelligence. She was international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York where she analysed political and security trends in the Middle East. She also served as a political advisor for the US Department of Defense in Iraq, where she worked closely with Iraqi officials on political negotiations and constitutional drafting. In Australia, Lydia held fellowships with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and Macquarie University, specialising in intelligence, national security and cyber security.
Lydia also has extensive national security and law enforcement experience. She was most recently a senior policy advisor to the Boston Police Department, working on countering violent extremism, intelligence and counterterrorism, and community policing strategies. She has also worked as a senior counterterrorism and intelligence analyst for the New York Police Department.
Lydia is a frequent media commentator and conference speaker and has published widely on her areas of expertise. She holds a BA in International Relations from Boston College and a Masters in International Security from Georgetown University.