Lydia Khalil

Research Fellow, Transnational Challenges
Areas of expertise

Terrorism and violent extremism; digital technology; disinformation; authoritarianism; national security; emergency management and countering violent extremism; crisis and natural disasters; radicalisation; counterterrorism; policy; Middle East; US national security

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).

“Predatory cult”: the shadow of Unification Church over Abe’s funeral
“Predatory cult”: the shadow of Unification Church over Abe’s funeral
Researcher Sarah Hightower explains Japan’s reckoning over the influence of a controversial sect in Japanese politics.
Morrison’s secret appointments are a slippery slope
Commentary
Morrison’s secret appointments are a slippery slope
Levels of political trust in Australia are among the lowest in the world and this latest saga will not help matters. Originally published in the Australian Financial Review.
The very personal legacy of Ayman al-Zawahiri
The very personal legacy of Ayman al-Zawahiri
I was twice an enemy to al-Qaeda’s leader, both near and far. His influence in seeding militant Islamists was profound.
After The Fall: Fawzia Koofi on Afghanistan's future
Podcasts
After The Fall: Fawzia Koofi on Afghanistan's future
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, former member of the Afghan parliament and its first female deputy speaker Fawzia Koofi joins Lowy Institute Research…
Beyond Fortress Australia
Interactives
Beyond Fortress Australia
The reality of living in a pandemic has dawned on Australia. Covid cases at the time of writing are high and still climbing. The virus is here to stay. Equally clear is that ring…
The many consequences of a clear blue day on 11 September, 2001
The many consequences of a clear blue day on 11 September, 2001
The butterfly effect of the global war on terror has had far-reaching impacts on the freedoms it was meant to defend.
Did 9/11 change our world?
Interactives
Did 9/11 change our world?
We asked six experts, “Did 9/11 define our world? If so, how? If not, what did?” After each of their responses to these questions, editor Lydia Khalil challenges the experts…
Podcasts
Lowy Institute Conversations: Stan Grant on identity, liberalism and the future of democracy
In this episode of Conversations, Lydia Khalil talks with Stan Grant on the tensions between identity and liberalism and what that means for the future of democracy
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