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
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).

Violent extremism: The ghost or the machine?
Violent extremism: The ghost or the machine?
A parliamentary inquiry into violent extremism should call on tech companies to reveal their recommendation algorithms.
Extremism and clear terminology
New terminology introduced by ASIO to describe violent extremist groups carefully avoids ‘right- or left-wing’ descriptors. But in not calling out right-wing extremism, is the…
Submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security: Inquiry into extremist movements and radicalism in Australia
On 19 February, Lowy Institute Research Fellow Lydia Khalil made a submission to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security inquiry into extremist movements…
Do Researchers Have an Obligation to Report Dangerous Actors?
Originally published on GNET Insights.
The Pastoral Populism of Pope Francis and Sayed Sistani
Originally published by the European Center for Populism Studies.
The impact of natural disasters on violent extremism
Originally published in the ASPI Counterterrorism Yearbook 2021.
Lowy Institute Conversations: Zoe Daniel on the legacy of the Trump administration
Lowy Institute Conversations: Zoe Daniel on the legacy of the Trump administration
In this episode of Lowy Institute Conversations, Research Fellow Lydia Khalil sits down with Zoe Daniel to discuss her new book, Greetings from Trumpland.