Lydia Khalil

Project Director, Digital Threats to Democracy Project; 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

Lydia Khalil is a Research Fellow on Transnational Challenges at the Lowy Institute. She manages the Digital Threats to Democracy Project.

Lydia has spent her career focusing on the intersection between governance, technology and security. 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, with a particular focus on terrorism and other forms of political violence.

Lydia is also a Senior Research Fellow at Deakin University’s Alfred Deakin Institute, where she is the co-convener of the Addressing Violent Extremism and Radicalisation to Terrorism (AVERT) Research Network. 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 serves as an editorial board member of the academic journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.

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. She has previously served as an adviser with the US Department of Defense and as a senior policy and intelligence 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 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).

Worst enemy: Kurdistan’s history of infighting
Worst enemy: Kurdistan’s history of infighting
The Kurds may like to say they have no friends but the mountains, but their family has a history of letting them down too.
Kurdistan precarious but steadfast on eve of referendum
Kurdistan precarious but steadfast on eve of referendum
The allure of a referendum on Kurdish independence has overridden the practical implications and very real risks.
Islamic State is changing the face of terrorism
Islamic State is changing the face of terrorism
Not only has the jihadist threat increased, the nature of the threat has evolved significantly.
Egypt’s Copts: Caught between the Egyptian State and IS
Egypt’s Copts: Caught between the Egyptian State and IS
The structural underpinnings that allowed for the emergence and growth of violent jihadists in Egypt are the result of decades of official and unofficial discriminatory policies…
The Rohingya tragedy: Time to talk to the Tatmadaw
The Rohingya tragedy: Time to talk to the Tatmadaw
We need to consider opening a direct dialogue with the Tatmadaw. We must be willing to hold our noses and deal with the military generals.
Tide of Islamic State moves west
Commentary
Tide of Islamic State moves west
Originally published in The Australian Financial Review.Rodger Shanahan , Lydia Khalil
Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq: The day after
Analyses
Foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq: The day after
In this Lowy Institute Analysis, Research Fellow Dr Rodger Shanahan and Nonresident Fellow Lydia Khalil argue that an increasing number of foreign fighters are likely to leave…
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