Our Team

As an international organization, our team represents over 15 nationalities. We are comprised of direct hires, secondees, non-resident fellows, expert consultants, outsourced professionals and interns. Since 2013, more than 60 interns from over 25 countries have joined us. The internship program ensures Hedayah is incorporating youth perspectives in advancing the efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism.

H.E. Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi


H.E. Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi is a Member of the UAE Federal National Council for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Defense Affairs, Interior & Foreign Affairs Committee at the
Council. Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi is a leading international expert on Extremism and Education. He has more than thirty years of outstanding academic and professional achievements in Government, Non-Government, and Private sectors within the United Arab Emirates and abroad.

As a pioneer of educational reform and policy in the UAE, Dr. Al Nuaimi served as the Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University [UAEU] and the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge [ADEKl in his capacity as a Member of the Executive Council of the Government of Abu Dhabi.

As a prominent advocate of Global Peace, Tolerance, and Coexistence, Dr. Al Nuaimi is currently serving as the first Chairman of the International Steering Board of Hedayah, The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism based in Abu Dhabi. He also founded and currently Chairs the World Council of Muslim Communities and was the first Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders.

H.E. Ahmed Al Qasimi

Executive Director

H.E. Ahmed AlQasimi was nominated as the Executive Director of Hedayah, the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism.

He brings significant public sector experience to this position, including almost a decade of service in the U.A.E. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, where he worked in a variety of settings prior to joining Hedayah. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.E. AlQasimi most recently served as the Deputy Director of International Security Cooperation from 2017 to 2019. He also served as an acting Council General in the UAE consulate in Houston Texas, and for several years at the UAE Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. In that capacity, he regularly engaged with the UN Security Council, and actively participated in debates related to UN Security Council as well as provide insights a key Security Council resolutions one of which was, Resolution 2178 on the flow of foreign terrorist fighters adopted at the Security Council by the President of the United States in 2014.

He was also heavily invested in discussions involving the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Counter Violent Extremism. Prior to this, H.E. AlQasimi served as an analyst in the Ministry’s Policy Planning Department from 2010 to 2014, following peace and security issues regionally and globally. During his time in the Policy Planning department he led efforts with global stakeholders towards establishing the Syria Recovery Trust Fund, a multi-donor fund that was established to help rebuild Syria.

H.E. AlQasimi’s current research interests include global violent extremism, terrorism, and strategies to prevent violent extremism in fragile states. He is particularly interested in understanding the threats and challenges posed by the online indoctrination of young people into violent extremist ideology.

He graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a B.A. in International Relations. He has a M.A. in Diplomacy and International Affairs from Zayed University in Abu Dhabi which he completed with Distinction, and has taken postgraduate courses at New York University’s College of Law in New York City, which he completed with honors. He was awarded a masters honors certificate from NYU's college of Law in New York. He is fluent in Arabic and English.

Ivo Veenkamp

Deputy Executive Director

Ivo Veenkamp is the co-founder and first Deputy Executive Director of Hedayah, The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, since January 2013. He is responsible for the day-to-day lead of the organization.

Ivo has more than twenty-five years of experience at the crossroads of international, national and local strategy, policy and programming. He has been working on counterterrorism, countering violent extremism (CVE), social cohesion, and civic integration. Throughout his life Ivo has lived in the Netherlands, Indonesia, India and the United Arab Emirates. He has worked in government, the private sector and a multilateral organization.

Prior to joining Hedayah, Ivo was the Dutch Director for Counterterrorism Policy and Strategy reporting directly to the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security for more than five years. In this capacity he was responsible for the development and implementation of the first National Counterterrorism strategy, Dutch counterterrorism- and CVE policy, and coordinating bilateral and multilateral cooperation (UN, EU, GCTF).

The past fifteen years he was involved in strategic international stakeholder engagement and frequently acted as an expert speaker, moderator and representative at international conferences and meetings on CT and CVE.

Before this, Ivo was the Program Director for Modernizing Civic Integration Policy and the Project Director for the preparation of the Constitutional Reform of the Netherlands Antilles at the Ministry of Security and Justice. He was also the Head and Deputy Head of the Urban Policy Division and the Secretary of the Government Committee on Oversight/Inspection at the Ministry of the Interior. He started his career as a Management Consultant at the Government and Non-Profit group of KPMG Consulting. One of his last assignments was interim Chairman and Director of the Foundation for Youth Work of de city of Amsterdam.

Ivo was selected for the two-year Leadership Development Program of the Senior Executive Service of the Dutch government and joined the Senior Executive Service shortly after. When he started at Hedayah he had been a member of the Dutch Senior Executive Service for more than eight years.

Until summer 2018 he was an Associate Fellow for Counterterrorism and Extremism of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Until mid-2019 he was also a member of the Steering Committee of the RESOLVE Network (Researching Solutions to Violent Extremism), a global consortium of researchers and research organizations on CVE.

Ivo has master degrees in both Political Science and Psychology (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abeer Makki

Executive Affairs Manager

Abeer Makki serves as the Executive Affairs Manager at Hedayah, The International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism. Having joined Hedayah in 2018, she is responsible for providing executive support to the senior leadership at the Executive Office, liaise and coordinate with strategic stakeholders both locally and internationally as well as managing external engagements. In her capacity, she managed the execution of the United Nations Office for Countering Terrorism UNOCT Regional Conference on “Empowering Youth and Promoting Tolerance: Practical Approaches to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism” held in Abu Dhabi in 2019. In addition to her executive role, she presents Hedayah’s programs and activities to local and international delegates as well prominent foreign officials in which she presented at the NATO and GCC headquarters.

Prior to joining Hedayah, Makki served in a variety of professional settings with over a decade of a successful career in private, government and international sectors bringing executive experience and diversity to her multiple roles. Some of these roles include Senior Specialist in Chairman’s Office of the Department of Knowledge and Education and Chairman’s Office Manager at the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, Makki worked for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) in a variety of settings that include but not limited to Research Assistant in the Economic Development Issues and Policies Division in ESCWA.

Dr. Murat Uzunparmak

Director of Research and Analysis

Murat joined Hedayah as a secondee from the Government of Turkey in December 2017. Before Hedayah, he worked as a District Governor and a Deputy Governor at the Turkish Ministry of Interior. Murat has governed different districts in Turkey and has eighteen years of professional management experience.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Ankara University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Van. He finalized his PhD thesis in the field of political science at the Çanakkale University and became a doctor of philosophy in April 2021.

Sara Sadaka

Director of Administration and Finance

Sara is currently the Director of the Department of Administration and Finance. She is a Human Resource (HR) professional with experience in both Lebanon and the U.A.E. Prior to joining Hedayah, Sara worked as a HR Manager in a local holding company in Abu Dhabi; where she was responsible of starting up a new department of HR. Her experience covered all aspects of the HR function such as HR Administration, Recruitment, Policies and Procedures, Talent Management, Counseling, Employee Relations, Organizational Development. Alongside her primary HR duties, she was responsible of operational and logistics duties in support to the Chairman.

She holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon.

Celeste Hibbert

Director of Dialogue and Communications

Celeste is a communications specialist with over 16 years’ professional experience in public relations and strategic communications.

Prior to Hedayah, Celeste worked for the United Nations and private sector organizations across Africa, Asia and the Pacific regions. Her areas of expertise include developing and implementing government and project communication strategies, behavior change communication campaigns, counter-narratives and digital media strategy. Celeste has applied her professional communications experience on a variety of P/CVE, stabilization and peacebuilding programs in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Syria. Celeste also has significant experience working in Afghanistan on counter-narrative campaigns.

She holds a Postgraduate in Photojournalism and Crisis Communications and a BA in Anthropology and Communications from the University of London. She is also currently completing an Executive MSc in Behavioral Science at the London School of Economics.

Cristina Mattei

Program Manager, Capacity Building Programs

Cristina is a Program Manager within the Capacity Building Programs Department. Throughout her time in the organization, she has been working on the development and delivery of the Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters Program in coordination with the Government of Tunisia among other related activities. She has expertise in youth radicalization and Families and CVE and since 2015 has been working on rehabilitation and reintegration practices. As part of the Capacity Building Programs team, Cristina is primarily involved in training curriculum development and has developed the internal Monitoring, Measurement & Evaluation framework in coordination with the Research & Analysis Department. Cristina is managing the CVE & Education Program and is actively researching to develop a curriculum for social workers, psychologists and educators.

Prior to joining Hedayah, Cristina worked in Brussels in a number of organizations to include Friends of Europe and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She also worked in international security and defence and has been engaged in project management, advocacy and communication. Cristina has a Master’s degree in International and European studies from LUISS University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tuscia University.

Hafedh Dridi

Program Manager, Dialogue and Communications

Hafedh is a seasoned strategic communication practitioner with a decade of experience in strategy development, program design and campaign management. Hafedh joined the team in September 2020 as Program Manager of the Dialogue and Communications Department in which he has the day to day lead of the activities and programs of the department.

Prior to joining Hedayah, Hafedh started his career in marketing with leading companies in advertising and Fast Moving Consumer Goods, where he learned communications best practices before moving to the public / private sector and assisting the Government of Tunisia in delivering effective P/CVE campaigns and messaging aimed at young people at risk.

In Iraq, Hafedh helped to establish the Iraqi Government Digital Service (GDS), a unit operating within the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office to establish the government’s brand online and to provide a platform for the government to undermine extremism narrative and communicate effectively with citizens.

During his career, Hafedh supported a number of strategic communications for governmental institutions, which includes the design of digital services and the delivery of behavioral change campaigns across the Middle East, North Africa, South East Europe and the Caucasus regions. Hafedh is a metrics-driven and highly adaptive professional who possesses excellent project management skills and a proven track record of strategic and operational campaigns management within a variety of settings.

Hafedh has a degree in Business administration with a major in marketing from the University of Management & Economic Sciences in Tunis. A recognized leader, he was the President of the Global Leader’s summit 2010 in Tunisia and held various leadership positions with AIESEC Tunisia from 2004 to 2010. Hafedh speaks fluent Arabic, French and English.

Irene Belmonte

Program Manager, EU STRIVE Global Program

Irene is a Cooperation for Development professional with over ten years experience working on the ground with NGOs in several countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Prior to joining Hedayah, she worked in Sudan with Sudanese Red Crescent as Spanish Red Cross Delegate. She has extensive experience in program and project management, and managing public funds, in different thematic areas, such as women economic and political rights, rural development, education, health, gender violence prevention and gender mainstreaming.

Irene holds a B.Sc. in Sociology, a postgraduate Advanced Study Diploma in International Relations, a Diploma in Cooperation for Development, a Diploma in Conflict Prevention and Risk Management from Complutense University of Madrid and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Strategic Management from EOI Business School in Madrid, Spain.

Sara Zeiger

Program Manager, Research and Analysis

Sara joined the team in August 2012 and supports the Director in providing oversight for the Department’s programs, including the Counter-Narrative Library, non-resident Fellowship Program, and the annual International CVE Research Conference. Sara also currently leads Hedayah’s portfolio on CVE and education.

Sara has worked on various projects at Hedayah, including an app for Monitoring, Measurement, and Evaluation for CVE projects titled MASAR, and Hedayah’s framework for Monitoring, Measurement and Evaluation. She also led and contributed to the development of several collection of counter-narratives for the East and Horn of Africa, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and South East Asia regions. Sara led the Education for Preventing Violent Extremism (EPVE) Working Group under the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid’s Education for Shared Societies initiative in 2018. Sara was also the Co-Director of a NATO SPS Advanced Research Workshop grant on the role of women in CVE.

Sara was Hedayah’s liaison with the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) to support the development and drafting of their framework document, the Abu Dhabi Memorandum on Good Practices for Education, and CVE and follow-up Action Plan. Some of her recent publications include 'Blueprint of Rehabilitation and Reintegration Center: Guiding Principles for Rehabilitating and Reintegrating Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their Family Members'; 'Violent Radicalisation & Far-Right Extremism in Europe'; 'P/CVE in Africa: The role of the mining sector'; and three How-To guides on 'Undermining Violent Extremist Narratives (East Africa, South East Asia & Middle East and North Africa)'.

Prior to joining Hedayah, Sara worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. She also served as a Head Teaching Fellow for the Harvard Extension School and was a Graduate Assistant at Boston University, conducting research on politics and society in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Sara holds an M.A. in International Relations and Religion (concentrations: Security Studies and Islam) from Boston University and graduated as valedictorian with a B.A. in Psychology and Religion from Ohio Northern University.

Suha Shalabieh

Finance and Grants Manager, Administration and Finance

Suha carries more than 15 years of experience in Finance, Administration; and Grants Management. Before joining Hedayah; Suha worked at several international NGOs on projects funded by the USAID, DRL , MEPI and the Dutch Embassy.

Suha holds a bachelor’s degree and High Diploma of Banking and Financial Sciences, specializing in both finance and accounting, from Yarmouk University in Jordan.

Joseph Gyte

Senior Program Associate, Capacity Building Programs

Prior to joining Hedayah, Joseph worked as a Terrorism Prevention Consultant at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He has also worked in the Office of the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, in Brussels, and as a human rights researcher on the rehabilitation of torture victims, in the southern border provinces of Thailand.

He has experience working on full program cycles, including the design, implementation and analysis of capacity building activities and projects, at both the policy and frontline levels. Joseph’s educational background includes a Master’s degree in Terrorism Studies from St. Andrews University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cardiff University.

Jose Simon

Grant and Administration Officer, EU STRIVE Global Program

Jose is a Cooperation for Development and Humanitarian Aid professional with over fifteen years of experience working on the ground with NGOs in countries like Algeria, Sudan, Ethiopia or Haiti. Before joining Hedayah, he worked as an external consultant (working with Hedayah among other organizations) combining it with expertise missions as Red Cross Delegate in Sudan and Algeria. Previously he was the Head of Mission for the Spanish Red Cross in Sudan. He has extensive experience in program and project management, and managing public funds, in different thematic areas, such as food security and livelihoods, climate change, migrations, nutrition, health, water and sanitation, education, humanitarian aid or education for peace.

As a consultant, he has experience in capacity building on proposal writing, development of evaluations and research studies, as well as a training facilitator, mentoring and coaching.

Jose holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Art History from the University of León (Spain), and a postgraduate Advanced Study Diploma in Logical Framework Approach on International Cooperation Projects, from the Open University from Catalonia (Spain).

Julien Domergue

Junior Program Associate, Capacity Building Programs

Julien joined Hedayah in January 2020. Prior to Hedayah, Julien worked as an intern on women, peace and security issues at UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. He also worked as a field researcher on the role of civil society in the democratization process in Malaysia.

Julien has experience working on the design, implementation and evaluation of capacity building projects on CVE, combatting human trafficking and improving women’s access to justice.

Julien’s educational background includes a Master’s degree in International Relations and International Security from Sciences Po Lille as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Political Sciences and Modern Languages from Sciences Po Lille and the University of Southampton.

Lilah El Sayed

Program Associate, Dialogue and Communications

Lilah joined Hedayah in February 2013 and has worked across several departments beginning by supporting the Executive Director Office in addition to all the translation work for the Center in her capacity as an Arabic-English legal translator - certified by the U.A.E Ministry of Justice. In November 2015, Lilah switched to the Department of Research and Analysis as a Research Associate and was managing Hedayah’s Counter-Narrative Library and FTFs Programs Catalogue. She transitioned to Research and Analysis as a Program Officer and in January 2020 transitioned to the Dialogue & Communications Department as a Program Officer.

Lilah focuses on counter-messaging through strategic communications for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Her recent publications include a contributed chapter titled “MENA Governments’ Efforts for Alternative and Counter-Narratives: Religious and Gender Lens” to the DPT – German Prevention Congress PV&E International Conference 2018 Edited Volume titled “International Perspectives of Crime Prevention 11” (December 2020). In addition to, her first co-authored Journal Article titled “Linkages as a Lens: An Exploration of Strategic Communications in P/CVE” published at “The Journal of Deradicalisation” in September 2019. Lilah was also a Co-editor and Contributing Author to Volume 144 of “NATO Science for Peace and Security Series - E: Human and Societal Dynamics” titled “Enhancing Women’s Roles in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE)” [ISBN print 978-1-61499-946-1 ISBN online 978-1-61499-947-8] (February 2019) and the co-editor and contributing author for “Contemporary P/CVE Research and Practice”. Furthermore, Lilah is the main author for “Undermining Violent Extremist Narratives in the Middle East and North Africa: A How-To Guide”, a 9-step framework for developing alternative and counter-narratives, available in English and Arabic and French is forthcoming.

Prior to joining Hedayah, Lilah served as a military field interpreter providing optimal interpretation and translation support to the Military personnel especially female soldiers of U.A.E Armed Forces & Presidential Guard Command. Lilah conducted language training programs in Arabic and English at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit #3, American University and U.S. Embassy in Cairo, and was contracted by the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA.

Lilah has two Master’s degrees, the most recent one is in “Religion, Politics and Citizenship” from University Of Eastern Piedmont Amedeo Avogadro and University of Padua in 2020. Her first M.A. is in “International Law, Diplomacy and International Relations” from Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in 2016.

Iman Badwan

Senior Communications Officer, Dialogue and Communications

Iman initially joined the team as a Communications Intern in 2014 and was hired full time in 2015. Since then, she has managed the corporate communications initiatives and their implementation, which include Hedayah’s website, social media outreach, and branding. As the in-house graphic designer, she also worked on creating the design and layouts of key Hedayah publications such as the 'Blueprint of a Rehabilitation and Reintegration Center', 'Undermining Violent Extremist Narratives: A How-To Guide' series and 'A Man’s World? Exploring the Role of Women in Countering Terrorism and CVE'. Iman also supports initiatives related to strategic communications and youth.

Prior to Hedayah, Iman worked as a Public Information intern with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and has communications experiences from various internships held at international organizations in Abu Dhabi, Florence, and New York.

She holds an MPS in PR and Corporate Communications from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Psychology and Visual Arts (double major) from New York University Abu Dhabi as part of its inaugural class.

Farangiz Atamuradova

Research Associate, Research and Analysis

Farangiz joined Hedayah in February 2018. Prior to Hedayah, Farangiz worked at Delma Institute as a political analyst covering various regional issues. Her internship experiences include the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Royal United Services Institute. At Hedayah, Farangiz supports a number of department’s programs, such as the Annual International CVE Research Conference and MASAR. Farangiz is also providing oversight for the Radical Right Counter Narrative Collection and the Counter Extremism Hub, both projects are funded by EU STRIVE Global.

Farangiz holds a Master of Letters in Terrorism Studies from the University of St. Andrews and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics with International Studies from the University of Warwick. The title of her Master’s dissertation was, Tajikistan: The Case of Religious Fundamentalism & Empowerment of Women as a Method to Counter Violent Religious Extremism and Radicalism.

Denis Suljic

Junior Research Associate, Research and Analysis

Denis joined Hedayah in August 2020. Before Hedayah, Denis worked for several departments in the Government of Canada as a project and policy analyst, including Global Affairs Canada, Employment and Social Development Canada, Health Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Shared Services Canada. Denis’ responsibilities at Hedayah include the support for several programs within the Department including the Counter-Narrative Library, the Fellowship Program, and the Foreign Terrorist Fighters Catalogue.

Denis received his Master's degree from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA), Carleton University, after completing his Honors Double Major degree in Political Science and Sociology at the University of Ottawa. Denis’s Master’s dissertation at NPSIA was entitled “Radicalization to Violent Extremism: Progression of Canadian Muslim Converts Toward Violent Extremism.”

Elaine Ayson

Events and Administrative Coordinator, Administration and Finance

Elaine is an experienced administrative management professional with over 12 years of experience. She joined Hedayah as an Administrative Assistant to then become the Events and Administrative Coordinator. She manages all event logistics and operational administration, from planning to execution, such as conferences and workshops both held local and abroad, and high-level meetings hosted at Hedayah Center. She also supports the Deputy Executive Director of Hedayah.

Prior to Hedayah, she was a Team Administrator for Good Harbor Consulting, a Security Risk Management firm based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She has also assisted the Go live MRO project management implementation of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technology (ADAT) as an ERP Administrator. In 2009, her role expanded by joining a Renewable Energy firm, International Power GDF Suez as an Executive Assistant to the Regional Manager that includes project coordination through programs of the Renewable Energy Fund (REF).

Elaine graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the Holy Angel University and has been a member of Junior Chamber International (Jaycees) since 2003. She is also pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science at the California Coast University.

Fadi Hamad

IT Administrator, Administration and Finance

Fadi has worked as an IT Administrator in several companies in the Middle East, including Aramex and RTS prior to joining Hedayah. Fadi has over ten years of experience and has worked in areas that include Networking, Microsoft Platforms, Servers, IP Networks, and other IT Infrastructures.

Fadi received a B.E degree in computer engineering from Near East University, Cyprus, in 2007.

Masabo Djailani

Logistics Coordinator, Administration and Finance

Masabo is responsible for managing day-to-day logistics within Hedayah, in addition to coordinating logistical operations and administration during Hedayah activities and conference.

In 2009, Masabo began working at ARTE CASA, located in Dubai-UAE as a procurement executive. He worked closely on all Procurement jobs, including placing orders and overseeing logistics. Since joining ARTE CASA he has gradually handled most of the procurement tasks and have gained experience in contacting suppliers while inquiring and placing the orders.

Masabo spent ten years completing his education in Al-Azhar Al-Sharif in Egypt. While at Al-Azhar, Masabo completed Arabic, Islamic studies and social studies graduating with a B.A. in the Department of Social Work and Community Development.

Chidimma Chime


Chidimma is a finance professional with over six years of Experience in financial management and record keeping. Before joining Hedayah, she worked at several international NGOs on projects funded by the USAID, DFID, European Union and Global fund. She has also consulted for local NGOs on the use of QuickBooks Accounting Software.

Chidimma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Nigeria and is currently pursuing a certificate at the Association of Certified Charted Accountants, UK.

Nadine Slim

Finance and Grants Officer

Nadine joined Hedayah in March 2020 and has been supporting the Administration and Finance team since then. She previously worked in the private sector and later shifted to the non-profit sector. Prior to joining Hedayah, Nadine was working as a Senior Regional Finance Officer with an international organization for several years on projects funded by the EU, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Islamic Development Bank and Al Nouri Charity.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Saint Joseph University of Beirut. Nadine is currently pursuing an MBA degree at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in Beirut as well as a Masters degree in Digital Management at the ESSCA School of Management.

Aliza Danish

Capacity Building Programs (STRIVE) Intern

Aliza Danish is a student from Islamabad, Pakistan, studying at NYU Abu Dhabi. She is majoring in Political Science, with a minor in Legal Studies, which allows her to explore her interests in democracy, human rights, ethnic conflict, violent extremism, and more. Prior to her internship at Hedayah, she interned for USAID in Pakistan and has experience working as a research assistant at NYU Abu Dhabi. Having lived in Pakistan her entire life and through the knowledge gained from her academic and work experiences, her interest in understanding why individuals radicalize and what the strategies to curb this phenomenon are, have only grown. It is for this reason that she gravitated towards Hedayah to gain firsthand knowledge about how to help counter violent extremism.

Cadence Cheah

Capacity Building Programs Intern

Cadence is a rising third-year student at New York University Abu Dhabi. A Social Research and Public Policy major, she is interested in education, forced migration, and anthropological lenses of understanding intersectionality and its representations to name a few. She has worked with several non-profit organizations in the past: She interned with Tenaganita Malaysia on combatting human trafficking, and migrant and refugee protection, and Pit Stop Community Cafe where she learned the ways of facilitating social reintegration and subsistence for the urban poor and the homeless in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her volunteering experience is largely centered around issues of migration. In April 2021, she co-led a virtual volunteering initiative for migrant women who experienced forms of exploitation and/ or abuse. She is also currently volunteering part-time with Na’amal as a research assistant for a project on refugee digital livelihoods.

David Ludescher

Capacity Building Programs (STRIVE) Intern

David is currently enrolled in the final semester of his bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the University of Geneva. During his studies he opted for an interdisciplinary focus on political science, law, economics, and history. Last year, he wrote his thesis on the proliferation of the MS-13 in El Salvador, analyzing the push and pull factors leading the local youth to join the gang. He further had the possibility to go on exchange at UC Berkeley, where he enrolled in Peace and Conflict Studies and Middle Eastern studies and where his interest in topics relating to international security, terrorism, and CVE was further sparked. He plans to pursue this interest with a master’s degree related to these topics.

Djordje Vujkovic

Capacity Building Programs Intern

Djordje graduated at the University of Belgrade at the Department of Behavioral Sciences, with a special emphasis on Criminology and Psychology of Crime. During his studies and following graduation he was a teaching assistant for Personality Psychology and Sociology, where he worked with students on various topics including etiology and phenomenology of crime. As his particular area of interest are risk and protective factors for terrorism, he obtained a Master Degree in Political Violence. His master thesis focused on group dynamics of terrorist organizations, process of radicalization and analysis of different push and pull factors of violent extremism.

At Hedayah, Djordje hopes to gain an opportunity to deepen his knowledge on effective capacity building strategies and practices to counter terrorism and different forms of extremism. Apart from interning at Hedayah, he is currently working at the Police College of Abu Dhabi.

Fares Badwan

Dialogue and Communications Intern

Fares is a sophomore at New York University Abu Dhabi double majoring in Legal Studies and Political Science. In his studies, he is particularly interested in studying how law can protect human rights and how to end the discrepancies in law that may sometimes lead to human rights violations. He works as Student Embassy Ambassador Liaison for the Embassy of Azerbaijan where he gained valuable skills in communication with diplomatic missions through establishing ties between the embassy and NYU.

Moreover, he works as a First-Year Dialogue Facilitator at NYU, serving as a mentor for freshmen to help them transition smoothly into the university’s environment through designing and implementing dialogue sessions focusing on topics spanning from identity to mental health. Interning at Hedayah presents an opportunity to combine his interests in human rights and understanding the challenges that youth face.

Giulia dal Bello

Research and Analysis Intern

Giulia holds a bachelor degree in Language, Culture and Society of India and Mediterranean Africa with a particular focus on the history of the MiddleEast, Islamic studies and on the Arabic language. She obtained a Master's Degree in Palestine Studies at SOAS, in London, with a final dissertation on the effects of UNRWA’s education on young refugees’ participation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and on their radicalization. During her studies, she became interested in violent extremism and in the processes that lead to radicalization, hence, upon completion of her degree, she decided to intern with an Israeli NGO working with Israeli and Palestinian students in order to counter the main narrative and promote unbiased education. After that experience, she deepened her knowledge of counterterrorism with specialized courses and collaborations with online think tanks.

Hadeel AlQaysi

Communications Intern

Hadeel is a senior at the University of Sharjah studying to earn a degree in International Relations. She holds leadership positions at the International Relations Society and the Green Policy Sustainability Circle. Hadeel’s interests center around refugee and immigration studies as well as counter terrorism studies, particularly in third world countries.

She is an aspiring human rights lawyer looking to bring change, justice, and equality within the region. While at university, Hadeel was the second place winner at the Dubai Courts “Ibtaker” competition of 2019-2020 in which she brainstormed the initial concept and further developed it with the help of her teammates and led the team to success. Hadeel has played a vital role in managing and running dialogue sessions revolving around social issues faced internationally and their impact on our societies. Hadeel is excited to intern at Hedayah and to further her knowledge and experience in the field of CVE.

Harry Winterbottom

Dialogue and Communications Intern

Harry is currently studying for a Master’s degree in Strategic Communications at King’s College London. This course focuses on geo-strategy, behavioral change, CVE, stabilization and counter-insurgency, target audience analysis and narrative assessment. Harry’s personal research focus is comparing Russia’s involvement in Ukraine and Syria, specifically looking at how identity, memory and securitization framing have played a central role in both. Prior to KCL, Harry obtained a degree in Russian and Arabic from Durham University. This included a year abroad spent in Lebanon and Russia. Harry is passionate about using communications and dialogue, both on a strategic level and a grass-roots level, to bring about behavior change, counter violent extremism and help stop the flow of disinformation. He is looking forward to using this internship as an opportunity to transition from academia into real-world and real-time CVE.

Jethrow Smith

Dialogue and Communications Intern

Jethrow recently graduated with a degree in Politics and Philosophy from King’s College London. During his studies, he focused on the dynamics of technology within political processes, undertaking various quantitative and qualitative research projects. These include analyses of digital micro-targeting technologies in political campaigns; online radicalization linked to conspiracy theories and mis/disinformation; AI in governance; and an empirical and theoretical review of Prevent, a key element in the UK Government’s counter-terrorism strategy. He cares passionately about disrupting the flow of harmful ideas both off and online, believing that technology and behavioral insights can be harnessed to address the root causes of violent extremism.

Pavlina Herentinová

Research and Analysis Intern

Pavlína graduated from Masaryk University in International Relations and Political Science and then worked for the Emirates airline in Dubai. She discovered her passion for preventing radicalization and countering violent extremism and applied for a Master degree program at Leiden University - Global Conflict in the Modern Era, where she specialized in understanding root causes of terrorist actions and contemporary threats, such as foreign terrorist fighters, non-state military actors, insurgency, ideology, but also in counter-terrorism policies of the EU. She concluded with a master thesis on state-militia relations, analyzing the case of Iraq and the Badr Organization while considering the ideological influence of Iran. Pavlína collaborated with several think-tanks and assisted the Czech Member of the European Parliament in Brussels. Currently, she is participating in OSCE-UNODA Scholarship for Peace and Security training program.

Petra Regeni

Research and Analysis Intern

Petra is currently enrolled at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for an MSc in International Crimes, Conflict and Criminology – this dissertation explores the Abu Sayyaf Groups transformation from radical Islamic terrorism to a terrorist criminal enterprise. She also holds a BA Honors in Political Science from Dalhousie University with a dissertation exploring the transforming interpretations of “jihad” within three MENA-based terrorist organizations manifestos. During her BA, she also completed a semester abroad at the Australian National University focused on terrorism/counterterrorism and security studies. Between her degrees, Petra spent 6 months in Gaziantep working at a humanitarian monitoring and evaluation and capacity building organization throughout Turkey, Syria and Iraq. This experience enhanced her knowledge about the importance for localized resilience approaches and community engagement in conflict affected regions. It enhanced her perception about the importance of local grievances for radicalization and humanitarian aid as a tool to combat extremist ideologies and narratives.

Rawia Mosleh

Accounting Intern

Rawia Mosleh is a third-year student at New York University in Abu Dhabi majoring in Economics and Finance. She has experience working in Management Consulting, Academic Research, and Franchise and Corporate law. Rawia’s professional interests include M&A transactions, Financial Services, corporate law, and consulting.

Tamara Volozhanina

Capacity Building Programs Intern

Tamara is a University of Oxford graduate in diplomacy (MSc). She is a research and communications expert who worked in organizations such as World Ethical Data Foundation, UNIDO, Institute of Network Cultures, OPEN GATES Charitable Foundation, etc, Tamara has a strong academic and professional experience in international affairs with a particular focus on CVE, crime prevention and conflict resolution. She is passionate about helping people in the position of vulnerability via target research, capacity building and humanitarian & rescue work. Originally from Russia, Tamara has lived in eight countries and is bilingual in Russian and English with working level of German and beginner Arabic.

Zineb Louali

Communications Intern

Zineb is a student at New York University Abu Dhabi studying Political Science and Business. She developed a passion for International Affairs during her time in high school, where taking part of Model United Nations conferences was one of her favorite activities. She also tried to broaden her understanding of politics by interning at the National Council for Human Rights in Morocco during that time too. Since starting university, she has taken part in many initiatives to sustain communication between her institution and the diplomatic corps of the UAE. She has also worked on another passion of hers, which is Marketing, by taking on positions that allowed her to hone her skills in content creation, design, and advertising.

Adrian Shtuni

Senior Research Fellow

Adrian Shtuni, CEO of Shtuni Consulting LLC, is a Washington D.C.-based foreign policy, security, and strategic communications specialist. He consults for government agencies, academic institutions, international organizations, and private consulting firms in the United States, Europe, and Asia on preventing and countering violent extremism, counterterrorism, political risk, countering foreign propaganda and disinformation, and other transnational threats.

Adrian holds a Master of Science in International Relations and Security from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He has previously held positions with the United Nations, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and various private consulting firms. He has authored numerous studies on drivers and dynamics of violent extremism, the rehabilitation and reintegration of returning foreign fighters and their family members, the role of civil society in P/CVE, community oriented policing for P/CVE, the nexus between organized crime and terrorism, countering violent extremist propaganda online, institutional reform and capacity building in post-conflict environments, etc.

Adrian's work has been published by the National Defense University in Washington D.C., the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, IHS Jane's in the UK, etc. He also develops P/CVE training curriculums, delivers capacity building programs in various languages, implements country and regional P/CVE projects in cooperation with local partners, and regularly provides commentary to media outlets in the U.S. and various European countries on foreign policy and security issues.

Edward Lemon

Associate Research Fellow

Edward Lemon is Assistant Professor of Eurasian Studies at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School, Washington DC.

Between 2018 and 2019, Dr. Lemon was a Global Fellow at the Wilson Center. Before joining Daniel Morgan Graduate School in 2018, he was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Political Science, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Dr. Lemon’s current research interests include the threat of violent extremism and terrorism in Central Asia, with a particular focus on governance and religious freedom. His research has been published in Democratization, Central Asian Affairs, Caucasus Survey, The RUSI Journal, Central Asian Affairs, Review of Middle Eastern Studies, Foreign Affairs and Journal of Democracy. He is the editor of Critical Approaches to Security in Central Asia (Routledge, 2018).

Dr. Lemon is a regular commentator on security issues in Central Asia. His views have featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Times, Radio Free Europe, Vice News, Reuters, the Associated Press and Foreign Policy, and the BBC. He regularly briefs government officials and has presented his research at the Department of Defense, State Department, Chatham House, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Royal United Services Institute. He was recently lead research consultant on the USAID-funded project “Central Asia Secure and Stable Societies,” managing the design and implementation of a mixed methods, multi-country study that examined the drivers of violent extremism in Central Asia.

He received his PhD in Politics and International Relations from the University of Exeter in 2016. He has a MLitt in Middle Eastern and Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St Andrews which he completed with Distinction, and a B.A. in War Studies from King’s College London, which he completed with honors. He speaks Russian, Tajik and English.

Göktuğ Sönmez

Senior Research Fellow

Asst. Prof. Dr. Göktuğ Sönmez got his bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Bilkent University, his Master’s degree in International Relations from London School of Economic (LSE), and his PhD in Politics and International Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

His research areas are Radicalization and De-Radicalization, Violent Extremism, Counterterrorism and Non-State Armed Actors. He is the director of Security Studies at ORSAM and teaches at Necmettin Erbakan University, International Relations Department. He teaches courses mainly on the Middle Eastern politics, political history, terrorism and counterterrorism and Turkish foreign policy.

He published many academic and non-academic pieces in national and international journals, comments on radicalization and terrorism-related topics as well as Turkish foreign policy on several media outlets, directed radicalization-related projects funded by various domestic and international actors, attended many national and international meetings and conferences primarily on radicalization and violent extremism, and occasionally write op-eds for newspapers.

Greg Barton

Senior Research Fellow

Greg is a Research Professor in Global Islamic Politics in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation (ADI), Deakin University where, since August 2015, he has led research on Islam and civil society, democratisation, and countering violent extremism. From 2007 to 2015 he was the Herb Feith Professor at Monash University where he led research on radicalisation in the Global Terrorism Research Centre (GTReC). He taught at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu from 2006 to 2007, and at Deakin University from 1992 to 2006. He is a Senior Fellow with the UAE-based Hedayah Center in Abu Dhabi working on CVE. Greg is one of Australia’s leading scholars of both modern Indonesia and of terrorism and countering violent extremism and has near-native fluency in Indonesian/Malay.

Greg also has a general interest in security studies and human security and a particular interest in countering violent extremism. He continues to research the offshoots of Jemaah Islamiyah, al-Qaeda, ISIS and related radical Islamist movements in Southeast Asia and has been involved in teaching counter-terrorism courses at the Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies (APCSS) in Honolulu and with other institutions and agencies, including for the Australian Federal Police, Victoria Police, the Counter Terrorism branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Countering Violent Extremism Centre in the Attorney General’s Department (now in the Department of Home Affairs). He is often invited by government agencies in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia to teach workshops on violent extremism and terrorism. Since 2016 Greg has been leading the Home Affairs’ Southeast Asian Network of Civil Society Organisations working together against extremism.

At ADI Deakin Greg is a key researcher and leader in both the Addressing Violent Extremism and Radicalisation to Terrorism (AVERT) network and in the Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies (CRIS) where is engaged in research into hate and hateful extremism and the interactions between hateful extremism and violent extremism, both in Australia and in Southeast Asia.

Together with the Director of GTReC, A/Prof Peter Lentini, he led a large ARC Linkage research project examining violent extremist radicalization and counter radicalization. He has just commenced work on a new ARC Discovery Grant funded project (under the leadership of Prof Doug Ezzy, UTas) ARC entitled: Religious diversity in Australia: Maintaining social cohesion and preventing violence. Since 1997 he has held a further five ARC research grants studying Islam and politics in Indonesia.

Over the past 30 years he has undertaken extensive research on Indonesia politics and society, especially of the role of Islam as both a constructive and a disruptive force. He has been active in the inter-faith dialogue initiatives and has a deep commitment to building understanding of Islam and Muslim society. The central axis of his research interests is the way in which religious thought, individual believers and religious communities respond to modernity and to the modern nation state. He also has a strong general interest in international relations and comparative international politics. Since 2004 he has made a comparative study of progressive Islamic thought in Turkey and Indonesia with particular reference to Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah in Indonesia and the transnational Hizmet movement inspired by Turkey’s Fethullah Gulen.

His research Interests include: Islam, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Violent and Hateful Extremism, Radicalisation and Democratisation

CVE Publications (books, reports, chapters, journal articles)
- Barton, Greg. 2005. Jemaah Islamiyah: Radical Islamism in Indonesia, Singapore: Singapore University Press. [also published in 2004 as: Indonesia’s Struggle: Jemaah Islamiyah and radical Islamism, Sydney: UNSW Press]
- Barton, Greg. 2020. ‘Salafist-jihadism in Southeast Asia’. Chapter 8 in Issac Kfir and John Coyne. Counterterrorism Yearbook 2020. Canberra: ASPI.
- Barton, Greg. 2020. ‘The Historical Context and Regional Social Network Dynamics of Radicalisation and Recruitment of Islamic State Foreign Terrorist Fighters in Indonesia and its Southeast Asian Neighbours’, in LaToya Waha (ed.) United by Violence, Divided by Cause, Baden-Baden: Nomos, pp.117-39.
- Barton, Greg. 2020. ‘Contesting Indonesia’s Democratic Transition: Laskar Jihad, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Civil Society’, Chapter 13 in Vandenberg, Andrew and Zuryani, Nazrina (Eds.) Security, Democracy, and Society in Bali, Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan
- Ezzy, Douglas; Bouma, Gary; Barton, Greg; Halafoff, Anna; Banham, Rebecca; Jackson, Robert; and Beaman, Lori (2020) ‘Religious Diversity in Australia: Rethinking Social Cohesion’, Special Issue "Religion in Australian Public Life: Resurgence, Insurgence, Cooption?" Religions, 18 February 2020
- Ware, A., Barton, G., Kelly, L., Sonrexa, J., Husy, D. 2019. Navigating Violent and Hateful Extremism in Complex Settings: The Work of Plan International in Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines. Plan International Australia. 1-28
- Barton, G. 2018. ‘The evolution of modern terrorism’ Jane Ireland (ed.) International Handbook on Aggression London: Routledge
- Vergani, M., Iqbal, M., Ilbahar, E., Barton, G. (2018) 'The 3 Ps of radicalisation: push, pull and personal. A systematic scoping review of the scientific evidence about radicalisation into violent extremism’, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
- Yilmaz, I., Barton, G., and Barry, J. (2017) "The Decline and Resurrection of Turkish Islamism: The Story of Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP", Journal of Citizenship and Globalisation Studies, July 2017, Berlin: De Gruyter Open
- Vergani, M., Barton, G., and Iqbal, M. 2017. ‘Beyond social relationships: investigating the differences between violent and non-violent protesters within the same social movement’ - Journal: Journal of Sociology 53 (2), pp. 445-460.
- Cherney, Adrian, Sweid, Reem, Grossman, Michele, Derbas, Alexia, Dunn, Kevin, Jones, Clarke, Hartley, Jason & Barton, Greg. 2017. "Local service provision to counter violent extremism: perspectives, capabilities and challenges arising from an Australian service mapping project" Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression.
- Barton, Greg. 2015. ‘Australia, Turkey, and understandings of Islam in a secular age: the Islamic State movement and the challenge of rising extremism’ in Michalis Michael (ed.) Reconciling Cultural and Political Identities in a Globalized World: Perspectives on Australia-Turkey Relations. Melbourne: Palgave Macmillan.
- Barton, Greg. 2015. “Islamic State, Radicalisation and the Recruitment of Foreign Fighters in Australia: making hijrah from Lucky Country to God’s Nation”, in Panorama - From Desert to World Cities – The New Terrorism, Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung, Singapore.
- Barton, Greg, Barrelle, Kate, Smith, Debra, Smith, Andrew Building Community Resilience to Violent Extremism: Part 2 - Countering Violent Extremism Evaluation Methodology, Submitted to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria, and the Australia New Zealand Counter Terrorism Centre (ANZCTC) CVE Sub-Committee (Global Terrorism Research Centre – GTReC, March, 2013)
- Barton, Greg, Bakashmar, Muhammad, and Iqbal, Muhammad, Community Integration Support Program (CISP) Evaluation Report Submitted to the Islamic Council of Victoria and Victoria Police(Global Terrorism Research Centre – GTReC, March, 2013)
- Barton, Greg. 2009. 'The historical development of Jihadi Islamist thought in Indonesia', Scott Helfstein (ed.) Radical Islamic Ideology in Southeast Asia, New York: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
- Barton, Greg. 2005. “Making sense of Jemaah Islamiyah terrorism and radical Islamism in Indonesia” in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Samina Yasmeen (eds), Islam and the West: reflections from Australia, UNSW Press, pp. 114-31.
- Barton, Greg. 2005. “Islam, Islamism and politics in Indonesia”, in Damien Kingsbury (ed.) Violence in Between: Conflict and Security in Archipelagic Southeast Asia, Singapore and Melbourne: ISEAS and Monash Asia Institute, pp. 75-103.

Jocelyn Bélanger

Associate Research Fellow

Jocelyn Bélanger is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at New York University Abu Dhabi. He earned his master's degree and doctorate in Social Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

He is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed publications and has received several awards including the APA Dissertation Research Award, the APS rising star early-career award, the Milton Dean Havron Social Sciences Award, and the Guy Bégin Award for the Best Research Paper in Social Psychology. He is the author of “The Three Pillars of Radicalization: Needs, Narratives, and Network.” His work seeks to understand why, and under which circumstances, individuals are willing to sacrifice their lives for a cause, and focuses on developing psychological interventions to reverse the process of radicalization to promote harmonious intergroup relations.

In 2015, he was appointed by the City of Montreal to create the first de-radicalization center in North America to tackle homegrown terrorism.

Lorenzo Vidino

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Lorenzo Vidino is the Director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University. An expert on Islamism in Europe and North America, his research over the past 20 years has focused on the mobilization dynamics of jihadist networks in the West; governmental counter-radicalization policies; and the activities of Muslim Brotherhood-inspired organizations in the West.

A native of Italy who holds American citizenship, Lorenzo earned a law degree from the University of Milan Law School and a doctorate in international relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has held positions at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the RAND Corporation, and the Center for Security Studies (ETH Zurich).

The author of several books and numerous articles, Lorenzo's most prominent work is The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West, a book published in 2010 by Columbia University Press, with an Arabic edition released the following year by the Al Mesbar Studies and Research Center. The book offers a comparative study of Islamist organizing in various Western countries as well as the wide-ranging public policy responses by Western leaders. His most recent book, The Closed Circle: Joining and Leaving the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, offers an unprecedented inside view into how one of the world's most influential Islamist groups operates, and how some individuals made the difficult decision to leave.

Lorenzo has testified before the U.S. Congress and other parliaments; advised law enforcement officials around the world; and taught at universities in the U.S. and Europe. He regularly provides commentary to diverse media outlets (including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, PBS, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya...) and is a columnist for the Italian daily La Stampa. In 2016, he was appointed by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as Coordinator of the National Commission on Jihadist Radicalization.

Martine Zeuthen

Associate Research Fellow

Martine Zeuthen, who is based in Kenya, focuses on extremism and radicalization, countering violent extremism, program management and research methodology. She is Senior Research Fellow in the National Security Studies program at RUSI and set up RUSI’s operation in East Africa.

Prior to working for RUSI she worked in a consulting firm specializing in data collection and evaluation of CVE related programs in conflict affected states. Martine lived and worked in Syria during the first years of her career. She is a Danish anthropologist (BA and MSc) and currently studying a PhD in Crime and Security Studies at UCL.

Martine is leading the CVE work in East Africa. She led the ‘Strengthening Resilience to Violent Extremism in the Horn of Africa’ (STRIVE) program and the follow on, STRIVE II as well as many other research-based CVE projects. Martine is responsible for designing and overseeing implementation and research of all RUSI’s CVE work in the region, which involves managing a highly complex network of stakeholders including law enforcement, government ministries, civil society, religious groups and research organizations.

More recently Martine has in an independent capacity worked on disengagement in the Kenyan prisons and currently she provides M&E and research support to a disengagement program in Somalia.

Martine supports a number of organizations with input on P/CVE and is currently serving as a member of the reference group for Life and Peace Institute as well as a member of an International Consensus Guidelines Committee managed by the Canadian Practitioners Network for the Prevention of Radicalisation and Extremist Violence (CPN-PREV). Recently Martine became a member of the Danish Researchers Network specializing in extremism and radicalization.

Mohammed Abdel Rahem

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Mohammed Abdel Rahem was born in Noövember 1977 in Egypt, is working as Lecturer at the SISD "Section of Islamic Studies in German" Al-Azhar University in Cairo and as Member of the Al-Azhar interfaith Center. He is the former Director of Al-Azhar Observer in Foreign Languages and coordinator of its German Department since December. Dr. Abdel Rahem have studied the Islamic Studies at the faculty of languages and translation in al-azhar University between 1995 and 2000 and was conferred the PhD degree in comparative religion sciences, University of Münster/Germany.

He is interested in the interreligious Dialog and took/still takes apart at various conferences and meetings in this field on the community and international Level. He coordinates tow academic exchange programs of Students with the University of Freiburg and Erlangen (Germany), what means that he conducts a kind of intercultural Dialog between Muslims and European Students.

Dr. Abdel Rahem published some Books and articles about human rights in Islam and Christianity in Arabic and German languages, for example his book about “Religionsfreiheit im Nahen Osten: Islam und Christentum im Vergleich, 2014 (the Freedom of Faith in the Middle East: A Comparative Study between Islam and Christianity), and Rationalität in der islamischen Theologie 2018 (Rationality in the Islamic Theology). He is now Member at the research project “Dynamic of the tradition. The relationship between Figh and theologyBeziehung zwischen Recht und Theologie” at the University of Erlangen, Germany.

Noah Tucker

Associate Research Fellow

Noah Tucker is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Eurasia Center and program associate at George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs Central Asia Program. He was previously Executive Editor for the Not in Our Name film and television series, the first region-wide project designed to prevent violent extremism in Central Asia through community dialogues in areas most directly affected by recruiting to Syria.

Noah has worked as a consultant on multiple collaborative projects for government, academic and international organizations to identify the way social and religious groups affect political and security outcomes in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Recent publications include “Terrorism without a God: Reconsidering Radicalization and Counter-Radicalization Models in Central Asia” (GWU Central Asia Program September 2019). Noah has worked on Central Asian issues since 2002—specializing in religion, national identity, ethnic conflict and social media—and received an MA from Harvard in Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies in 2008. He has spent some six years living and working in in the region, primarily in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and speaks Russian and Uzbek.

Orla Lynch

Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Orla Lynch is currently a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Asc. Dean of Graduates Studies at University College Cork, Ireland. Until 2015 she was Director of Teaching and a Lecturer in Terrorism Studies at CSTPV at the University of St. Andrews.

Orla’s background is in International Security Studies and Applied Psychology; her primary training is as a social psychologist. Orla is a Senior fellow with Hedayah, Abu Dhabi and a Board member of RAN, Europe. She is also a RESOLVE Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, an Anniversary Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence and an Academic Advisor for WAVE Trauma Centre Belfast. Orla’s current research focuses on victimization and political violence in relation to the direct victims of violence, but also the broader psycho-social impact of victimization and the perpetrator-victim complex.

Orla has also examined the notion of suspect communities in relation to the impact of counter terrorism measures on Muslim youth communities. Orla was until recently the principal investigator on a multisite EU funded project that looks at the importance of notions of victimization for former perpetrators of political violence and the role of both former perpetrators and victims in ongoing peace initiatives.

Orla was also previously PI on another EU funded project looking at the needs of victims of terrorism. To date, as PI, Orla has secured €1.4 million in EU research funding, and over two hundred thousand in IRCHSS, SRF and Enterprise Ireland funding. Orla research interests lie in individual and group desistance from political violence, including issues related to deradicalization, the role of grand narratives in justifying involvement in violence and psychosocial understandings of the transitions from violence to peace.

Her recent books include Applying Psychology:
- The Case of Terrorism and Political Violence (Blackwell with Carmel Joyce)
- Victims and Perpetrators of Terrorism: Exploring Identities, Roles and Narratives (Ed. Routledge, London)
- Victims of Terrorism, a comparative and interdisciplinary study (Ed. Palgrave, London)
- International Perspectives on Terrorist Victimisation: An interdisciplinary approach (Ed. Routledge London).

Stuart Macdonald

Senior Research Fellow

Stuart Macdonald is Professor of Law at Swansea University, U.K. Stuart’s research interests lie in criminal law and counterterrorism, in particular terrorists’ use of the internet. His most recent work has examined violent jihadist narratives, their dissemination via social media, and legal and policy responses. Prior to this, his work focused on cyberterrorism, examining definitional issues, threat assessment and questions of response. He has published widely on these topics, including the (co-edited) books Islamic State’s Online Activity and Responses (CRC Press, 2019), Lessons from P/CVE Research: Innovative Methods, Challenges, and Good Practices (Hedayah, 2019), Terrorists' Use of the Internet: Assessment and Response (IOS Press, 2017), Violent Extremism Online: New Perspectives on Terrorism and the Internet (Routledge, 2016), Terrorism Online: Politics, Law and Technology (Routledge, 2015) and Cyberterrorism: Understanding, Assessment and Response (Springer, 2014).

Stuart is Director of Swansea University’s Cyber Threats Research Centre (CYTREC) and a Co-Director of its EPSRC-funded £7.6m CHERISH Digital Economy Centre and £7.5m EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Enhancing Human Interactions and Collaborations with Data and Intelligence Driven Systems. He is also the lead organiser of the biennial #TASMConf (Terrorism and Social Media Conference) and co-ordinates the University’s contribution to the Global Network on Extremism and Technology (GNET). Stuart is a member of the Steering Committee of EUROPOL’s Advisory Network on Terrorism and Propaganda and a member of the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.

Stuart completed his BA in Law (First Class honours) at the University of Cambridge (2000) and his PhD in Law at the University of Southampton (2005). He has held visiting scholarships at Columbia University (2007), the University of Sydney (2011), the Université de Grenobl

Thomas Koruth Samuel

Senior Research Fellow

Thomas Koruth Samuel is at present the Regional Consultant for Terrorism Prevention with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He is focusing on Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism and his chief areas of interest is in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia in particular, and the Southeast Asia region in general. He was also a consultant for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2019 on the subject of utilizing education in countering violent extremism.

Prior to his this, he was the Director of the Digital Strategic Communications Division (DSCD) with the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT), which is under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. He started off as a volunteer Health Officer for World Vision East Timor in 2003 and then moved to the Research and Publications division in SEARCCT in 2004. He served as the division’s director from 2010 to 2016 before assuming the position with the DSCD. He has an honours degree in Biomedical Technology (2000) and a Masters degree in Strategic and Defence Studies (2005) from the University of Malaya, Malaysia.

His main areas of research includes Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), the role education in P/CVE, the role of law enforcement and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in P/CVE, the narratives of the terrorists and the subsequent counter-narratives, the radicalization process, strategic communications and youth involvement in terrorism. He is also very interested in mediation, conflict resolution and ‘spoiler management’ during times of conflict. He lectures frequently on counter-terrorism and international security and has delivered lectures and briefings in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Germany, Japan, Laos, Nepal, Maldives, The Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. Besides delivering papers, he has been a resource person at numerous conferences and workshops for nation-states, International Organizations (IOs), and UN bodies and has facilitated and conducted workshops for the UNODC in the Philippines and Thailand. He has also represented Malaysia and led delegations as an officer for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was awarded the Excellence Service Award by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

He has been interviewed on radio and written several articles, papers and monographs. The monographs that he has written include Aviation Security in Malaysia (2008); Reaching the Youth: Countering the Terrorist Narrative (2012); Radicalisation in Southeast Asia: A Selected Case Study of Daesh in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines (2016); Don’t-Lah Wei: A Peer-to-Peer Resource Guide on Ensuring Your Kawan Never Becomes a Terrorist (2018); and Undergraduate Radicalisation in Selected Countries in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Quantitative Analysis on the Perception of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism among Undergraduates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. (2018).
At the national level, he was appointed in 2018 as an adviser for the Prevention of Violent Extremism and Transborder Studies – Special Interest Group, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK). In 2019, he was appointed as an Industry Advisory Panel (IAP) Member for the International Relations Programme for the Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU). He has also taught at the Masters level in the fields of International Security and Modern Warfare in University Malaya.

At the international level, he was appointed in 2014 as a Senior Fellow with the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (Hedayah Centre) based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2018, he was appointed as a member of the Commonwealth Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Cadre of Experts. He can be reached at thomas.samuel@un.org OR conflict_analysis@yahoo.com


With our expertise, we tackle the threat of violent extremism on all levels from supporting governments in developing their national CVE strategies to engaging with CVE actors on the ground.

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Through its four main departments, Hedayah develops and delivers a series of interrelated programs that help accomplish its mission.

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We are always keen on collaborating with various partners around the world who can complement our initiatives and aid with the challenges of countering violent extremism.

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