2020. Forum Speakers
Confirmed speakers and panelists for the 5th Zagreb Security Forum, scheduled on March 13-14th, 2020. 

At the 5th Zagreb Security Forum you will be able to listen, see and meet following experts that will offer their knowledge from the domains of various critical infrastructure protections (energy, water, and cyber).


Dr. Gordan Akrap, Hybrid Warfare Research Institute, Croatia

Born 1966, graduated at Zagreb Faculty of electronics and computing in 1994. In 2011 he received a PhD at the University of Zagreb, in the field of Information and Communication sciences. The title of his PhD was “Informational strategies and operations in public knowledge shaping”. He had an active role in Homeland war. During his career in diplomatic and security structures of Croatia he completed a number of professional courses, including Diplomatic Academy. He is active in research of national and regional security, intelligence and history of Homeland War. He published a number of books, and papers in journals and proceedings. He is a founder and present president of Hybrid Warfare Research Institute.




Prof. Dr. Marc Cools, University of Gent

Cools Marc (b. 1962) holds a PhD in Criminology (Free University of Brussels) and certificates in Business Economics (IPO Management School- Antwerp University) and International Management in the Telecommunications Industry (London Business School). He had different higher-management and board positions in the private security services industry:  Bell Telephone ITT nv, Alcatel Bell nv, Shield nv and Faceo Security & Prevention nv. Currently, he is a member of the board at Securitas Training nv and member of the Mont Pèlerin Society.

He lectured at the Antwerp Police Academy and at the School for Criminology of the Justice Department. He was advisor for the former Belgian Justice Minister, Mr. Marc Verwilghen. Today he is Professor of Criminology at the Free University of Brussels and at Ghent University, he is also Visiting Professor at the Nyenrode University and Paris X University. He also lectures at Antwerp Management School and at the Intelligence & Security School of the Ministry of Defence.



Prof.Dr. Zoran Dragišić is full professor and vice dean for development on Faculty of Security Studies – University of Belgrade. 

He has served in the National Assembly of Serbia since 2016 as part of the parliamentary grouping of the Serbian Progressive Party (Srpska napredna stranka; SNS). He was previously a candidate for president of Serbia in the 2012 presidential election. He graduated from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Security Studies in 1991 as valedictorian and subsequently earned a master's degree (1999) and Ph.D. (2004) from the university's law faculty. He is currently a member of the parliamentary defence and internal affairs committee; a deputy member of three other committees; a deputy member of Serbia's delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly; the head of the parliamentary friendship group with Turkey; and a member of the parliamentary friendship groups with China, Israel, Syria, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. 



Benjamin Fricke, Desk Officer for Security Affairs at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Berlin, Germany. 

KAS is a German political party foundation associated with but independent of the centrist Christian Democratic Union (CDU), has over 100 offices worldwide and runs programs in over 100 countries. KAS is a partner of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the official foundation and think tank of the European People's Party (EPP).

Mr. Fricke also served the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung´s regional program South Caucasus as scientific associate from 2016-18.  He received his M.A. in Statecraft and International Affairs from The Institute of World Politics (IWP) in Washington D.C. in 2013 with integrated research studies at New College in Oxford, England. He was awarded his B.A. in Political Science from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio as a DAAD scholar with two years of prior studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. He has also taught English at a Mapuche elementary school in Temuco, Chile and worked on several high-profile internships, such as at the U.S. Consulate General in Leipzig, Germany, the U.S. Senate, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Washington, D.C., and the German diplomatic mission in New York. In 2014, Mr. Fricke was elected town council member of his hometown of Radis in Wittenberg County, Germany for two years. Since March 2019 Mr. Fricke also serves as advisory board member of the Washington, D.C. based consulting firm Cyber Intelligent Partners (CIP).  



Dr. Laris Gaiser, Faculty of Law and Business Studies, Ljubljana and Faculty of Government and European Studies, Kranj

Graduated in Law at the University of Verona in 2002 with a final dissertation on “The consequences of the devolution of power in United Kingdom and the new role of the State in public economy”, earned his Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) of Milano and, after a specialization in crisis management and humanitarian action at UN Staff College, obtained a Ph.D. in Geopolitical Economy at University Guglielmo Marconi of Rome.From 2012 to 2014 he was Vice President, acting President, of Euro Mediterranean University – EMUNI and member Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Strategic Council. Laris Gaiser is president of Slovenian Paneuropean Movement and Presidency member of International Paneuropean Union (Strasbourg). Involved in strategic consultancy, he also served as general manager in several international companies. As a member of ITSTIME – Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies - at Catholic University of Milan (Italy), Senior Scholar at Center for the Study of Global Issues at University of Georgia (USA) and Visiting Lecturer at Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, he regularly teaches geopolicy, geoeconomy and intelligence issues



Aleksandra Gasztold, Ph.D Habil, political scientist, associate professor, Department of Homeland Security, Faculty of Political Sciences and International Studies, University of Warsaw. 

She conducts research on terrorism, radicalisation using the feminist perspective. Thematic editor (security studies) of the Scientific Quarterly "e-Politikon" of the Political Analyses Center of the University of Warsaw (OAP UW). Expert of the Government Security Centre (RCB). Member of Steering Committee of Women in International Studies in Poland (WIIS Poland). Vice-President of the Anti-Terror System Group Foundation. Selected publications:  “A Feminist Approach to Security Studies”, Przegląd Politologiczny 2017, No. 3; Służby specjalne we współczesnym państwie [Special services in a modern state], (co-editor Z. Siemiątkowski,  Warsaw 2016); “The Problem of Security Through the Gendered Lens”, Annals of the University of Craiova, 2016, No. 1; „Counterterrorism Systems of Spain and Poland: Comparative Studies”, Przegląd Politologiczny 2015, No 3; In the shadow of human frustration – the problem of terrorism in the Arab countries, in: B. Przybylska-Maszner (ed.), Arab Spring, Poznań 2011. 



Przemysław Gasztold (Ph.D.) is an Assistant Professor at War Studies University in Warsaw, Department of Security Threats and Terrorism, and a research fellow at the Historic Research Office of the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw. 

He received his Ph.D. from Warsaw University, Faculty of Journalism and Political Science in 2016. He is currently conducting research on Polish intelligence services, on contemporary terrorism, on factions within the Polish United Workers’ Party, on relations between Poland, the Middle East, and African countries, and on the ties between the Soviet Bloc and international terrorism during the Cold War. He has published Koncesjonowany nacjonalizm. Zjednoczenie Patriotyczne “Grunwald” 1980-1990 [Licensed Nationalism. Grunwald Patriotic Union 1980-1990, IPN, Warsaw 2012, 446 pages], and Zabójcze układy. Służby PRL i międzynarodowy terroryzm, [Deadly Conspiracies. Polish Communist Intelligence Services and International Terrorism, PWN, Warsaw 2017, 422 pages]. He is the co-author (with M. Trentin, J. Adamec) of Syria During the Cold War: The East European Connection, Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder 2014. He has recently published Towarzysze z betonu. Dogmatyzm w PZPR 1980-1990  [Comrades of Concrete. Dogmatism within the PUWP 1980-1990, IPN, Warsaw 2019, 832 pages]. He is an alumnus of US State Department Study of US Institutions Program on National Security Policymaking at University of Delaware (2019). 



Prof. Dr. Artur Gruszczak, Head of the National Security Department at the Faculty of International and Political Studies, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. 

He is expert of the Centre international de formation européenne in Nice. He provided expertise in security, migration and intelligence matters for the Polish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry for Internal Affairs, the Office of the Polish Prime Minister, the European Parliament and independent analytical institutions, such as Statewatch in London, Oxford Analytica and GLOBSEC in Bratislava. His main research areas include: strategic studies; theories of warfare;  intelligence studies; security governance. He published extensively on these topics. His scholarship contains eleven academic books (four as a co-author), editorship of six collected volumes (three as a co-editor), 90 chapters and 60 articles. 

Recently he co-edited two collected volumes for Routledge and Palgrave Macmillan and published a monographic book with Palgrave Macmillan.



Mr. Holger Haibach, head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation office in Zagreb and Ljubljana. 

During his studies in 1997 he was the electoral district assistant of Brigitte Kölsch, Member of the Landtag. From 1995 to 1999 he was a research assistant at the Institute of classic Philology, Justus-Liebig-University, Glessen. From 2002 to 2011 he was a directly elected member of the German Bundestag; Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid; Spokesman of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group for Economic Cooperation and Development from 2009 to 2011. From 2005 to 2011 he was an alternate member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and at the same time member of the Subcommittee on Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. From 2011 to 2013 Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.: Head of the Foreign Office for Namibia and Angola. From 2014 to 2015 he was named Head of the Chile Foreign office based in Santiago de Chile of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. From 2015 to 2018 he was Head of Central Tasks and Services Department of CDU Germany. Since 2019 Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.: Head of the Foreign Office for Croatia and Slovenia.



Boško Jerončić-Grba is a navy commander of the Croatian Armed Forces, currently working as a lecturer at the Croatian Defense Academy teaching C4I, electronic warfare and radar systems. He graduated from Naval Military Academy in Split, where he specialized in telecommunications and radar systems. During his career, he was regional commander of the electronic warfare center, directly subordinated to the Croatian General Staff. Commander Jerončić-Grba has an extensive war experience having participated in the Croatian War for independence during which he was responsible for tasks of establishing, organizing and directing first Croatian military units specialized in electronic warfare.



Darija Jurko is a navy commander in the Croatian Armed Forces, currently working as a lecturer at the Croatian Defense Academy. She is the United States Naval Academy graduate, where she earned a degree in Systems Engineering. During her naval career, she was serving onboard Croatian Navy war ship as a weapons officer and had different staff duties at the Croatian Navy Headquarters. Currently, she is a PhD student in the Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Study at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Split, Croatia.



Hrvoje Karna is PostDoc and Lecturer at Croatian Defense Academy

He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Split, Croatia and has more than ten years of experience in the ICT sector working for Siemens and Atos at various positions.



CDR Grzegorz Łyko, PhD, Chief of Staff, NATO STRATCOM Center of Excellence, Riga, Latvia

CDR Łyko, graduated at Polish Naval Academy in Gdyna, Information operation course and National Defence University, Public affairs course at NATO School, and holds PhD from National Defence University in field of National Security from 2016. He served as Public affairs officer, Strategic communication specialist and in Operational centre of the Ministry of national defence of Poland. Since August 2018 he serves in NATO Strategic Communications centre of Excellence in Riga, Latvia.




 Mantas Martišius, Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania.

Graduated from the Vilnius University in 2000 as a Bachelor in Social Sciences. In 2002 he obtained Master‘s degree in Journalism and a Doctor‘s of Philosophy degree in 2007, the doctoral thesis was "Impact of Information War on Lithuanian Mass Media (in the context of the Second Gulf War)". Currently Mantas Martišius works at the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania, which regulates and supervises the activities of radio and television broadcasters, on-demand audiovisual media service providers falling under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Lithuania, re-broadcasters carrying their activities in the territory of Lithuania and other legal bodies providing distribution services of radio and television programmes on internet for the users in the territory of Lithuania.  

He was designated to the Commission by the President of Lithuania in 2013 and was appointed a vice-chairman by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania in March 2017. Currently he is the chairman of the Commission. He is also an Associate professor in General J. Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania and Faculty of Communications of Vilnius University.

His scientific and educational activity mainly consists of lecturing on information wars, propaganda, impact of information in the global world, theory of propaganda, theory of communications and media and commercial communications.



Ir. Yvan De Mesmaeker Secretary general of the European Corporate Security Association – ECSA 

Yvan De Mesmaeker is a Civil Engineer with over 25 years of professional experience in Corporate Security and Resilience. The European Corporate Security Association - ECSA, a non for-profit Professional Association of Managers and Officials in charge of the Security & Resilience of Corporations and International Institutions.




Prof.dr. John M. Nomikos, RIEAS, Greece

Director at the Research Institute for European and American Studies, Chairman of the Mediterranean Council for Intelligence Studies (MCIS), Chairman of the Greek Intelligence Studies Association (GISA), Chairman of the European Intelligence Academy (EIA) and Founding Editor, Journal of Mediterranean and Balkan Intelligence (JMBI). 

He is Assistant Professor in the Webster University (Athens Campus) and Head, Department of International Relations, History and Politics. He is also Visiting Professor at the Peace Keeping Security Studies (postgraduate program) in the University of Rome (Tre) in Italy. He was Adjunct Professor (2005-2007) at the Department of International Relations in the University of Indianapolis (Athens Camus). He earned his Bachelor Degree in Sociology at the Northeast Louisiana University in 1987, his Masters Degree in European Integration and Cooperation at the University of Hull, 1991, and his Doctorate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy at the Washington International University in 2001. He specializes on transatlantic intelligence studies, intelligence reform, and national security architecture. He has done research and studied in various research institutions in USA, UK, Norway, Finland, Germany and Israel.



Major General Mate Pađen, Commandant of the Croatian Defence Academy “Dr. Franjo Tuđman”

During the Homeland War he assumed a number of command and staff duties: Commander of the Artillery Battery, Deputy Commander and Commander of the Rocket-Missile Division, Chief of Brigade Artillery, Commander of the Ogulin Command Post, and finally Brigade and Regiment Commander. In November 2007, by the Decision of the President of the Republic of Croatia he was appointed the Defense Attaché of the Republic of Croatia to the United States and in April 2008 he was appointed as the Defense Attaché of the Republic of Croatia to Canada as well, based in Washington DC. Upon his return from the United States, on October 1, 2012, he was appointed Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces for Operations, and on June 1, 2014, he assumed the duty of the Director of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces. From March 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017, he was the Military Representative of the Republic of Croatia to NATO and the EU in the Croatian Mission to NATO in Brussels. He was promoted to the rank of Major General on March 29, 2013. 



Dr. Arturas Petkus, NATO Energy Security CoE

Dr. Petkus received his PhD in Laws from Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania) in 2006. He was lecturing as Associate Professor at the university and was involved in scientific research projects dealing with states’ internal security between 2006 and 2015. In 2015 Dr. Arturas Petkus joined the NATO Energy Security Centre of Excellence as a Head of Strategic Analysis Division. His main areas of activities are: performance of energy security related analysis on strategic level; development of methodology and theoretical approach for assessment of energy security risks and threats, contribution to development of NATO ACT Strategic Foresight Analysis Report as well as Framework for Future Alliance Operations Report; contribution to analysis in field of Energy Security in general and Critical Energy Infrastructure Protection in particular.



Eyal Pinko (Navy Commander, retired) 

He served in the Israeli navy for 23 years. In those years he served 4 years in operational duties, 12 years as a project manager for several development programs, and for more than 6 years, as the head of operational and research branch at the Israeli naval intelligence. He served for 5 more years as the head of division at the ministry of defense (Civilian rank equal to RADM). Eyal holds the Israel's security award, prime minister's decoration of excellence, DDR&D decoration of excellence, and IDF commander in chief decoration of excellence. Since August 2017, he is a senior consultant for cyber and maritime cyber, focusing in cyber strategy, risk assessment, threat analysis, risk management and awareness. He holds bachelor’s degree with honor in electronics engineering, and two master’s degrees with honor in political science and in organizational development. Since 2015, he has been a PhD candidate at the Bar-Ilan university and a Research Fellow at the Haifa Maritime Policy and Strategy Research Center. His research focuses on strategy, asymmetrical and hybrid warfare, cyber and weapon systems.




Tomas PLĖTA is a PhD student at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. His main research interests are related to Cybersecurity management of states’ critical energy infrastructure, also data protection in critical energy IT systems, intellectual property, data management issues and cyber security.






Prof.Dr. Iztok Podbregar is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor and Dean.

His major interests concern crisis management, critical infrastructure and human resource management. He teaches at undergraduate, master and doctoral level. He is author of several monographs, books, scientific articles published in Slovenia and abroad. Prof. Podbregar was National Security Advisor to the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Chief of Staff of Slovenian Army, Former Director of the Slovenian Intelligence and Security Agency, Former Secretary of the Slovenian National Security Council, air-force pilot.



Matjaž Prah, HEP d.d.

He spent 30 years in the field of nuclear safety and security.  He was Licensing Manager at the Krško Nuclear Power Plant in Slovenia and later Director General of the Croatian National Nuclear Safety and Security Regulatory Body (State office for Nuclear Safety) from 2005 to 2008 also responsible for development of the subsidiary nuclear safety and security legislation, development and implementation of safeguards measures at national level, and for Technical Cooperation with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency).  

He was involved in a number of the international activities regarding nuclear non-proliferation and technical verification regime in the senior management role or as Project Executive such as CTBTO Integrated Field Exercise (IFE) 2008 in Kazakhstan, Noble Gas Field Operational Test 2009 in Slovakia, CTBTO Directed Exercise 2010 in Jordan as well as Integrated Field Exercise (IFE) 2014 in Jordan and in many others.  He joined the On-Site Inspection Division (OSI) at the CTBTO in 2009 (UN based Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization), where he has been involved in building up the operational readiness of the OSI verification regime element as OSI Divisional Coordinator (role of deputy director). Temporarily, he was re-assigned to be an Special Assistant to the Executive Secretary for the Quality Control and Quality Assurance for the implementation of the on-site inspection programme and oversighted the implementation of the preparatory activities for IFE (February 2013-July 2013) after which he resumed his position of the OSI Divisional Coordinator again. 

 He was also a co-chairman of the United Nations Geographical Information Working Group (UNGIWG) which members 33 International UN based Organizations from 2011 to 2013.

After concluding his term with CTBTO (March 2016), Mr. Prah has been assigned to be a Head of Department for Nuclear Power Plant Krško in Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP). Mr. Prah becomes a member of NPP Krško Safety Committee in June 2019.



Dr. Vira Ratsiborynska is a Research Analyst/ Visiting Scholar at the NATO Defense College.

Her areas of research interests include the relations between the EU-NATO and the Eastern partners, Russia and Central Asia, e.g. in energy, trade, geopolitics, border security, conflict management and peacekeeping. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Strasbourg, France, and wrote her dissertation on the European Neighbourhood Policy (with regard to the East) and publishes extensively in English and French on the topics of the European Union and the Eastern flank’s security, the relations with the Eastern Partnership countries, NATO and Russia. She obtained a Master’s degree in EU Studies from the College of Europe (Belgium/ Poland) and a Master in Political and Social Studies from Sciences Po (France). Her professional experience includes working in the European institutions such as the European Parliament and the European Commission in Brussels. She also has corporate experience in an American public affairs consultancy in Brussels as well as experience in communication and diplomatic fields. Dr. Ratsiborynska speaks English, French, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and German.



Lt. Col. (res.) Ophir Revach is the Chief Executive Office of the European Jewish Congress's Security and Crisis Center (EJC-SACC). 

With its main headquarters in Vienna, the SACC is active in hundreds of communities all over Europe to enhance security and civil resilience, counter terrorism and violent extremism, and develop community-based security cooperation with law enforcement, intelligence and governments.

Mr. Revach has thirty years extensive experience in these fields working at the Israeli Prime Minister's Office, where he held a number of senior positions in the fields of security, intelligence and crisis management.  Before that he served at the Israeli Defense Force as a combat officer.  He has graduated his degree in Political Studies at the Bar-Ilan University.



Prof. Dr. Shlomo Shpiro, president of International Intelligence History association, Israel, Head of the Europa Institute at bar Ilan University and Senior Research Fellow at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies. 

Since 2008 he is also Chairman of the International Intelligence History Association (IIHA). He specializes in intelligence, terrorism and security studies. His research activities concentrate on the role of intelligence services as political mediators in the international arena, the intelligence activities of terror organisations, intelligence ethics and political influence, and on security crisis management and crisis communication.




Prof.Dr. Polona Šprajc is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor in the Department of Personnel and Vice dean for educational activity. Her major research interests concern human resource management, marketing and business ethics. She teaches on undergraduate and master level. 

She is author of chapters in books and articles in scientific and professional journals, published in Slovenia and abroad.




Prof.Dr. Darko Trifunović, Director of the Institute for National and International Security, professor at Faculty of Law, Administration and Security, Megatrend University, Belgrade.

Dr Trifunovic was elected as guest professor at FUDAN University – Center of American Studies, Shanghai, China. Senior Research Fellow and lecturer at Faculty of Security Studies-University of Belgrade. He is Senior Adviser at the Research Institute for European and American Studies, Greece, Athens. He is a specialist in Security studies, Intelligence & Counterintelligence studies as well as Counter-Terrorism, National and International Security studies. He is a former diplomat (First Secretary of the Foreign Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the United Nations). Dr. Trifunovic is the representative for Serbia and Montenegro of International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA); Defense & Foreign Affairs publications; and the Global Information System and he is member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Transnational Studies, Munich, Germany. The Shanghai Center for International Studies appointed him as the first foreign expert for the Olympic Games (2008) security preparation in China. In 2010, he is engaged in World Expo Security preparation and is a Member. Dr Trifunovic is regular speaker at International Counter Terrorism Institute, Tel Aviv, Israel, and Prof.Dr Darko Trifunovic is one of the founding Members of the International Counter Terrorism Academic Community (ICTAC). He has published numbers of academic books papers and articles.



Dr. Giliam de Valk initiated, coordinated, and lectured at different academies a minor intelligence studies. Dr. G.G. (Giliam) de Valk (1961) studied at the Law Faculty of Leiden University. He wrote his dissertation (2005) at the Law Faculty of University of Groningen on the quality of intelligence analyses: Valk, Giliam de, Dutch Intelligence: Towards a Qualitative Framework for Analysis. Den Haag: Boom juridisch, 2005. Since 2016 he is assistant professor at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) of the Leiden University. He lectures and researches on intelligence, analysis and methodology. After his dissertation he started to work as a lecturer at the Department for Political Science (2006-2008) and at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (2007- 2016) of the University of Amsterdam. At this Institute, he was the initiator and coordinator of the Minor Intelligence Studies (2007-2016). In 2012, he transformed this Bachelor Minor Intelligence Studies into a center: the Ad de Jonge Center for Intelligence and Security Studies. In 2016, he and his team transferred to the ISGA (see above).From 2006-2011, he was a lecturer for the History of International Relations Section at the University of Utrecht. He taught on issues as intelligence studies, strategy (Von Clausewitz), humanitarian intervention, counterinsurgency, terrorism and counter-terrorism. 

  • 2006 onwards, he participates as a guest lecturer in the analyst education of the Defense Intelligence and Security Institute (DISI). 
  • 2010-2012, he was employed at the Netherlands Defense Academy in Breda, at Faculty of Military Sciences, where he had put up and coordinated a Bachelor Minor Intelligence Studies.
  • 2004-2012, he was the secretary of the Netherlands Intelligence Security Association, of which he is still a board member. 
  • 2006-2012, he was a member of the Archive Committee of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
  • Since 2009, he participates in the Dutch Counterinsurgency Network.
  • Since 2012, he is a member of the Dutch Think Tank Integral Security.
  • De Valk participates for many years in Red Team exercises concerning vital infrastructure and corporate business.



Prof.Dr. Mladen Vedriš, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law – Head of Department of Economic Sciences. 

Prof.Dr. Mladen Vedriš was born on 29 December 1950 in Zagreb. His scientific research career began at the Center for the Research of Migration of the University of Zagreb. In 1990, he became president of the executive council of the city of Zagreb (the equivalent today is the position of mayor). In 1992, he became a member of the national government, eventually serving as the deputy prime minister for economics. From 1993 to 1995 he was president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. In 1996, he founded the strategic consulting company Sonder d.o.o. Since 2005, he has been a professor at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb and the head of the Department of Economic Sciences. He has been a member of the council of the Croatian National Bank, the president of the Advisory Council for the Agency for Promoting Exports and Investment, a member of the Economic Council of the Prime Minister of Croatia, and since 2011, president of the Partnership Council of Zagreb. He is an expert in the area of macroeconomic analysis, regional development, industrial policy, and competitiveness. He has published several scientific and professional works and has participated in several foreign and domestic scientific research projects.



Prof. Dr. Slavko Vidović, Infodom d.o.o. Croatia.

Throughout his career he has been active in leading large-scale projects in the area of state authority, public companies and organisations. In addition to that, through his scientific-educational efforts he has contributed to a number of scientific and research projects, such as artificial intelligence-specific area, supporting systems in decision-making and application development. 

He lectures at the Faculty of Organisation and Informatics of the University in Zagreb and holds membership at the National Competitiveness Council, PMI and Tele Management Forum.



Dr. Vlasta Zekulić, NATO HQ - Operations Division

Dr Zekulic works for NATO’s HQ, Operations Division, Operational Preparedness and Planning Section. She joined the NATO International Staff after completing her Croatian military career as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2017.

As an infantry and military police officer, she held numerous command and staff positions, including several deployments to operational theatres. Since late 2014 she served at the Allied Command Transformation, Strategic Plans and Policy Division, where she led the development of high level policy papers and strategies on hybrid warfare, resilience, and Readiness Action Plan. This work led to a posting as a deputy head in the Strategic Assessment Element of the Emergency Security Challenges division in NATO HQ. In this capacity she worked on developing strategic assessments aimed at identifying emerging crisis and enhancing situational awareness for use by the Secretary General and the Chairman of Military Committee. In her current role she leads development of operational policies and strategic-level assessments to bolster Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture, preparedness and crisis management. She holds bachelor degrees in computer science, criminalistics and criminology, as well as masters and PhD in International Relations and National Security.