Speakers and Key Figures

A number of well-respected world class speakers presented at the 24th IAPTC Annual Conference.

Speaker and key figure biographies are listed below in alphabetical order. Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.

Lieutenant Mahmoud Ibrahim Alomari

Conference Role: Speaker: International Police Partnership to Build Operational Capacity

Current Position: Instructor, Peace Keeping Operations Training Center (PKOTC), Amman, Jordan

Read biography

Lieutenant Mahmoud Ibrahim Alomari joined the police in February 2006. In his career as a police officer, he worked at the Tourism Police Department in several places and duties such as operations, escorting and administrations officer. During that period he had his Diploma, and after finishing it he was attached to the Royal Court to work in escorting section as a tour guide for the Royal guests, also he was attached to King Abdullah II Award for Excellence in Government Performance and Transparency to develop the operational section in the tourism police.

In 2013 he joined the United Nation Police in Darfur UNAMID as OIC JOC officer in a team site called Umbaru. After his return to Jordan in 2014 he was posted as an instructor at Peace Keeping Operations Training Center (PKOTC), Amman, Jordan.

In addition to his work as an instructor at the PKOTC he works as public relations officer and training curriculum development officer. Last year he was chosen to be a gender instructor for the (2018-2021) Jordanian National Action Plan for the Implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

Lieutenant Alomari lives with his wife and their twins in Amman, Jordan. He has Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Diploma in Tourism and Guiding.

Beth Asher

Conference Role: Speaker: Ethics, Conduct and Discipline

Current Position: Senior Programme Officer, Conduct and Discipline Unit, Department of Field Support, United Nations Headquarters

Beth provides strategic and policy guidance to UN leadership on measures to combat sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations civilian and uniformed personnel serving in peace operations.

Read biography

Beth previously worked with the Department of Justice in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, from 2004-2008. She provided legal guidance to the Chief International Prosecutor on the management of cases of war crimes, organized crime and corruption, as well as the development of related legislation and policy. While serving with the UN Mission in Kosovo, Beth also acted as the Coordinator of the External Relations Section of the Department of Justice, where she oversaw the provision of mutual legal assistance between Kosovo and other jurisdictions.

Beth holds a law degree, a masters’ degree in international human rights and humanitarian law, and a degree in fine arts.

Lt General (Retired) Hernan Felipe Flores Ayala

Conference Role: Host 2019

Current Position: Vice Minister of Defense Policy, Peru

Read biography

General (Retired) Hernan Felipe Flores Ayala graduated into the Artillery Branch in 1980. He has extensive staff and command experience and some key appointments held have included:

  • General Commander of the 3rd Armored Brigade – Moquegua
  • General Secretary of the General Command of the Army
  • General Commander of the Army Personnel Command
  • General Inspector of the Army
  • Chief of the General Staff of the Army
  • Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces
  • Adviser to the Chief of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces
  • Adviser to the Ministerial Office in the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion (MIDIS)

Major General John Boswell, DSD

Conference Role: Conference Dinner Host and Speaker

Current Position: Chief of Army, New Zealand Defence Force

Read biography

Major General John Boswell holds a Masters in Defence Studies, a Masters of Philosophy (Defence and Strategic Studies), a Masters of Management, Bachelors of Arts (History) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration.

He has deployed on operations with the United Nations in Angola, East Timor and to the Middle East. He deployed to Afghanistan in April 2010 as the Senior National Officer and Commanding Officer of the New Zealand Provincial Reconstruction Team. Major General Boswell was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Decoration (DSD) in recognition of his service in Afghanistan.

As a senior officer, Major General Boswell has held a variety of appointments including Head of Strategy Management (Army), Acting Deputy Chief of Army, and the Chief Staff Officer – Joint Plans at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand. In 2016 he was posted to Defence Headquarters as the Assistant Chief Strategic Commitments and Engagements and, in early 2018, was posted back to Army as the Land Component Commander.

Major General Boswell was appointed Chief of the New Zealand Army on 10 September 2018.

He is married and has a son and a daughter. His interests include all sports, either as a participant, administrator or spectator.

Luis Miguel Carrilho

Conference Role: Speaker

Current Position: United Nations Police Adviser, Department of Peacekeeping Operations

Read biography

Mr. Luis Carrilho studied at the Instituto Superior de Ciências Policiais e Segurança Interna.

He worked in the office of the President of the Republic of Portugal as the Head of Security, and as the Commander of Close Protection of the Security Police in Lisbon.

Luis’ first United Nations Mission was in Bosnia and Herzegovinia (UNMIBH) from 1996 to 1998. He also served in the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) from 2000 to 2001.

Since 2009, Luis has served as United Nations Police Commissioner in three UN peacekeeping operations.
In 2009 to 2012, he served in the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT); in 2013 to 2014, he served in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH); and in 2014 to 2016, he served in the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

Brigadier (Retired) Farooque Choudhury

Conference Role: Speaker: Capacity Building Providers and Recipients

Current Position: Chief of Training of Trainers Centre of DPKO-DFS/Integrated Training Service in Entebbe, Uganda

Read biography

Brigadier Choudhury possesses extensive experience in UN peacekeeping, especially in the fields of training and operations. As the Senior Training Officer of Integrated Training Service (ITS) of DPKO/DFS from 2008 to 2012, he led a team of military and police training experts to provide training guidance, support and standards to Member States in their conduct of pre-deployment training.

He has worked extensively with partners both within and outside the UN to produce core peacekeeping training standards and specialized training materials for use by Member States in pre-deployment training of uniformed peacekeeping personnel, as well as for pre-deployment, induction and on-going training of civilian peacekeepers.

His most notable accomplishments have been managing the development and initial roll-out of materials and exercises for integrated training on Protection of Civilians for military, police and civilian peacekeepers and development and delivery of a comprehensive induction programme for Heads of Military Components of UN peacekeeping missions.

Brigadier Choudhury holds a Master’s degree and is a graduate of the Defence Staff Colleges in Bangladesh and India. He is married and has two children.

Colonel Helen Cooper, DSD

Conference Role: IAPTC President Designate

Current Position: Acting Deputy Chief of Army, New Zealand Defence Force

Read biography

Colonel Helen Cooper enlisted into the New Zealand Army in January in December 1998 and served initially as a Territorial Force soldier with the Wanganui West Coast Taranaki Regiment in the Royal New Zealand Infantry Corps. In January 1990 she transferred to the Regular Force and graduated in December 1990 into the Royal New Zealand Corps of Transport.

Helen deployed with the Cambodian Mine Action Centre as the Logistic Technical Advisor from October 1999 to April 2001. She completed the RNZAF Command and Staff College Course, at Whenuapai in 2003.
Helen deployed to East Timor in 2002, and to Lebanon with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation in 2011.

On 8th June 2017, Helen was promoted to Colonel and posted as the Assistant Chief of Army – Delivery. She was appointed to the role of Acting Deputy Chief of Army on 10th August 2018.
Helen was awarded the Distinguished Services Decoration in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her contribution to the Army Transformation Programme.

Helen is married and has two children.

Lesley Connolly

Conference Role: Speaker: Women, Peace and Security

Current position: Senior Policy Analyst in the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations, International Peace Institute

Read biography

Lesley Connolly holds a Masters of Arts (MA) in International Relations and International Law from New York University, USA. Her Master’s thesis focused on UN peace operations fatalities and the correlation between use of force in UN peace operations and malicious act fatalities against UN peacekeepers in Mali, CAR and the DRC.

Lesley also hold a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) in Social and Transitional Justice from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her Master’s thesis focused on Sierra Leone’s transitional justice process and to what extent the Special Court and Truth and Reconciliation Commission were able to address gender inequalities in the country.

From 2012 to 2015, Lesley was based at the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) as the Senior Program Officer in the Peacebuilding Unit, in Durban, South Africa. There, she focused on peacebuilding policy development and capacity building to address the root causes of violence and encourage reconciliation, specifically in Madagascar, Liberia and South Sudan. She also worked closely with the African Union’s Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development Program and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, aiming to provide more coherence and coordination within peacebuilding initiatives of the two institutions.

Lesley Connolly joined the International Peace Institute in 2016. Her work focuses on issues peacebuilding and sustaining peace, partnerships with the African Union and scenario based training for senior leadership.

Lieutenant General (Retired) Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz

Conference Role: Speaker: Security Within Missions

Current position: Brazilian National Secretary for Public Security

Read biography

Lieutenant General Cruz career with the Brazilian Army spans 47 years. He has held a number of senior appointments including Infantry Brigade Commander, Division Commander, the Brazilian Army Deputy Commander for Operations, and projector coordinator for ‘Brazilian Land Forces 2035’.

He was a member of the Advisory Group to the World Bank that produced the World Development Report 2011, and in 2012, he was a member of the Senior Advisory Group (SAG) to the United Nations that reviewed the rates of reimbursement to the Troop and Police Contributing Countries in peacekeeping operations.

His peacekeeping appointments of note include Force Commander for the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) 2007 – 2009, Force Commander for the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) 2013 – 2015.

In 2017 Lieutenant General Cruz was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General to report on “Improving Security in Peacekeeping Missions”, with recommendations to prevent and reduce fatalities in UN missions.

Lieutenant General Cruz is married and has two sons and one daughter.

Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies, MNZIM

Conference Role: Host

Current position: Vice Chief of Defence Force

Read biography

Air Vice-Marshal Tony Davies joined the RNZAF in 1984 as an Officer Cadet and trainee pilot. After gaining his wings Air Vice-Marshal Davies entered the Air Transport role and flew Andover and Hercules aircraft. In 1999 Air Vice-Marshal Davies was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZIM) for his role in the 1998 mid-winter Antarctic rescue mission from McMurdo Station.

In June 2000 Air Vice-Marshal Davies graduated from the USAF Air Command and Staff Course at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, before returning to New Zealand as the Assistant Director of Joint Operations and Plans at Defence Force Headquarters in Wellington. In December 2003 he was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander and appointed as Commanding Officer No 40 Squadron in a position he held until January 2007 when he took up the J35 position at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.
In January 2008 Air Vice-Marshal Davies was promoted to Group Captain and posted to Air Staff as Assistant Chief Air Force Capability. He then took up his dual role as Officer Commanding 485 Wing and Senior Commander Auckland in November 2009 before attending the Royal College of Defence Studies in London in 2013.

Air Vice-Marshal Davies was promoted to Air Commodore on 13 September 2013 and has held a variety of command and Headquarters positions including Assistant Chief of Air Force Capability, Assistant Chief Strategic Commitments and Intelligence, and Air Component Commander at Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand.

Air Vice-Marshal Davies was promoted to his current rank on 23 March 2016 when he assumed the role of Chief of Air Force, and following this was appointed Vice Chief of Defence Force effective 10 September 2018. He is a champion for enhancing diversity in the NZDF, and promoting innovation, empowerment and leadership across all ranks, particularly at junior levels.
He is married and has two teenage sons.

Kurt Eyre

Conference Role: Speaker: Lessons Learned From Recent Joint Training Experiences

Current position: Training Coordinator with the International Security Sector Advisory Team, The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces

Read biography

Kurt Eyre is a leadership and professional development expert working extensively at the executive and operational levels within and across policing, justice and security sectors. Specialising in international leadership and training development, Kurt advises on the design, coordination and implementation of programmes supporting performance improvement and reform in enhancing citizen security.

Formerly head of the UK College of Policing’s International Academy (Bramshill), Kurt was the national lead in researching and developing policing assistance programmes in support of the UK Government, EU, Sovereign States, Commonwealth and UN. Masters qualified in international security sector management at Cranfield University, Kurt has worked in supporting the Commonwealth, UK academic institutions and co-leading on the European policing Agency (CEPOL) Future Leaders programme and Middle East Counter-Terrorist curricula and strategy development.

Kurt helped establish the original pan-EU and Canadian Security Sector Reform Master Class for strategic policing advisors (now coordinated by ISSAT) and was the former UK voting member of the CEPOL Governing Board as well as being an inaugural member of Interpol’s International Training Advisory group. Previously, Kurt worked in management consultancy at Ashridge Business School and held a Commission in the UK Royal Marines.

Colonel (Retired) Roberto Gil de Vargas

Conference Role: Facilitator: Security Within Missions, and Thematic Discussions

Current position: Adviser, Uruguay National Support System for Peacekeeping Operations. Colonel Gil is also the current IAPTC Executive Committee Military Chair

Read biography

Colonel Gil completed 40 years active service with the Uruguay military. His national service has been complimented by extensive peacekeeping experience. He has undertaken deployments to Haiti, the Sinai, Liberia, Riwanda-Burundi, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Cambodia, and received medallic recognition for those missions.

He has more than thirty-five years of international experience in education and training of military and police in multilingual environments. He also has had a long association with the IAPTC; he was first appointed as the IAPTC Executive Committee Military Chair from 2012 to 2013, and then again in 2016.

Colonel Gil speaks, Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese.

Brigadier General (Retired) Gabriel Jorge Guerrero

Conference Role: Speaker: The Police Strategic Guidance Framework: Considerations in Training

Current position: Peace Operations Instructor at the Argentinian Armed Forces Joint Staff School. He also is an adviser for peace operations working groups and task forces.

Read biography

Brigadier General (Retired) Guerrero’s peacekeeping experience has included an assignment in 1993 as Military Observer with the United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ).

In 1998 he was assigned as G4 of the Stand by High Readiness Brigade for UN operations (SHIRBRIG) in Denmark, where he was involved in planning and training activities that prepared the Brigade to be operational in 2000.

In 2004 he was appointed as Argentinean Liaison Officer with the Mission Interim Force (MIF) to the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti MINUSTAH, and was subsequently reassigned as the Chief Military Personnel Officer.

He was redeployed once again to MINUSTAH 2012–2014 as the Deputy Force Commander.

Brigadier General Guerrero holds a Bachelor in Strategy and Organization, and is married with four children. He is fluent in Spanish and English.

Dr Eric Kleijn

Conference Role: Speaker: The Role of Peacekeepers in Protecting Cultural Property

Current position: Senior Technical Advisor, UNESCO HQ in Paris

Read biography

In February 2018, Dr Kleijn (Netherlands) began a two year secondment to the 1954 Convention and the Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit. As a cultural historian, he has specialized in Western architectural and urban history, remote sensing, and geo-information systems. He was head of the department for research and specialist advice at the Netherlands Cultural Heritage Agency, before becoming the Secretary to the Board of Directors.

He is also an army reserve Lieutenant-Colonel with some 35 years’ service, 24 of which was involved in the protection of cultural heritage. As a military instructor he supported several missions to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Lebanon.

Lieutenant General Carlos H. Loitey

Conference Role: Speaker: Special Focus Topic Action For Peace

Current position: Military Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General

Read biography

Lieutenant General Carlos H. Loitey attended the Command and Staff Course at the Uruguayan Staff College in Montevideo and subsequently the Armed Forces War College, and he has extensive command and staff experience.

As a Major he was Deputy Commander of the 14th Infantry Parachute Battalion in Toledo and, in 1999, as a Lieutenant Colonel he commanded the 15th Mechanized Infantry Battalion. As a Colonel, he commanded the 1st Infantry Brigade from 2006-2009, and as a Major General he commanded the 2nd Army Division which was stationed on the border with Argentina.

He has served as Chief of Staff of the Uruguayan 5th Infantry Brigade, Chief of Staff of the 4th Infantry Division, Director of the National Peacekeeping School and Deputy Chief of the Army Staff.

In 2012 Lieutenant General Loitey became Chief of the Army Staff and Director of the National Support System for Peacekeeping Operations. In 2015 he became the Mission Chief of the Uruguayan Armed Forces and Defense and Military Attaché to the United States, and Delegate to the Inter-American Defense Board in Washington DC.

Lieutenant General Loitey has extensive experience of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations having served in five Missions: on the Iran-Iraq border in 1989 (UNIIMOG); in Cambodia in 1993 (UNTAC); Rwanda in 1994 (UNAMIR); DR Congo in 2002 (MONUSCO); and Chad and CAR in 2009-2011 (MINURCAT).

Lieutenant General Loitey is married with two children.

Colonel Marco Antônio Estevão Machado

Conference Role: Speaker: Lessons Learned From Recent Joint Training Experiences

Current position: Commander of the Brazilian Peace Operations Joint Training Center (CCOPAB)

Read biography

Colonel Machado started his initial military training in February 1983. His peacekeeping experience has included:

  • Company Commander in UNAVEM III (Angola) – 1996
  • Military Observer in UNMIN (Nepal) – 2006
  • Chief of MINUSTAH Planning Section (Haiti) – 2010
  • Deputy Military Advisor at the Brazilian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York – 2016-2017

The Honourable Ron Mark, MP

Conference Role: Speaker

Current position: New Zealand Minister of Defence, and Minister for Veterans

Read biography

Hon Ron Mark is New Zealand’s Minister of Defence, and Minister for Veterans. He has been in the role since the formation of the Coalition Government in October 2017.

Mr Mark was born in Masterton and raised as a ward of the state. He grew up in a number of foster homes in Napier and the Wairarapa before attending Tararua College in Pahiatua.

At the age of 16 he was accepted into the New Zealand Army’s Regular Force Cadet School, Waiouru, graduating into the Regular Army in 1971 as a soldier mechanic. After serving six years in the ranks he was accepted for Officer Cadet School and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1978.

Mr Mark passed selection for the NZSAS and was then one of five New Zealand Army officers sent to assist in setting up a new multi-national peacekeeping operation in the Sinai. He completed two consecutive tours and returned in 1983. He left the NZ Army in 1985 as a Captain to take up an offer of service with the Royal Army of Oman and the Sultan’s Special Forces. In 1990 he retired from the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces as a Major.

Mr Mark was first elected to Parliament in 1996 as a New Zealand First List MP and held a range of portfolios including spokesman for Defence, Law and Order, Corrections, Police, Mental Health, Veterans’ Affairs, Disarmament and Arms Control, Sport and Recreation, Youth Affairs, Local Government, and Building and Construction.

In 2010 he was elected Mayor of Carterton and was re-elected unopposed in 2013. Also in 2013 he was appointed by the Minister of Health to both the Wairarapa and Hutt Valley District Health Boards, where he worked with the board of Capital & Coast DHB. He resigned as mayor and relinquished all his DHB appointments upon being re-elected to Parliament in 2014.

Mr Mark is of Maori and Irish descent. His iwi affiliations are Ngati Raukawa, Te Arawa, Tuwharetoa, Ati Awa, Ngati Porou, Whakatohea, Rangitane and Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa.

During his career outside military service Mr Mark has been actively engaged in Maori issues, as Chief Executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities (an economic development group for Maori business interests), as the lead negotiator for a major Treaty of Waitangi settlement, and has been involved in a variety of Maori land and housing trusts.

He is the father of five and grandfather of 13, and lives with his partner Christine on the outskirts of Carterton where they relish the peace and quiet of country life.

Major General Marcelo Marcos Montaner Mazzeo

Conference Role: Facilitator: Thematic Discussions

Current position: Chief of Staff Uruguayan Army. In his current position he is Head of the Peacekeeping Missions National System, is in charge of Force Generation, training activities, management of Uruguayan troops deployed in the to the various mission areas.

Read biography

Major General Montaner’s previous appointments have included Director of the Army Military Academy, Commander of the 2nd Army Division and, later, Chief of the Armed Forces Mission of Uruguay in the United States of America.

Major General Montaner’s peacekeeping experience has included a deployment to the Multinational Force and Observers Group in the Sinai, the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2003 as a United nations Military Observer, and in 2009 as the National Contingent Commander of the “Uruguay IV” Battalion in MONUSCO, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Major General Montaner and his wife have two sons.

The Honourable Stuart Nash, MP

Conference Role: Speaker

Current position: New Zealand Minister of Police

Read biography

The Honourable Stuart Nash was sworn in as Minister of Police, Revenue, Fisheries and for Small Business in October 2017 following the general election.

Minister Nash first entered politics in 2008 as a list MP and has been the Labour spokesperson for Police, Energy, Revenue, Forestry, Economic Development and Land Information.

In his maiden speech Minister Nash described himself as first and foremost a public servant, employed by the people of New Zealand; and as a social democrat committed to sustainable economic development and growth.

Prior to entering politics Minister Nash worked in senior management in small and large organisations in both the private and public sectors. His wide-ranging career has included roles in IT, sales and marketing, business strategy, resource planning, strategic planning and general management.
Minister Nash completed a Bachelor of Arts (History) at Victoria University before moving to Canterbury University where he gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Forestry and a Masters in Forestry Science. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma and Master’s Degree in Business Management and a Master of Law.

Brigadier (Retired) Riana Paneras

Conference Role: IAPTC Executive Committee Police Chair; Speaker on Coordination and Community Engagement, and Facilitator for the thematic discussions.

Current position: Head, Institutional and Operational Partnership Service, United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU)

Read biography

Brigadier (Rtd) Riana (Hester) Paneras took early retirement from the South African Police Service as a Brigadier General after 37 years of service, where after she worked as a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in the Addis Ababa office before joining UNOAU. She also served in the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Mission in Darfur – first as the Deputy Police Commissioner for Policy and Planning from 2010 to 2011 and as the Police Commissioner from 2013 to 2015. She has been a member of the AU Police Strategic Support Group since 2014 and was responsible for coordinating the development of Policy, Guidelines and SOPs for the AU on policing in peace support operations.

She is an experienced trainer and curriculum developer and have recently led the development of two training packages for the African Union (Police Pre-deployment Training for Individual Police Officers and Gender Mainstreaming and Dealing with SGBV in Peace Operations for Civilians, Military and Police). She has also been a mentor for the United Nations Senior Mission Leadership Programme. She has participated in the Challenges Forum and is involved in the review of the Considerations for Leadership in Peacekeeping document.

She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a focus on Policy Analysis, Organisational Development and Police Management.

Squadron Leader Fiona Pearce

Conference Role: Speaker: Female Peacekeepers

Current position: Military Gender Advisor to the Office of Military Affairs

Read biography

Squadron Leader Fiona Pearce is an Australian Air Force officer with a logistics background. Amongst some notable achievements was her employment in strategic capability acquisition projects, support planning for humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations, and exercising technical control over all Air Force Movements staff, including responsibility for air terminal and aircraft refuelling services throughout Australia and overseas. She joined the United Nations in January 2018.

In 2002-2003 she deployed to East Timor as part of the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), and in 2004 she deployed to the Solomon Islands as part of the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Fiona has a Masters in Management in Defence Capability Development and Acquisition.

Mark Pedersen

Conference Role: IAPTC Executive Committee Member, Moderator for various panels, Speaker for Security Within Missions

Current position: Chief of the Integrated Training Service, DPKO/DFS

Read biography

Mark Pedersen has served with the UN since 1993. The majority of his service has been in the field where he has worked as a civil affairs officer and a political affairs officer. At headquarters in New York he has worked on policy, political, training and mission support issues. He is currently the Chief of the Integrated Training Service within the Policy, Evaluation and Training Division. Prior to joining the UN, he served in the New Zealand Army in the Royal New Zealand Artillery from 1977 to 1993.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Powell ED, RNZIR

Conference Role: Master of Ceremonies

Read biography

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Powell has served in the NZ Army in both full- and part-time capacities since 1981, having been recruited while a student at Auckland University.

He has served with the Auckland and Wellington Battalions in various command and staff appointments and also as an instructor at the Tactical School at Waiouru.

Chris has completed 3 operational tours of duty with the Army in Timor Leste, Bosnia and Herzegovinia, Lebanon and the Golan Heights.

Chris was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 20 October 2008 and on 1 November 2008 assumed command of 3rd Auckland (Countess of Ranfurly’s Own) and Northland Battalion Group.

He has also served with the NZ Police from 1991 to 2010. All his service has been in uniform where his last posting was as Shift Commander, North Shore City Police; an appointment he held for 4 years.

Chris is married with two children and enjoys spending time with family, sport and fishing.

Jennifer Pulliam

Conference Role: Speaker: Capacity Building Providers and Recipients

Current position: Division Chief in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Global Programs and Initiatives (PM/GPI) at the United States Department of State

Read biography

Ms. Pulliam formerly served as the GPOI/APRRP Regional Manager for Africa and the Near East, developing strategic program guidance and overseeing training and equipping activities in these regions.

Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Pulliam worked as an Academic Program Officer at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, one of five regional centers under the U.S. Department of Defense, to conduct security-related seminars, workshops, and research activities. Before joining the government, Ms. Pulliam worked with multiple defense contracting companies and, previously, as a business management consultant.

Ms. Pulliam has a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy, a Master of Arts in International Affairs, a Master of Business, and undergraduate degree in Economics and Government.

Colonel Mustafizur Rahman, BSP, SGP

Conference Role: Speaker : Lessons Learned From Recent Joint Training Experiences

Current position: Senior Instructor at Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT) 2010 – 2013, and 2016 to present.

Read biography

Colonel Mustafizur Rahman, BSP, SGP commissioned in 1987. He is an active member of IAPTC and participated in all the annual conferences since 2010. He was also directly involved in organizing the 16th and 19th IAPTC Annual Conferences which was held at BIPSOT in the year 2010 and 2013 respectively.

In 2016, he represented the Military Chair during the 22nd IAPTC Annual Conference in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since 2016, he has been acting as the Secretary of Secretariat of the AAPTC at BIPSOT.

Presently, he is working as the Chair of United Nations Infantry Battalion Manual (UNIBAM) Review Committee.

Colonel Rahman’s peacekeeping experience has included:

  • United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina 1994-1995;
  • MONUSCO 2014-2015 as a Battalion Commander during which time he received ‘FORCE COMMANDER’S CERTIFICATE OF COMMENDATION’ for extreme bravery, and was subsequently awarded the awarded with ‘BSP’ and ‘SGP’ medal by the Bangladesh Army.

Colonel Rahman has a Masters of Defence Studies. Other than English he is also fluent in French. He is married and father of one daughter and one son.

Flight Lieutenant Libby Reardon

Conference Role: Speaker: Moderator for Coordination and Community Engagement

Current position: Conducting research for PhD

Read biography

Libby is an officer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

She has deployed to the Middle East and Timor-Leste, with a non-operational deployment to Thailand and Vietnam. She is currently residing in Suva, Fiji and pursuing a PhD through the University of the South Pacific, sponsored by the Chief of Defence Force (NZ).

Her research considers the Pacific Perspectives on the Utility of UNSCR 1325 – with data gathered from interviews with members of the Fijian, Papua New Guinea, Tongan and NZ militaries. She is contributing a chapter for a book “Mapping Security in the Pacific: A Focus on Context, Gender and Organisational Culture”.

Libby has two Masters qualifications, one in International Relations (thesis was on the South China Sea), and the other a Masters in Adult Literacy Education which she used for a period of teaching indigenous adults in the outback of Australia.

Mr Josef Reiterer

Conference Role: Speaker: Coordination and Community Engagement

Current position: Chief of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Readiness and Training Section (RTS).

RTS serves as an entry point for training, exercises and other staff development aspects of networks, partners, UN agencies and OCHA.

Read biography

Josef Reiterer deployed several times to operations in highly demanding environments. From June 2008 to August 2010, Josef led DPKO’s civilian pre-deployment training team in Brindisi, Italy, from which 1500 newly hired peacekeepers graduated in less than two years.

After his return to UN OCHA Geneva in August 2010, Josef dedicated two years to inspiring OCHA surge personnel for strengthening rapid response in humanitarian crises.

In June 2013, Josef became Chief of OCHA’s Civil-Military Coordination Section, which was the UN-system wide focal point on humanitarian civil-military interaction. After heading the Section for almost six years, Josef has been appointed Chief of OCHA’s Readiness and Training Section.

Mr David Shearer

Conference Role: Keynote Speaker

Current position: Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Read biography

Mr. Shearer brings extensive political and humanitarian experience to his current position. He held elected office in New Zealand as a Member of Parliament from 2009 until 2016, during which time he also served as the Leader of the Labour Party and the Opposition from 2011 until 2013.

Prior to this, Mr. Shearer served as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative, Resident Coordinator, and Humanitarian Coordinator in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) (2007-2009). He has held several senior positions with the United Nations, including Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory, Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Chief of OCHA in Belgrade among others. He has been an associate with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and undertaken assignments with the International Crisis Group. He has also headed Save the Children’s operations in Sri Lanka, Somalia, Iraq and Rwanda. He is the author of numerous publications in the areas of conflict resolution, effective interventions for peace and humanitarian affairs.

In 1992 Mr Shearer, and his wife Anuschka Meyer, were named the Herald New Zealanders of the Year for their work with the Save the Children Fund in Somalia. In 1993 Mr Shearer was also appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire for welfare services to children in Somalia; and in 1994 was awarded Save the Children’s International Award for Gallantry for service in areas of conflict.

Mr. Shearer holds an MSc in Resource Management from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
He is married and has two children.

Mr Martin Snedden

Conference Role: Conference Dinner Speaker

Read biography

Martin is an engaging speaker on sport, business and leadership as well as a humorous after dinner speaker

Martin is an in demand keynote speaker who was charged with organising and delivering the Rugby World Cup in 2011, the largest sporting event to be held in New Zealand to date.

With a background that included Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Tourism Industry Association and involvement with other significant World Cup sporting events, Martin will share with the 24th IAPTC Annual Conference dinner audience his internationally acclaimed success story by providing insights of the challenges building relationships and uniting a multitude on international and national bodies, service providers, sponsors, and spectators to work together and deliver what was a hugely successful event.

He will speak about the behind-the-scenes planning considerations involved with ‘world-stage’ events, rather than the sports events themselves. He will touch on aspects of leadership, contingency planning, training, and risk management. He will also talk about what went wrong and how those occasions were met and managed. In doing so he will relate his experiences and lessons learned to the theme for our conference and provide advice that can be related to planning multi-national, multi-agency peacekeeping operations.

Martin is very much looking forward to being our guest dinner speaker.

In January 2012 Martin was made a Champion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Minister Plenipotenitary Ashraf Swelam

Conference Role: IAPTC President

Current Position: Director General, Cairo International Centre for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

Read biography

Ashraf Swelam is a Yale World Fellow (2007), a Munich Young Leader (2012) and a visiting lecturer of Foreign Policy at the American University of Cairo (AUC). He holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from Cairo University and an LLM in International Economic Law from Warwick University (1999).

Ashraf is an expert on Egyptian-American relations, having served as a political officer at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington D.C. (2000-2004) and an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (2005-2007).

He has held senior leadership positions with business NGOs in Egypt, including Director General of Egypt’s International Economic Forum (2009-2011) and Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the Egyptian National Competitiveness Council (2012).

Ashraf served as Lead Counsel to the Constitutional Committee that drafted the new Egyptian Constitution. On leave from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) from 2008-2013, Ashraf was a Senior Policy Advisor to one of the leading presidential candidates (2011-12), and editor and lead author of his presidential platform.

Ashraf joined the Cairo Centre in 2013. He is currently serving as the President of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centers (IAPTC) (2017-2018) and the Chairman of the Integrated Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Training Group (IDDRTG) (2017-2018). He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the African Peace Support Trainers Association (APSTA) (2013-to date).

Sarah Taylor

Conference Role: Speaker: Women, Peace and Security

Current position: Women, Peace and Security, International Peace Institute

Read biography

Sarah Taylor holds a Master of Arts from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and an Master of Philosophy and a PhD from the New School for Social Research in New York, all in Political Science.

In her academic work, Sarah has conducted research on women conflict negotiators, particularly in Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, and has written on numerous aspects of the women, peace and security agenda.

From 2008-2014, Sarah was the Executive Coordinator of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security. Under her leadership, the NGOWG developed innovative policy briefings and accountability tools for the UN Security Council’s obligations on women, peace and security.

In 2014, Sarah joined Human Rights Watch as the Women, Peace and Security Advocate in the Women’s Rights Division, focusing both on international accountability frameworks on women’s rights in conflict, and on women, peace and security concerns in specific country situations, including in Burma, Afghanistan, Syria, and the Central African Republic.

Sarah joined the International Peace Institute in August 2017, and is responsible for the organization’s work on women, peace and security.

Chief Superintendent Evelyn Thugea

Conference Role: Speaker: Capacity Building Providers and Recipients

Current position: Chief of Staff to Commissioner of Police, Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF)

Read biography

Chief Superintendent Evelyn Thugea joined the RSIPF in 1990 and after graduating from the academy, she was posted to general duties.

Evelyn has worked in various divisions within the RSIPF including the Criminal Investigations Department, Criminal Records Office, Administration, Special Branch, Protection and Guarding Unit, Professional Standards and Internal Investigations and as the Staff Officer to the Deputy Commissioner (Operations). She was seconded to the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat in Wellington, New Zealand to draw up the strategic plan for the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Women’s Advisory Network (PICPWAN).

She holds an International Diploma in Modern Management and Administration, and Bachelor of Arts Degree (majoring in Pacific Policing, Management and Public Administration).

Evelyn is married and has four children.

Inspector Camilla Unsgaard

Conference Role: IAPTC Executive Committee Pedagogical Chair; and Knowledge Cafes Director

Current position: Course Director and Course Designer, Swedish Police Peace Support Operations & International Development Cooperation

Read biography

Inspector Camilla Unsgaard has some 18 years’ experience in police education, training and exercises with research based pedagogy and didactical methodology. Her work has included course design, curricula development, policy development, Train of Trainers, pre deployment training, mission specific training, senior leadership training, scenario based training and exercises. As project manager she also works with capacity development for peacekeeping training institutions including reaching UN training recognition on pre deployment training (e.g. Jordan 2016). She has also been a Desk Officer responsible for recruit, deployment, training and contingent management of Swedish police officers to UNMIL between 2011-2013. January 2017 – July 2018 she was on temporary leave from Swedish Police, as Project Manager and Civilian Head in the Core Planning Team for Exercise Viking 18 at Folke Bernadotte Academy.

Dr Lotte Vermeij

Conference Role: Moderator for Coordination and Community Engagement; Female Peacekeepers; and Facilitator for the Thematic Discussions. IAPTC Executive Committee Civilian Chair.

Current position: Senior Advisor to the Norwegian Armed Forces.
She is also developing the “UN Peace Operations Handbook on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” in partnership with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Read biography

Dr Vermeij has more than a decade of experience working on a variety of international peace and security issues, during which she has been engaged in the development and delivery of peacekeeping training for the UN, African Union, NATO, ICRC, and national peacekeeping training centers across the globe. Her areas of expertise include UN peace operations; protection of civilians; child protection/ children and armed conflict; conflict-related sexual violence; community engagement; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR); civil-military coordination; female engagement teams; and gender.

She has several years of field experience in (post-) conflict zones across the African continent, and her work took place in areas including the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Uganda.

Dr Vermeij holds a PhD degree in Disaster Studies and an MPhil degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. She has published widely and most recently contributed chapters to the edited volumes “UN Peacekeeping Doctrine in a New Era: Adapting to Stabilisation, Protection and New Threats” (Routledge, 2017) and “UN Peacebuilding Architecture: The First Ten Years” (Routledge, 2016).

Lieutenant Colonel Petter Vindheim

Conference Role: Speaker: Coordination and Community Engagement
Current position: Commandant of the Norwegian Defence International Centre NODEFIC

Read biography

Lieutenant Colonel Vindheim started his career in the Norwegian Army in 1986. His first operational deployment was to Mogadishu in 1993 (UNOSOM II) as a part of the Norwegian contingent, and has since then been an observer in the Middle East (UNTSO), staff officer in Darfur (UNMIS) and Afghanistan (ISAF).

After 4 years as a staff officer in a NATO Headquarters, he joined the Norwegian Defence International Centre (NODEFIC) in 2013. NODEFIC is a part of the Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC), and is a knowledge- and training centre offering expertise and individual training on UN- and NATO operations.

At the end of March this year, Lieutenant Colonel Vindheim returned to Norway after a year as the Deputy Chief Joint Mission Analysis Centre (JMAC) in United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). He took the position as the commandant of NODEFIC on the 1st September.