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Speaker Biographies

Full speaker biographies will appear here shortly, please check back regularly for updates.


Dimitris Avramopoulos

Dimitris Avramopoulos

European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs


Dimitris Avramopoulos is the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship since November 2014.

Before becoming European Commissioner, Mr. Avramopoulos was Minister of National Defence of Greece (two terms), Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Tourism Development, Minister of Health and Social Solidarity and Mayor of Athens (two terms). He was elected Member of the Parliament several times with the “New Democracy” party (1993, 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2012).

Mr. Avramopoulos served in the Diplomatic Service of Greece from 1980 until 1993. He was Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Director of the Diplomatic Cabinet of the Greek Prime Minister and Consul of Greece in Liège (Belgium) and in Geneva (Switzerland).

Mr. Avramopoulos completed his studies at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences at the University of Athens and his postgraduate studies on International Organisation at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He is Honorary Professor of the State Academy of Technological Sciences of Moscow and of Peking University (Beijing), and Honorary Doctor of ADELPHI University (New York), DREXEL University (Philadelphia), KINGSTON University, European College of Parma (Italy) and DEREE College (Athens).

Mr. Avramopoulos has been bestowed awards and state decorations from many countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Vatican, Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Lebanon.

He is married to Vivian and has two sons, Filippos and Iasonas.

Sir Julian King

Sir Julian King

European Commissioner for the Security Union


Sir Julian King was appointed Commissioner for Security Union on the 19th September 2016.

He joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1985. He has held various positions, including: UK Ambassador to France (2016); Director General Economic & Consular (2014); DG of the Northern Ireland Office London and Belfast (2011); UK Ambassador to Ireland (2009); EU Commission Chef de Cabinet to Commissioner for Trade (2008); UK Representative on EU Political and Security Committee, (2004).

Sir Julian is a graduate of Oxford University. He was awarded the KCVO in 2014; CVO in 2011 and CMG in 2006.

Andres Anvelt

Andres Anvelt

Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Estonia


Education: Tallinn Secondary School No. 21 in 1987; Tallinn Militia Special Secondary School 1989; University of Tartu, law 2000; Tallinn University of Technology, M.A. in public administration 2003

Career: Estonian Police (Criminal Police) 1987–2000, Central Criminal Police, Deputy Director 2000–2002, Director 2002–2003; Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, Police College, Director 2003–2006; Security Adviser to the Commander of the Defence Forces 2007–2011; Member of the 12th Riigikogu 2011–2014; Minister of Justice 2014-2015; Member of the 13th Riigikogu 2015–2016; 2016 - … Minister of the Interior.

Party affiliation: Social Democratic Party 2009–, Member of Board

Membership in representative bodies: XII Riigikogu (Chairman of Anti-Corruption Select Committee 2011–2014), XIII Riigikogu (Chairman of Faction); Tallinn City Council 2009–2011, elected also 2013

Awards: Order of the Cross of the Eagle, Silver Cross 2003; Estonian Police Cross of Merit 1998; Cross of Merit in Honour of the 10th Anniversary of the Estonian Police 2001; Cross of Merit of the Defence League 2003; Cross of Merit in Honour of the 15th Anniversary of the Estonian Police 2006; Cross of Merit of the Estonian Defence Forces for Excellent Service 2009; Cross of Merit of the Estonian Defence Forces 2011; Ministry of the Interior Mission Medal 2015.

Lowri Evans

Lowri Evans

Director-General, DG GROW, European Commission


Lowri Evans was appointed Director-General of DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs on 1 September 2015. She has been Director-General in DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries from 2010 to 2015. Prior to that, she has worked in several policy areas in the European Commission notably Competition and Employment.

She started her professional career in audit and accountancy with Deloitte.

Fabrice Leggeri

Fabrice Leggeri

Executive Director, European Border and Coast Guard Agency


Work Experience

• Executive Director of Frontex (since 16.01.2015)
• Head of the Division “Fight Against Irregular Immigration”, Ministry of the Interior (26.08.2013‐15.01.2015)
• Deputy Head of Embassy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs –
• Embassy of France to the Republic of Korea (2011‐2013)
• Head of the Division International and European Law, Ministry of Defence (2007‐2011)
• Vice‐Prefect of Châteaulin District, Ministry of the Interior (2005‐2007)
• Vice‐Prefect, head of Cabinet to the Regional Prefect of Upper Normandy, Ministry of the Interior (2003‐2005)
• National Expert Detached to the European Commission (2000‐2003)
• Project Leader to the Director for Territorial, Administration and Political Affairs, Ministry of Interior (1999‐2000)
• Deputy and then Head of the Unit “Crossborder Traffic, Frontiers and Visas”, Ministry of the Interior (1996‐1999)

Education and Training

• Graduate of Ecole nationale d’administration (ENA) (1994‐1996)
• Graduate of Ecole normale supérieure (ENS) (1989‐1993)
• Graduate of Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (1990‐1992)
• Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary History, University of Paris (1991‐1992)
• Master’s Degree in Contemporary History (1990‐1991) University of Paris
• First Degree in History, University of Paris (1989‐1990)


“Integration of the Human Rights component and International Humanitarian Law in peacekeeping missions led by the EU », session « Coordination and cooperation of EU Missions with other international Organisations.” Universitat Jaume, Spain, Nov. 2010

Rob Wainwright

Rob Wainwright

Director, Europol


Rob Wainwright was born in 1967 in Carmarthen, Wales, UK. Having graduated in 1989 from the London School of Economics, University of London with a BSc, he worked in the following ten years as an intelligence analyst in the UK in the fields of counter-terrorism and organised crime. Between 2000 and 2003, Mr. Wainwright was the Head of the UK Liaison Bureau at Europol, and also responsible for the Europol National Unit in London. The Liaison Bureaux are a key link in Europol’s cooperation with the EU member states.

In 2003, he was promoted to the position of Director International of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), where he was responsible for its international operations and for developing and implementing the UK strategy against facilitated illegal immigration. Between 2006 and 2009, he was Chief of the International Department of the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). In this leading role, he was overseeing 20,000 law enforcement cases each year as well as establishing the international strategy and operational capabilities of the newly formed agency. His mandate extended from SOCA’s international operations and global partnerships to the worldwide network of SOCA liaison officers. Mr Wainwright was appointed Director of Europol in April 2009. He is also currently an active member of the World Economic Forum, primarily on cyber issues. Rob Wainwright is married with three children. He speaks English, Welsh and Spanish and his interests include history and literature.

Krum Garkov

Krum Garkov

Executive Director, eu-LISA


He has more than 15 years of cross-cultural experiences spanning the public and private sectors, complemented by two Master degrees in the area of information technology and a MBA.

Mr Garkov is a goal-oriented, innovative technology strategist driving large-scale global operations to optimize IT portfolio management and operational efficiency. From 2007 until taking up the ED post in eu-LISA Mr Garkov was Operations Director for the Experian Group ltd., a leading global information provider serving the finance industry. He commanded all delivery centre operations and ensured the alignment of technology solutions with business objectives across Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.

Prior to that, Mr Garkov worked as a Program Manager at Hewlett Packard, a major technology company, where he was responsible for key program initiatives, including a large-scale data centre consolidation and application portfolio consolidation and integration.

From 2003 to 2006 he served the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency as a CIO, where he delivered several successful initiatives, including country-wide implementation of a new core revenue management system and infrastructure. He also led the agency to receive recognition as the first-class ICT organization.

In 1996 Mr Krum joined the Centre for Mass Privatization (Bulgaria), the specialized government agency overseeing privatization of public assets in Bulgaria. In the Centre Mr Krum shared various responsibilities. Initially he was appointed National Coordination Senior Expert to manage information technology strategy and operations. Within two years he was named Deputy Director of ICT.

Krum Garkov holds a M.Sc. in Computer Technologies from Technical University (Varna, Bulgaria) and an MBA in Information Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology (New Jersey, United States). He received executive education from London School of Business & Finance (London, United Kingdom) with a Master of Business Administration in Management Consulting.

Rini Goos

Rini Goos

Deputy Chief Executive, European Defence Agency


Mr. Rini Goos was appointed Deputy Chief Executive at the European Defence Agency on 22 February 2013. Previously, Mr. Goos was the Commissioner for Military Production in the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs. As such he headed the Commissariat and was responsible for consolidating and improving the health of the Netherlands Defence and Security related industry. Highlights were the development and implementation of the offset and industrial participation policy in line with EU and national regulations; safeguarding Netherlands industry participation in cooperative defence programs such as Boxer, NH-90 and JSF; providing export support and channeling security technology development within the EU Framework Programme. Additionally, Mr. Goos was a member of the Netherlands Defence Science Board.

Ger Daly

Ger Daly

Global Defense & Public Safety Senior Managing Director, Accenture


Ger Daly is senior managing director for Accenture Defense and Public Safety with global responsibility for defense, policing, and border and identity business services.

He leads a team of dedicated professionals who assist government and public service organizations that manage the cross-border movement of people, provide national and international security and manage criminal justice systems.

Daly’s defense industry experience spans large-scale enterprise resource planning programs (ERP), supply chain logistics and a range of technology programs that include cloud, data analytics, predictive analytics, and mobility services.

His extensive experience in delivering large-scale identity management projects for public safety and government agencies includes the European Union (EU-VIS visa program) and the national citizen identity program of India (UID). For policing organizations, he has overseen performance and efficiency programs in cost reduction, supply chain and information management. Daly also has led the delivery of innovative operating and investigation systems for police clients around the world.

Alexandra Jour-Schroeder

Alexandra Jour-Schroeder

Director for Criminal Justice, DG Justice, European Commission


Alexandra Jour-Schroeder is Director of the Criminal Justice Department of the European Commission in Brussels. Her department develops European Union policies and legislation to enhance co-operation in criminal matters and to protect rights in criminal procedures. The fight against crime, particularly the financing of terrorism and money-laundering, is one of the priorities of the Directorate. Alexandra Jour-Schroeder and her AML team strongly co-operate with the Financial Action Task Force.

Alexandra Jour-Schroeder is a graduate in law. Following initial assignments in the German federal government, she started working for the European Commission in 1996 where she has held several roles in departments for competition, industry and justice policies. She served as an advisor to EU Commissioners from 1998 to 2007. Since 2011 she has worked in the Justice Department where she has held several management roles. From 2011, she headed the unit in charge of EU criminal law and, from October 2016, led the unit for financial crime. She has been Director for Criminal Justice since March 2017.

James Canham

James Canham

Managing Director - Border Services, Accenture


Jim Canham is managing director for Border Services. His role focuses on helping clients to tackle the issues around facilitating travel, speeding up processing and aiding security at the world’s borders. His responsibilities involve customs, border and identity management and the increasing virtualization of physical borders.

He spends a good proportion of his time in the sky, traveling to client teams around the world to discuss organizational design and digital transformation. His passion is to ensure Accenture’s clients are getting the very best of Accenture. This means sharing knowledge and innovations from other parts of our client portfolio. It also means thinking about how the changing world, particularly changing technology, will impact our clients and, indeed the users of their services.

In addition to his current role, Jim also serves as a member of the Confederation of British Industry’s London Council. He has also written and contributed to a number of publications on customs and border management, and advised the World Bank in developing their Border Management Handbook. A keen blogger, Jim champions initiatives related to mental health and wellbeing.

James Slessor

James Slessor

Managing Director - Public Safety, Accenture


James Slessor is a Managing Director and leads Accenture’s Global Public Safety practice focusing on policing, intelligence, justice, prisons and rehabilitation. This global practice draws together the latest international insight to build new processes, technology solutions and drive innovation within public safety. He brings more than 15 years industry experience to his role supporting policing, justice and public safety organizations to improve operational performance and achieve greater efficiency.

He has a broad knowledge of the changing market place, having led a diverse range of programs across public safety. These include strategic consulting engagements such as efficiency and effectiveness reviews, wider workforce transformations and system requirements analysis, through to stakeholder and program management on large scale transformational programs, including the implementation of operational policing solutions.

James has worked extensively across the UK Criminal Justice system with organizations including the London Metropolitan Police Service (New Scotland Yard), the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, and a number of public safety agencies. He also advises on a number of Accenture’s public safety engagements across Europe, Middle East, South Africa, the US and Asia Pacific. A recognized expert in his field, James has written extensively in leading industry publications on a range of policing topics including the use of social media and police information management. This includes Accenture’s publication on Preparing Police Forces for the Future.

Based in London, he joined Accenture in 1999 with a degree geography from the University of Bristol. He enjoys travel and exploring an interest that has seen him drive a Tuk-Tuk across India and climbing a volcano in Sumatra.

Antti Kolehmainen

Antti Kolehmainen

Managing Director - Global Defence, Accenture


Antti Kolehmainen is a Managing Director and leads Accenture’s Global Defense Business Service.

Accenture Enterprise Services for Defense focuses on enterprise transformation, combining ERP acceleration, defense analytics and strategic change management to help defense agencies reduce costs while ensuring operational readiness and mission success. Clients include defense agencies in the US, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Australia, Singapore, Canada and Japan.

JR Helmig

JR Helmig

Chief Analytics Officer, SAS Federal


JR Helmig has spent 20+ years solving big data challenges for the Fortune 50, for the U.S. Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Treasury, and the intelligence community. As Chief Analytics Officer for SAS Federal, he guides the software company’s federal data and analytics strategy, identifies federal analytics trends and sources of disruption, fosters public-private partnerships, and supports research and development. Helmig is rated as a U.S. Government Master-Level Subject Matter Expert, with experience in operations as well as strategy and technology development. He specializes in the identification, collection, entity resolution, and analyses of large scale data streams.

Previously, Helmig was a Principal at Lockheed Martin where he designed an entity resolution and financial intelligence capability. He was also the Senior Advisor (GS-15) for Program Planning and Coordination, Office of the Director, at the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), during a multiyear $140M modernization of the agency’s technology, data, and analytical capabilities. Prior to 9/11 his financial industry experience includes managing client facing portfolios in excess of $100M for major institutions such as Merrill Lynch and emerging companies. He is an active member of Business Executives for National Security (BENS) and numerous trade associations.

Olivier Onidi

Olivier Onidi

Deputy Director General, DG Home, European Commission


Olivier Onidi is Deputy Director General of the Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs at the European Commission, in charge of Security since 1st December 2016.

His last assignment was Deputy Director General of Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs, with the specific task to coordinate the Commissionwide work related to the Central Mediterranean Route in the context of the refugees crisis.

Previously, he was Director for the "European Mobility Network" within Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, responsible for the development of the Trans-European Transport network infrastructure, the implementation of the Connecting Europe Facility funding instrument and the creation of a Single European Rail area. Prior to this, he was Director for Innovative and Sustainable Mobility within the same Directorate-General, in charge of clean and urban transport, intelligent transport systems and road safety.

He also worked as Deputy Head of Cabinet of the Energy Commissioner, Mr Günther H. Oettinger, as Head of Unit for air transport, aviation safety and environment and Head of the satellite navigation system programme – GALILEO. His first posts in the Commission were assistant to Directors-General in the areas of Energy & Transport, External Relations, the Secretariat General and in the cabinet of the Commissioner for Research and Development, innovation, education and training.

Before joining the Commission, he worked as adviser to the Executive Committee of Belgacom and as public policy Manager at American Express International. Mr Onidi holds Master degrees in Economics, in European Studies and in Business Administration.

Patricia Van de Peer

Patricia Van de Peer

Head of Department of Asylum Support, European Asylum Support Office


Patricia Van de Peer took up the position of Head of Department of Asylum Support on 1 November 2016, after a preceding secondment to EASO for seven months in the EASO Athens’ Coordination for the Operations in Greece. She was formerly responsible for Migration and Asylum, in particular the CEAS related Recasts and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund including their legislative negotiations as senior staff member in the Secretariat of the Committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament. before that, she served in the Directorate-General of the Presidency, in particular in the Directorate Legislative Acts. She started her professional experience as a Barrister, and served afterwards for a number of years as a Prosecutor in the Criminal Court, the Juvenile Court and the Labour Court at the Antwerp Court of First Instance. Her main specific responsibilities related to minors and unaccompanied minors, trafficking and allocation of rights of subsidy assistance to persons in need, including applicants and beneficiaries of international protection. She fostered professional exchanges with the UK Refugee Council in Resettlement and academia including the Migration Policy Center. She was part of projects of the King Baudouin Foundation, in particular on reception of applicants for international protection.

Pierre Mirlesse

Pierre Mirlesse

Vice President, Health & Public Sector, Global Industries EMEA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Pierre Mirlesse leads Hewlett Packard Enterprise Global Industries Health and Public Sector (H & PS) business in the EMEA region.

Pierre joined HP in 1993, advising industries and government organisations in their Digital experience transformation.

He has held a number of executive positions around the globe including Middle East Africa Regional VP, Worldwide SMB VP based in Palo Alto, Asia Pacific sales VP, distribution Director for Emerging markets. Pierre is a recognized industry keynote speaker. He lives in Switzerland with his family.

Sean Patrick O'Brien

Sean Patrick O'Brien

Deputy General Manager & Head of Industry Value Engineering - EMEA Public Services, SAP


Sean is the global lead for SAP's Future Cities and Public Security business. Having 30 years+ experience in Public Sector and Government. Sean has worked in a government security environment during his early career and has worked on an extensive range of technology innovation projects across his career.

Rainer Münz

Rainer Münz

Adviser on Migration and Demography, European Political Strategy Centre


Rainer Münz is Adviser on Migration and Demography at the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), the in-house think tank of the President of the European Commission. He is one of the chairs of KNOMAD, the World Bank’s Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (Washington DC) and co-chair of IOM's Migration Advisory Board (Geneva).

Prior to this he was Head of Research at Erste Group, a retail bank. There his focus was on demographic and macroeconomic research. He also worked as Senior Fellow at the European think tank Bruegel in Brussels, at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) in Washington DC and at the Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

Initially Rainer Münz had an academic career as researcher and university professor (Humboldt University; visiting professor at the Universities of Bamberg, UC Berkeley, Frankfurt, HU Jerusalem, Klagenfurt, Vienna and Zurich. He currently teaches at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) and the Central European University (CEU, Budapest).

Jürgen Ebner

Jürgen Ebner

Head of the Department Central Information Management, Bundeskriminalamt (BKA)


In 1985, Jürgen completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Applied Sciences. From 1989 to 1994 he worked on his Masters degree dealing with Political Economics, at the University of Bonn. Then, from 1997 to 1999 he worked on his Masters degree in “Police Management” at the German Police University in Münster-Hiltrup.

Starting off his career with the Federal Criminal Police Office, he took diverse roles throughout the organisation. First, from 1988 to 1991 he worked in the Personal Protection Division, then from 1991 to 1994 he worked as the State Security (a 24/7 shift service), finishing by functioning as the Cabinet of the President of the Federal Criminal Police Office, dealing with threat analysis, from 1994 to 1997.

Following the completion of his Masters degree at the German Police University in Münster-Hiltrup, from 1999 to 2001 Jürgen went back to work for the Federal Criminal Police Office, within the Cabinet of the President of the Federal Criminal Police Office, this time as Deputy Head of Unit, dealing with speeches and publications.

He then left to go work for Europol in The Hague, Netherlands from 2001 to 2006, as the Head of Directorate Support Unit Cabinet.

He then returned to the Federal Criminal Police Office in 2006 to work as the Head of Unit Strategic planning and early detection in the Division for International Coordination up until 2011. Throughout this time, in 2009 he also was employed in the management studies for security policies for federal and state security authorities.

From 2011 to 2015 he was the Deputy Head of the Personal Protection Division.

In 2015 he became the Deputy Police Leader at the Federal Criminal Police Office for the G 7-Summit.

Since 2016, Jürgen has been Head of the Central Information Management Division of the Federal Criminal Police Office.


Jon Freeman

Jon Freeman

Research Group Director, RAND Europe


Jon Freeman is the research group director for RAND Europe's Innovation, Health and Science group, which provides detailed analysis and considered recommendations to support public policy decisionmakers in the UK and Europe.

He previously worked in higher education, central government and advisory roles. Before RAND Europe, he was head of research development and knowledge exchange at the University of Bath, leading teams that support academics in securing research funding, developing partnerships with companies and exploiting intellectual property. Prior to that he was a research leader at RAND Europe where he focussed on the policy challenges of innovation, skills, and investment decisions for the defence sector.

More generally, Freeman has worked in research, innovation and policy in the public, private and higher education sectors. He worked for 12 years in central government departments and advisory bodies, including the Ministry of Defence, Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and Defence Science & Technology Labs. Through these roles he has managed policy, change and research programmes. His personal research interests include resilience and innovation, environmental security, the science-policy interface, and the governance of innovation and public sector procurement decisionmaking.

Freeman has a doctorate in chemistry from the University of York.

Paul Adamson

Paul Adamson

Chairman, Forum Europe


Paul Adamson is chairman of Forum Europe and founder and editor of E!Sharp, an online magazine dedicated to covering the European Union and Europe's place in the world.

He is a member of the Centre for European Reform’s advisory board, Rand Europe's Council of Advisors and the external advisory board of YouGov-Cambridge, a polling think-tank. He is a member of the board of advisors of the European Institute in Washington DC, the advisory board of the Washington European Society and the advisory committee of the EU chapter of Women in International Security (WiiS).

Paul is a Visiting Professor at the Policy Institute, King’s College London, a patron of the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (UACES) and a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.

He founded the consulting firm Adamson Associates, which was sold to Weber Shandwick and The Centre, which was later sold to Edelman.

In 2012, Paul was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) "for services to promoting understanding of the European Union”, a part of the Queen's 2012 New Year Honours Diplomatic Service and Overseas List. In 2016 he was made a Chevalier in the Ordre national du Mérite by the French government.

Patrick Stephenson

Patrick Stephenson

Deputy Editor, Security Europe


Patrick is Deputy Editor and Webmaster at SECURITY EUROPE. From 2011 to early 2015, he was a speechwriter for the NATO Secretary General. In total, he worked for NATO or NATO institutions for some ten years, including a stint as an editor for The NATO Review, NATO’s flagship publication on transatlantic security issues. Before joining Security Europe, he wrote freelance articles and blogs for Foreign Policy magazine, the US Atlantic Council, Europe’s World magazine, NATO Review magazine and the Huffington Post. He also teaches the occasional course in political science or economics at the University of Maryland in Europe.

Patrick graduated with a BA in the Humanities from Yale. Later, he received an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a second MA in International Economics and European Studies from the Bologna campus of John Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He’s pretty good at French and Spanish, and dreams of someday recovering his mostly forgotten Italian.



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