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Speaker Biographies

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


Julian King

Julian King

Commissioner for the Security Union, European Commission


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.

Antonio Missiroli

Antonio Missiroli

Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO


Dr. Antonio Missiroli is the Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges.

Prior to joining NATO, Dr. Antonio Missiroli was the Director of the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) in Paris (2012-17). Previously, he was Adviser at the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (BEPA) of the European Commission (2010-2012); Director of Studies at the European Policy Centre in Brussels (2005-2010), and Senior Research Fellow at the W/EU Institute for Security Studies in Paris (1998-2005). He was also Head of European Studies at CeSPI in Rome (1994-97) and a Visiting Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford (1996-97).

As well as being a professional journalist, he has also taught at Bath and Trento as well as Boston University, SAIS/Johns Hopkins, at the College of Europe (Bruges) and Sciences Po (Paris). Dr. Missiroli holds a PhD degree in Contemporary History from the Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa) and a Master’s degree in International Public Policy from SAIS/Johns Hopkins University.

Despina Spanou

Despina Spanou

Director Digital Society Trust & Cybersecurity DG CONNECT, European Commission


Despina Spanou is the Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity at the Directorate-General Communications Network, Content and Technology. In this capacity she is responsible for cybersecurity policy and law, digital privacy, connected cities and mobility, digital health and e-government as well as electronic identification. She oversaw the work on the actions on Cybersecurity adopted in September 2017, including the Cybersecurity Act and Recommendation on large scale cybersecurity incidents. She is a member of the Management Board of ENISA and of the Steering Board of CERT-EU. She recently led the restructuring of the Directorate to expand on research technology and capacity building in cybersecurity.

She was previously Director for Consumer Affairs at the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers (2013-2017). She has served as Principal Adviser in the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers where she was responsible for communication and strategic issues.

She was the Deputy Head of Cabinet for the European Commissioner for Health and Consumers Mr. Kyprianou (2004-2008) and for the Commissioner for Health, and later Education & Culture, Mrs. Vassiliou (2008-2010).

Despina Spanou started her career at the European Commission at the Directorate General for Competition in 2003. She had previously practised European law with the Brussels branch of a US law firm. She is of Cypriot origin, a member of the Athens Bar Association and holds a Ph.D. in European law from the University of Cambridge.

Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson

Head of European Cybercrime Centre , EUROPOL


Steven originates from Ayrshire in Scotland and was a Police Officer in Scotland from 1985-2015.

He performed a variety of senior Detective roles and worked in covert policing, major investigations, sex offender management, CT investigations, witness protection, cybercrime and cyber enabled crime including online child sexual exploitation.

He commenced as Head of EC3 in January 2016 and is responsible for the central collation of criminal intelligence on cybercrime across the EU, supporting member state investigations into Online Child Sexual Exploitation, Cyber-dependent crimes, non-cash means of payment fraud and Crime on the Dark Web.

He is also responsible for the Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce (JCAT), a team of specialist cyber investigators seconded to EC3 from multiple countries. His teams at EC3 further provide digital and document forensic support in complex cases across EU, strategic analysis of threats and trends, liaison with industry, academia and non-law enforcement partners, prevention and awareness raising, and capacity building.

Robert Hannigan

Robert Hannigan

Former Director General, GCHQ


Robert Hannigan was Director of GCHQ, the UK government’s largest intelligence and cyber agency, from 2014-17. Hannigan has a long history of involvement in cyber security and technology, having drawn up the UK’s first Cyber Security Strategy and outlined the government’s ambition of making the UK ‘the safest place to live and do business online’. He set up the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre as part of GCHQ, which was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in 2017, and launched the active cyber defence programme for the UK in 2016.

Hannigan strongly promoted technical skills in his leadership team and his term as Director saw the biggest internal transformation of GCHQ since the end of the Cold War. Hannigan served as Security Adviser to the UK Prime Minister from 2007-10, giving advice on counter terrorism and intelligence matters. As Head of Intelligence, Security and Resilience in the UK Government’s Cabinet Office, he was responsible for the funding and oversight of the three UK intelligence agencies.

For nearly ten years Hannigan lived in Belfast and worked on the Northern Ireland Peace Process as Tony Blair’s principal civil service adviser. He was responsible for negotiations with the political parties and paramilitaries, as well as liaison with the US, Irish and other Governments. He is the only civil servant credited with great creativity in Tony Blair’s autobiography.

He has a particular interest in Bletchley Park, where he is a Trustee, its codebreaking and the birth of computing.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology and a member of the Ministry of Defence Innovation Advisory panel with Ron Dennis and Tim Peake.

Jürgen Schneider

Jürgen Schneider

Head of Product Security, SAP Global Security


Dr. Jürgen Schneider is the Head of Product Security at SAP. His area of responsibility includes definition, facilitation and enforcement of SAP's secure Software Development Lifecycle (secure SDL) for SAP's products and cloud services, consisting of security training and education for SAP's development workforce, security risk assessment methodology, security planning, secure programming, security testing, security validation, security response and security research. In previous roles at SAP, Jürgen headed security and identity management development as Vice President of SAP's NetWeaver technology platform and, as a developer at SAP, implemented security functions in the AS ABAP kernel. Dr. Schneider studied computer science and received a Master and PhD degree from the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Cinzia Missiroli

Cinzia Missiroli

Director of Standardization and Digital Solutions, CENELEC


Ms Cinzia Missiroli holds a Master Degree in Political Science and International Relations with a specialisation in European Affairs.
After a few years spent as a lobbyist in Brussels, she joined the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre in 2006 as Programme Manager in charge of Consumer Products, Nanotechnologies, Food and Accessibility.
Since 2012, when she was appointed Unit Manager of the ‘Sustainability & Services’ Unit, Cinzia has closely followed horizontal topics such as Smart activities (-cities, - grid, - meters), Energy, Environment, Ecodesign, Services, (Cyber)security and Privacy.
Since July 2017 she has held the function of Director for Standardization and Digital Solutions within the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre.
Furthermore, Cinzia acts as the Secretary of the CEN and CENELEC Technical Boards and is responsible for overall support to the development and smart delivery of European standards.

Nienke van den Berg

Nienke van den Berg

Director, Z-CERT


Nienke van den Berg is an experienced manager in setting up new organizations in the field of cyber security and cybercrime. Nienke has in the past, among other things, been at the start of GovCERT.NL the High Tech Crime Team of the National Police. In spring of 2017 she started the company Z-CERT; the Computer Emergency Response Team for the healthcare sector.

Thomas Boué

Thomas Boué

Director General, Policy — EMEA, BSA l The Software Alliance


Thomas Boué oversees the BSA | The Software Alliance’s public policy activities in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. He advises BSA members on public policy and legal developments and advocates the views of the ICT sector with both European and national policy makers. He leads on security and privacy issues as well as broader efforts to improve levels of intellectual property protection and to promote open markets, fair competition, and technology innovation in new areas such as cloud computing.
Prior to joining BSA, Boué served as a consultant in Weber Shandwick where he advised clients on a wide range of technology and ICT-related policy issues and represented them before the EU institutions and industry coalitions. In this role, he also served as policy and regulatory adviser for both EU and US telecom operators. Prior to that Boué worked for the EU office of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry where he was responsible for the lobbying activities towards the EU Institutions in the areas of trade, education, and labor, as well as for the organization and running of seminars on EU affairs for SMEs and business professionals.
Boué holds a Master of Business Administration from the Europa-Insitut (Saarbrücken, Germany), a Certificate of Integrated Legal Studies (trilateral and trilingual Master’s degree in French, English, German and European Law, from the Universities of Warwick (UK), Saarland (Germany) and Lille II (France) as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Law from the University of Lille II, France. He is based in BSA’s Brussels office.

Nils Puhlmann

Nils Puhlmann

Chief Trust and Security Officer, Twilio


Mr. Nils Puhlmann has been Chief Trust and Security Officer at Twilio Inc. since August 16, 2018. Mr. Puhlmann serves as an Advisor of Beachhead Solutions, Inc. He has served as an advisor to Twilio since 2014. Mr. Puhlmann served as the Chief Technology Officer of Endgame, Inc. since November 2013. Mr. Puhlmann served as Chief Security Officer of Zynga, Inc. He served as the Chief Security Officer and Vice President of Risk Management at Qualys Inc. since November 5, 2008. He has 20 years of broad industry experience within security and IT management. He served as the Chief Security Officer of Electronic Arts, where he was globally responsible for managing information security and risk management. While CISO of Robert Half International, he led information security and business continuity on a global enterprise-wide scale. Mr. Puhlmann served as Director of Global IT & Security and Chief Privacy Officer at Mindjet Corp. and Senior Manager Product Security at Adobe Systems where he created Adobe's product security incident response team, chaired Adobe's Security Task Force and managed Adobe's first Common Criteria Certification. He was responsible for managing Mindjet's global information technology, security and privacy activities. He held senior positions at Nortel Networks and START Amadeus, and was an independent security consultant with clients such as the State of California. He has been a Director of Information Systems Security Association since September 2012. He served in director positions (ISACA Silicon Valley, OVAL) and is a member of numerous corporate advisory boards. He Co-Founded and serves as Director of Cloud Security Alliance, Inc. He serves as Member of Advisory Board of Nok Nok Labs, Inc. He serves as a member of the CSO Interchange, the CISO Executive Council and is a subject matter expert for ISACA and ISC2. Mr. Puhlmann serves as a member of the Advisory Council for the CISO Forum of ISS. He is a graduate of Kant College in Germany.

Monica Macovei

Monica Macovei

Member, European Parliament


Monica Macovei is a Member of the European Parliament in the European People's Party Group, elected in Romania in 2009 and in 2014 for a second mandate. In the European Parliament, she is the head of the EP Delegation to the EU-Albania Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, member in the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and Budgetary Control (CONT) Committees, and substitute in the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). In 2012, she was ranked the 1st out of 754 MEPs with 35 laws and reports adopted by the Plenary of the European Parliament and in September 2012, she received "MEP 2012" award for her work in the field of justice and civil liberties.

She served as Romania’s Minister of Justice from 2005 to 2007, and received international recognition and awards for her anti-corruption initiatives and justice reforms that allowed Romania to enter the European Union. Financial Time wrote "To her admirers in Brussels, Monica Macovei is a hero who presided over Romania's transformation from one of Europe's most corrupt corners into a credible candidate to join the European Union", and Die Welt stated that "For Romania, joining the European Union would have been barely possible without Monica Macovei" (2006).

Monica Macovei was a legal expert for the Council of Europe and other international organizations, has successfully represented applicants before the European Court of Human Rights, and has published on human rights and judicial matters. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Central European University and of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. She is also a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, an Eisenhower Fellow, as well as a founding member of Transparency International, Romanian Chapter, and member in other NGOs.



Thursday 8 November, 2018
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