academic STAFF


Levi West



Lecturer, Terrorism Studies







Mr David Irvine, AO

Adjunct Professor


Adjunct Lecturer


Adjunct Lecturer


Adjunct Lecturer

Assoc. Prof. Nick O’Brien
Head of School

Assoc. Prof O’Brien brings over 3 decades of leadership in counter terrorism to his position as Head of School. Prior to his transition to academia, Assoc. Prof. O’Brien was the Counter Terrorism Liaison Officer at the British High Commission in Canberra, with a watching brief on the South-East Asia region. Before his posting to Australia he was in charge of international counter terrorism at Special Branch, New Scotland Yard including responsibility for the National Terrorist Financial Investigations Unit (NTFIU) and International Liaison.

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Assoc. Prof. O’Brien’s extensive knowledge base and experience has seen him speak on counter terrorism at professional and academic conferences across Europe, North America, and the Asia-Pacific. In authoring G8 paper Best Practices in Dealing with Suicide Terrorism he undertook research into suicide bombing in both Israel and Sri Lanka. Nick is a visiting Fellow at the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation in Indonesia, sits on the Board of Management of the Australian Graduate School of Policing. He is on the Australian Institute of Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO) Journal Editorial Committee.

Assoc. Prof. O’Brien is a highly sought after speaker on counter terrorism matters, and frequently provides media commentary in regards to terrorism and policing more broadly.

Levi West
Director of Terrorism Studies

Levi West is the Director of Terrorism Studies at Charles Sturt University. His primary research interests relate to the intersection of information and communications technology with terrorism specifically, but also with other forms of non-state violence.

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Levi has lectured extensively to law enforcement, intelligence, and military audiences both domestically and internationally, including at the Naval War College in the United States, the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation in Indonesia, the National Security College at ANU, and at the Australian Command and Staff College at the Australian Defence College. Additionally, Levi has undertaken research in the Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asia. Levi regularly contributes to the ASPI Strategist blog, and is a sought after speaker on terrorism and other national security issues. In addition to lecturing in higher education contexts, he frequently delivers professional development training and consulting to a broad range of government agencies and private sector clients.

You can follow him on Twitter @levijwest.

His research interests include: • Terrorism and insurgency • Diversity and evolution of violent non-State actors • Use of technology by non-State actors • Transnational crime and illicit finance • State responses to non-State violence • Cyber security, particularly as it pertains to non-state actors

Dr. Charles Knight
Lecturer, Terrorism Studies

Before joining AGSPS, Charles was a Research Fellow at the Defence Department’s Land Warfare Studies Centre in Canberra.  Charles completed his PhD research at QUT, where he examined the coercive effects of State repression on popular support for insurgents.

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In military roles, Charles served in Europe, Central America, Asia and the Middle East and his diverse experience ranges from RAF pilot training, through four years commanding Baluchi troops with the Omani Army, to operational counterinsurgency training.  As a reservist he has served with the Parachute Regiment in the UK, the Commandos in Australia and commanded an Infantry Battalion.

Charles is also a specialist in Urban and Complex operations and his extensive involvement in Special Operations capability development included delivery of new Special Forces doctrine and ground-breaking future studies methodologies.

His research interests include • Decision Making, Planning and Social Dynamics for and in Conflict • Political Violence and the Conduct and Countering of Armed Rebellion • Urban, Complex and Special Operations

Dr. Kristy Campion
Lecturer, Terrorism Studies

Dr. Campion is a historian by training and has undertaken archival research in the UK and Ireland, focusing on the complex and diverse history of terrorism.

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Dr. Campion has lectured and tutored in terrorism studies to undergraduate students and postgraduate students, consulted for specialist audiences, and engages in media and public commentary. She is currently working on the first comprehensive history of terrorism in Australia.

Dr. Campion’s PhD thesis, Under the Shadow of Swords: Propaganda of the Deed in the History of Terrorism, was nominated for the Terrorism Research Initiative’s Best Doctoral Thesis in Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies in 2017.

Her research interests include: the history of terrorism, and how its informs contemporary terrorism; the evolution and innovation of terrorism strategies; propaganda of the deed, especially in relation to the targeting of arts and antiquities; and terrorism in Australia.

Mr. Cesar Alvarez
Lecturer, Terrorism Studies

Mr. Alverez joined the team in March 2017. He holds the following qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
  • Master’s Degree in International Security Studies
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations
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Dr. Clint Arizmendi
Adjunct Senior Research Fellow

After completing his Ph.D, Dr. Arizmendi joined the public service and has spent the last decade in inter-agency environments focusing on foreign and domestic security issues such as terrorism, organized crime and unsanctioned cyber activity.

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Dr. Arizmendi worked for the Australian Department of Defence in the Emerging Threats and Opportunities cell in the Directorate of Future Land Warfare at Army Headquarters. Later, Dr. Arizmendi joined the New South Wales Police Force and worked in the Intelligence Directorate at State Crime Command.

Dr. Arizmendi's current research interests include: information exploitation; social network analysis and targeting; the intersection between social media and public safety; the foreign fighter phenomenon; and the future of conflict. He is currently a manager of operational intelligence for a safety and welfare response company in Sydney.

Mr David Irvine, AO Adjunct Professor

Mr Irvine has 33 years of experience (since 1970) as a diplomat in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, with experience in the promotion of Australia’s bilateral and regional political, economic and trade relationships with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.  His career includes high level diplomatic postings as High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (1996-1999), Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Mongolia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2000-2003).

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Mr Irvine’s appointments also include being Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (2003-2009) and more than 5 years as Director-General of Security, in charge of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

During the five years prior to his appointment in Papua New Guinea, Mr Irvine held several senior management and policy positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, including management of Australia’s relations with the major markets of South, North and East Asia, as well as Indochina.

In 2005, Mr Irvine was awarded an Officer of the General Division of the Order of Australia for services furthering Australian international interests. Mr Irvine has also published two books entitled, Bisma, Warrior Priest of the Mahabharata (1990) and Leather Gods and Wooden Heroes (1996).

Dr. Kira Harris Adjunct Lecturer

Dr Kira Harris is an Adjunct Lecturer with the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at Charles Sturt University. Kira has previously lectured in both psychology and counter terrorism and currently works for the Australian Government.

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Kira's doctoral research examined the psychology behind exiting extreme social groups, including terrorism groups, right-wing extremism, one percent motorcycle clubs, cults, as well as fundamentalist religious and political groups. She has published and presented in areas relating to disengagement, social psychology and gangs.

Her research interests include: • One percent motorcycle clubs • Counter terrorism • Radicalisation • Exiting from extremism • Military identity • Social psychology

MAJ Paul Lushenko Adjunct Lecturer

Paul Lushenko is a U.S. Army Major currently assigned to the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He has recently commanded the Headquarters and Headquarters Company for the 502nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 201st Battlefield Surveillance Brigade and has served as the Executive Officer of the Brigade's Special Troops Battalion. Commissioned as an Intelligence Officer in 2005.

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Paul Lushenko is a Major in the U.S. Army. He is a 2005 distinguished honour graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York and was commissioned as an Intelligence Officer. From 2010 to 2012 he studied at The Australian National University as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. He received a Master of Arts in International Relations with highest honours and was awarded the college's prize for best dissertation: "China, the United States, and the Future of Regional Security Order – An Unhappy Coexistence." He also received a Master of Diplomacy with highest honours and was awarded the James Ingram Prize for Excellence in Diplomatic Studies. From 2007 until 2013, Paul deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with Stryker and Special Operations Forces where he was responsible for directing intelligence operations in support of the Coalition's counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations at the Company, Battalion, Combined Task Force, and Joint Task Force levels. He recently graduated first in his class from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island with an M.A. in Defense and Strategic Studies.

Paul is the author of numerous articles appearing in journals such as the Army Magazine, the Asia Pacific Bulletin, Asian Security, Defence Studies, Journal of Military Ethics, Military Review, Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, Small Wars and Insurgencies, and the Small Wars Journal. His military education includes the United States Army Airborne School, Ranger School, Military Intelligence Officer's Basic Course, and Infantry Captain's Career Course (Honor Graduate). His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (1 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), Army Achievement Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Combat Action Badge, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, and German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold). Paul is also a recipient of the Military Intelligence Corps Association's Knowlton Award for significant contribution to Army intelligence.

Colonel Ian Langford Adjunct Lecturer

COL Langford joined the Army in 1992. He graduated to the Infantry Corps from the Royal Military College in 1995, having been awarded the Sword of Honour. He is currently posted at Headquarters Forces Command as the G5 - Plans Officer. His present responsibilities include managing the integration of major and minor systems within Forces Command and across the Army.

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COL Langford has served in a variety of command and staff appointments. His operational service includes multiple deployments to Timor Leste and Afghanistan, and single deployments to Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, the South-West Pacific and on domestic counter-terrorism duties within Australia. He has commanded multiple Special Operations Task Groups in Afghanistan, Iraq, and on counter-terrorism duties. COL Langford commanded the 2nd Commando Regiment in 2014-2015. For his service, COL Langford has been awarded a Chief of Defence Force Commendation, a SOCAUST Commendation, and the Distinguished Service Cross on three occasions.

In 2011, COL Langford served as the lead planner for the special operations support to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) general elections. In this role, COL Langford had a significant engagement and leadership responsibility with members of the PNG Defence Force and government, as well as multiple Australian departments and agencies including the Australian Ambassador. In a dynamic and politically sensitive environment, COL Langford ensured the effective inter-departmental coordination of disparate efforts amongst the PNG government, the Australian embassy, and the ADF as part of the overall aim to ensure the safe conduct of the election. Within Australia, COL Langford has supported several Joint Counter Terrorism Team operations with NSW and Victorian Police, mainly in the provision of intelligence analysis and liaison between the Counter Terrorism/Major Crimes Division (NSW), CJOPS and SOCAUST.