Mr. Jose Sousa-Santos

Managing Director

Dr. Anna Powles has extensive academic and practical expertise in small state security and geopolitics in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. She specialises in investigative research, security sector governance and civil-military-humanitarian issues in conflict-affected, fragile and weak states. Anna is the co-investigator on a Strategic Initiative Fund research project on private security sector governance in the Pacific Islands a subject matter expert on the area creating integrated regional and national regulatory frameworks for the private military security sector.

Anna is a Senior Lecturer in Security Studies with the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University. She manages and teaches advanced postgraduate courses at the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Command and Staff College. Anna also holds positions as the New Zealand Representative on the NATO Civil Society Advisory Group on Women, Peace and Security, and as Director of Women in International Security New Zealand. She is a member of Massey University’s Pacific Research and Policy Centre Caucus and a New Zealand Centre Fellow at Peking University. Recently, Anna was a member of the New Zealand Defence Force Civilian Red Team which observed and advised the NZDF on pre-deployment training prior to the deployment of the NZDF contingent as part of the Building Partner Capacity mission in Iraq. She has held positions as the Monitoring & Evaluation Security Sector Specialist with the United Nations Development Programme Timor Leste; the Timor-Leste Analyst with the International Crisis Group; Advisor to the Timorese Government on the GoTL’s response to the 2006 humanitarian crisis; and various consultancy positions with international NGOs including the Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Action Aid and World Vision.

Recent publications include ‘Principled Engagement: Rebuilding Defence Ties with Fiji (Lowy Institute: 2016); Finding Common Ground: New Zealand and Regional Security Cooperation in the Pacific’ (APCSS: 2015); and the ‘United Nations Peacekeeping Challenge: The Importance of the Integrated Approach’ (Routledge: 2015). She is on the editorial board of Pacific Dynamics: Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (University of Canterbury). She holds a doctorate from the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and is an Alumni of the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu. 

Dr. Tess Newton Cain is an expert in preparing research, delivering knowledge and developing strategy to foster development across the Pacific islands region. She has almost 20 years’ experience of living and working in the Pacific, and understands its needs, local customs, issues and challenges. Tess has built strong networks and productive relationships with political leaders, policy makers, opinion formers, key institutions, private sector operators and development partners, based on extremely high levels of mutual trust. She is a former Lecturer at the University of the South Pacific, whose clients have included the the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, The World Health Organization, the Asian Development Bank, the Pacific Leadership Program, and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, as well as DFAT and the New Zealand Government.

Her main skills are: developing and disseminating knowledge on key policy issues, using her extensive networks, traditional media, and modern methods of e-communication; facilitating local, national and international events for knowledge exchange, dialogue and collaboration; strategic leadership, including organisational development and capacity building; research and learning to inform policy and leadership. Analysis of existing knowledge and research to provide policy makers with paths for action. She has been a Non-Resident Fellow of the Lowy Institute for International Policy (2014), and  is a Visiting Fellow of the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National University, Tess is proficient in Bislama and French.


Dr.Anna Powles


Mr. Scott Cunliffe


Dr. James To


Dr. Stephanie Koorey is a freelance academic with a strong research record in transnational security issues. Her particular focus has been on small arms proliferation and control, and forced migration. Her most recent publication was on small arms in the western Pacific for the Australian Civil-Military Centre. She is currently a Visiting Fellow and guest lecturer with the National Asian Security Studies Program at the University of New South Wales Canberra. She was the inaugural Deakin University Senior Lecturer in Strategic Studies for the senior course of the Australian Defence College, the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, where she developed its professional military education curriculum for eight years.

Her most recent peer-reviewed publications are “Australia and Solomon Islands: What Next after 14 years of Regional Assistance”, Australian Defence Force Journal, Issue 198, November-December 2015, pp. 49-57, and “Illicit Small Arms in the Pacific: Cause for Concern?”, In Brief, State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, Australian National University, 2014. She is also a reviewer for the Australian Defence Force Journal, with two reviews in 2016 being Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam (Jeannine Baker, New South Publishing, Sydney, 2015), Australian Defence Force Journal, November-December, pp. 88-89 and East Timor Intervention: A Retrospective on INTERFET, (John Blaxland ed.), MUP, Melbourne, 2015), Australian Defence Force Journal, April-May 2016, pp. 65-66. She is a member of Australian Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (AusCSCAP); Humanitarian Policy Group; International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect; Academic Network, United Nations Association Australia; Research for Development Impact Network.  Dr Koorey holds a Doctorate from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University awarded in 2009.

Mr Jeremy Maxie


Dr. Fabio Scarpello


Mr Jose Sousa-Santos is the Managing Director of Strategika Group Asia Pacific. Jose has over twenty years’ experience addressing complex challenges in dynamic and high-risk environments. His expertise lies in transnational organised crime, terrorism, cultural and human terrain analysis, and security risk assessments for private and government sectors. Past roles include serving as Advisor to HE Dr Jose Ramos Horta (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) during his terms as Prime Minister and President of Timor-Leste. Jose received a presidential commendation for his work on conflict resolution and the prevention of inter-communal and gang violence; and the Sergio Vieira de Mello Human Rights Award nomination.

High-level strategic advice to Pacific and Asian regional governments l High-level facilitation of defence and security engagement strategies l Experienced high-level coordination in security, defence and foreign policy sectors l Recognised expertise in cultural intelligence and cultural diplomacy
I Subject matter expert in transnational organised crime and terrorism nexus l Award-winning negotiator in conflict mediation and resolution in Southeast Asia and the Pacific l Experienced in business development and project management in the Asia Pacific I Skilled at operating in highly complex environments

Mr Sousa-Santos has 20+ years experience in the civilian, security and defence sectors in the Asia Pacific including 15 years experience working in post-conflict contexts, stabilization and peacebuilding operations, and emergency humanitarian relief.

He is a subject matter expert in political and risk analysis; transnational organised crime; terrorism and counter-terrorism; human terrain analysis; conflict transformation; and humanitarian and complex emergencies. Mr Sousa-Santos is a skilled mediator and problem solver with expertise in complex, high-risk interventions in politically sensitive and insecure contexts.

He has extensive expertise in intelligence gathering and conducting investigations in highly-sensitive environments. He is highly skilled in combining intelligence and analytical techniques with in-depth cultural knowledge. 15+ years’ experience operating in complex, hostile and conflict-affected states; military trained linguist

Publications include commissioned analytical reports and book chapters for the Lowy Institute for International Affairs, the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, IHS Jane’s, and the Australian Security Magazine. He holds a Masters in International Relations from Victoria University, Wellington and is currently undertaking further postgraduate research. Jose is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Tetum. He also has an elementary proficiency in Italian and Bahasa Indonesia.
Jose is a member of the following professional associations:

Member of the New Zealand Police Association.
Member of the New Zealand Institute of Intelligence Professionals
Member of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs

Member of Women in International Security (WIIS NZ)
Member of the Australian Special Air Service Regiment Alumni
Australian Defence Force Alumni

Mr. Scott Cunliffe is a peacebuilding professional with twenty years experience working for non-profits and multilateral organisations. He has a passion for conflict transformation, preventing violent extremism and sustainable energy transitions. His leadership and management positions have taught him research, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation skills. Scott also focuses on public policy issues.Scott has held the positions in the areas of PVE (Preventing Violent Extremism) and conflict analysis, as a consultant with UNDP, Indonesia country director for the INGO Search for Common Ground and as a political officer with the United Nations. His geographical focus is the Asia-Pacific with special interest in Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. Scott is fluent in bahasa Indonesia and Tetun.


Dr. Stephanie Koorey

Australia Director

Dr. Negar Partow is an expert on Middle East politics, Islam and Politics and security, energy security. Religion, human rights and international security. She is a Senior Lecturer in Security Studies at the Centre for Defence and Security Studies and teaches courses on security theories, the Middle East security environment and human rights at the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Staff College. Negar provides regular briefings to the New Zealand Defence Force and Ministry of Defence on Middle East security issues, including ISIL, and is a frequent media commentator.

Negar has published widely including "Iran and the United States: An Insider’s View on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace," (NZIIA: 2014); "Martyrdom and Legacy of Blood A Case Study in Iran," (Contemporary Review of the Middle East: 2014); and eds.with Powles and Nelson, "United Nations Peacekeeping Challenge: The Importance of the Integrated Approach. United Kingdom" (Routledge: 2015).

Negar is on the New Zealand Institute for International Affairs National Committee; the Committee for the United Nations Association for New Zealand and is a member of Women In International Security New Zealand. Negar holds Doctorate and Masters degrees from Victoria University, Wellington, and a Masters and Bachelor of Arts from the Azad University of Tehran. She is an Alumni of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu. Negar is fluent in Persian, Arabic, Avesta, Ancient Persian, Dari, basic Pashtu and Farsi.

Ambassador Michael Powles

Senior Associate

Mr. Jeremy Maxie is an Associate at Strategika Group Asia Pacific based in the United States. He has over a decade of experience providing political risk analysis, strategic intelligence, and bespoke consulting services to public and private sector clients. Jeremy’s current work is focused on the geopolitical and geoeconomic trends shaping the international political, economic, and security order--with an emphasis on the Asia-Pacific. By providing context and strategic foresight, he enables clients to better understand and navigate complex and uncertain operating environments while identifying opportunities and risks. Jeremy draws from his distinguished background as a subject matter expert on energy geopolitics and energy security as well as the “above-ground” risks in the upstream oil and gas industry. He has advised international oil companies (IOCs), Asian national oil companies (NOCs), government agencies, and private investors.

Prior to joining Strategika, Jeremy was a Senior Advisor at Longview Global Advisors. He previously worked as a contributor for the Economist Intelligence Unit providing timely analysis for subscription services and in-depth custom research. From 2006-2012, Jeremy worked for PFC Energy (acquired by IHS) in Washington D.C. where he held several positions including oil market analyst, Eurasian regional analyst, and as an external consultant. Jeremy also worked as a foreign policy research assistant at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.  Jeremy has a J.D. from Indiana University and served in the United States Marine Corps as infantry squad leader with duty in the Philippines and Japan. He has elementary proficiency in French. His writings have been published in Forbes, The Diplomat, the East West Institute (EWI), and the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR).

Dr. James To is an active researcher of China and its international relations. His specialist expertise is examining the extra-territorial government policies for connecting with, influencing, and isolating diaspora communities for political, economic, and cultural purposes.  His work has been featured/reviewed in Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, The China Quarterly, and Voice of America. Other areas of research interest: China’s regional and Pacific security strategies, thought management techniques, mass-line tactics and propaganda, border security, trans-boundary criminal activity.  

His publications include Qiaowu: Extra-Territorial Policies for the Overseas Chinese. Brill, 2014.“Beijing Muzzling Chinese Media Abroad,” Nikkei Asian Review, August 7, 2014. “PRC Policies for Managing Han and Ethnic Minority Chinese Communities Abroad” in Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, Vol. 41, No. 4, 2012. “Hand-in-Hand, Heart-to-Heart: Thought Management and the Overseas Chinese,” in Thought Management: China’s Modernized Propaganda Work. Edited by Anne-Marie Brady, Routledge, 2012.“Sino-Pacifica: Extra-Territorial Influence and the Overseas Chinese,” in Looking North, Looking South: China, Taiwan & the South Pacific. Edited by Anne-Marie Brady, Singapore: World Scientific, 2010. 

James holds a Doctorate in Political Science, from University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. James is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese


Dr. Negar Partow


Mr. Steven Francis

PNG & Fiji

Country Director

Mr. Jose Fernando Brito


Dr. Tess Newton-Caine


Lt. Colonel, USMC  (Ret)
Michael S. Mollohan Sr.
 USA Country Director

Mr Steven Francis has over two decades of law enforcement and regional security expertise in the Pacific. He is currently the Regional Security Coordinator with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). Prior to this role, Steven held the position of Law Enforcement Capacity Development Officer with the PIFS. His expertise is in law enforcement capacity development; transnational crime assessment; and the implications of regional development agendas on security and law enforcement in Pacific Islands Forum countries.

Steven coordinates the regional law enforcement and other security related meetings with regional law enforcement partners (such as Oceania Customs Organisation; Pacific Immigration Directors; Pacific Islands Chief of Police Secretariat, Forum Fisheries, etc.) and development partners and donors for the region.  His key focus is to collaborate with security and law enforcement experts; development partners and relevant stakeholders to identify regional key issues; threats and risks and develop appropriate responses to assist Forum members address those issues. As a result, Steven brings an extensive network of law enforcement agencies, government officials, security and related agencies, and law enforcement and security stakeholders across the region. 

Steven previously served with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary for 14 years (1994 – 2008) holding the rank of Chief Inspector and specialising in operational policing and strategic planning divisions of the organisation. During this period, he worked and visited all 22 provinces in PNG as well as collaborating on regional policing projects with the New Zealand Police and Australia Federal Police for the Pacific countries. 

Steven is a contributing subject matter expert to the following publications: ‘WWII Unexploded Ordnance – A study of UXO in Four Pacific Island Countries’ (PIFS: 2012); ‘Pacific Transnational Crime Assessment Reports (PIFS: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions). Transnational Organized Crime in the Pacific – A threat Assessment (UNODC: 2016).

Dr. Fabio Scarpello has 15 years of experience in national-, subnational- and sectorial-level political economy analysis and conflict analysis. He is also experienced in developing and delivering tailor-made seminars and workshops on conducting political economy analysis, conflict analysis and on broader issues related to the security-development nexus. In his career as a senior journalist, analyst, consultant and academic, Fabio has investigated issues related to security sector reform (SSR); plural policing; the securitization of migrants; the politics of international peace-building and state-building interventions; internal dynamics of rebel groups; political violence and violent extremism; and conflict/post-conflict trends in several contexts within the Asia Pacific region. He has authored dozens of reports, several peer-reviewed academic journal articles and over 500 media articles. His first co-authored book, ‘International Intervention and Local Politics: Fragmented States and the Politics of Scale’ is currently in production and will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. The book explains the uneven results of the peace- and state-building international interventions in the Solomon Islands, Cambodia and Indonesia (Aceh). Fabio’s research has benefitted from the network of contacts he has built with policymakers, activists, academics, members of the security apparatus, and non-state actors. Fabio has completed a Postdoc in International Relations and Development, a PhD in Politics, a MA in Governance and Globalisation and a BA in Journalism. 


Ambassador Michael Powles has headed New Zealand diplomatic posts in Asia (as New Zealand Ambassador to China, and before that, as Ambassador to Indonesia) and the Pacific (as High Commissioner to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu). He was Deputy Secretary of New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and then New Zealand Ambassador to the United Nations in New York. After retirement from the foreign service he served as a Human Rights Commissioner for four years. He was also founding chairman of the Pacific Cooperation Foundation.  From 2005 to 2008 he worked as an Adjunct Professor at Fudan University while living in Shanghai. Later, he was President of the United Nations Association of NZ and is currently President of the New Zealand China Friendship Society (Wellington).

He writes and lectures on international affairs; he edited Pacific Futures (2006)  New Flags Flying (2012)  China and the Pacific, The View from Oceania (2016). In 2015, he organised a conference in Samoa on China and the Pacific, bringing together academic and official participants from the Pacific Islands, China and New Zealand, He is a Senior Fellow of the New Zealand Centre for Strategic Studies, Wellington.

Mr. José Brito has over twenty six years of experience leading criminal investigations for the police department in Portugal as an assistant commissioner, in Timor-Leste, and United Nations Missions as lead investigator and head of the NID (National Intelligence Department).  Jose's areas of expertise include forensic techniques, a ballistic expert, criminal information and undercover operations, search, and file management. Jose is a specialist instructor in all sectors of criminal investigation and legal procedures, such as procedural penal code, investigative methods and criminology. He also served in the United Nations as a Human Rights Investigator in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in this role, Jose maintained consistent coordination with prosecutors in all matters concerning files and technical issues around the investigation.

He served as a member and lead on several working groups focussed on criminal cases and organised crime, and he is highly experienced in the development of databases, criminal information and analysis as well as forms, legal procedures and new and cutting edge technologies for criminal investigation, forensic and crime scene techniques. Jose developed and implemented crime prevention and community police programs. For the past five years, he´s been working in the anti-corruption area, developing curriculum and training investigation teams in all matters regarding criminal investigations, focusing on data-driven information and analysis techniques to strengthen investigative competencies. Jose is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and Tetum.

Ms. Yvonne Tucker is currently based in China where she teaches International Politics and Cross-Cultural Communication at Nankai University. She has experience in a variety of university-level teaching roles and also completed a one-year internship with an international non-governmental organisation. During that internship, she specialised in researching the impact of religious fundamentalism on aid delivery in both peaceful regions and conflict zones. Her main area of research and experience is in counter-terrorism, along with researching the psychology of participation in an atrocity, the role of public perception in policy formation, inter-cultural negotiation, participatory development, and multi-level governance. She takes pride in being adaptable and determined, as well as being an intuitive and innovative problem solver who quickly makes connections between ideas, people and desired outcomes. She holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Auckland, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Development Studies and International Relations from Victoria University of Wellington. 

Yvonne speaks intermediate-level Portuguese, as well as elementary Spanish, Te Reo Maori and Mandarin.

Ms. Yvonne Tucker

Senior Researcher


Lt. Colonel (Ret) Michael S. Mollohan Sr. is a contract security and policy advisor for US Special Operations Multinational Engagement in the Asia-Pacific.  In his professional capacity as an advisor, Mr Mollohan assists in the design, development and execution of multinational Special Operations Forces (SOF) and related security sector education and cooperation throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific.  He has been directly involved in working groups from India to New Zealand including the ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting Plus Executive Working Group on Counterterrorism, Pacific Area Security Sector Working Group(s) for Oceania, Northeast Asia, South and Southeast Asia and led the design and execution of a uniquely developed SOF operational transnational security program: the Cooperation Against Transnational Threats (CATT) workshop.  The topic areas for all events include the spectrum of security risks throughout the Asia Pacific region from terrorism to tsunamis. 

Mr Mollohan is a retired Foreign Area Officer with more than 30 years of combined active duty and civilian service, two decades of which were spent throughout the Asia Pacific.  He served as a military professor and formerly the course director and co-lead of the counter-terrorism program for the United States Department of Defense Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii, as well as the senior service advisor for the Marine Corps to the APCSS leadership.  In addition, he has served in several countries throughout the region as an advisor and operations officer to both civilian and military organisations including time as a United Nations peacekeeper in the Republic of Georgia.

Mr Mollohan has a diverse academic background including Master’s degrees in Business and National Security and post-graduate studies in Terrorism Studies, International Relations, Adult Education and Curriculum Development and Advanced Business Technology.  Graduating from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, he has published on Strategic Arms Control in one of the first post-Soviet security journals in Russian language and attended the Moscow State University on exchange at the fall of the former Soviet Union. 

Mr Mollohan has lectured and conducted executive education programs for senior decision makers to operational level leaders from across the region and interagency.  His areas of security interests, research and lecturing expertise, include – “Thailand-Southeast Asian Security”, “Russia and the Asia Pacific”, “Counterterrorism Strategy”, “Evolution of Terrorism”, “Terrorist Leadership and Decapitation Theory”, “Psychology of Terrorism” and “Violence and Crises – Building Resiliency.”

Mr Mollohan has extensive philanthropic and non-profit experience including a decade working with the US State Department on Foreign Exchange programs for students from the Maghreb to the Former Soviet Union and more than eight years as a Board of Governor for the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Hawaii, focused on Strategic Development, Public Relations and Fundraising and Performance (Business Processes) Improvement.