NATO SPS Senior Leadership Roundtable on Information-Related Hybrid Threats in South East Europe

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This NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme (SPS)  grant G5631, “Senior Leadership Roundtable on Information-Related Hybrid Threats in South East Europe (SEE)” was awarded to Dr. Itamara Lochard, Director of Cyber Policy Studies at CARE and will be co-executed with the General Mihailo Apostolski Military Academy – Skopje, Associate Member of the University of Goce Delčev – Stip, North Macedonia and the University of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It aims to assess and share best practices on the information-related elements of hybrid threats, including misinformation, disinformation, non-information, and media (traditional or social).  This award has two deliverables:  A roundtable and a book contract to publish the findings that emerge from the event. These grants are peer-reviewed by an international academic group of experts as well as the NATO technical staff prior to a third review by all 29 Alliance member countries

2019 Roundtable:

A seven-day gathering of approximately 70 people will take place in Ohrid, North Macedonia from 6-12 October. A roundtable format is used in lieu of a conference style to foster an exchange of knowledge, thoughts, and approaches that create and strengthen regional and international expert networks required to build trust and cooperation. This will more effectively address the fluid security dynamics of information-related attacks that impact the Alliance.

The target audience is comprised of senior government, military, academic, and NGO members who are responsible for developing, implementing, and communicating policies to state leaders in SE Europe. This includes specialists in cyber, linguists, sociology counter-terrorism, intelligence, public relations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR), strategic communications, and crisis management.

This special 2019 NATO SPS award is the second Senior Leadership Roundtable by the Alliance in the region. This award is a continuation of the 2017 NATO SPS grant that first addressed hybrid threats in the SE Europe that affect the Alliance, “G5158: Senior Leadership Roundtable on Military and Defense Related Threats in SE Europe.” That effort was awarded to Dr. Lochard; it was co-executed by GMU, United States National Defense University, and the General Mihailo Apostolski Military Academy – Skopje.


Speakers and Participant Institutions:

Mr. Mark Laity, Director of the Communications Division at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) will serve as keynote. His bio may be found here.  Senior-level speakers and participants from the following institutions will attend. A representative from every  country in the Balkans has confirmed as well.

(For a full speakers list, please go here. )

Albanian Policy Center, NGO

American Chamber of Commerce, Cyber Security Working Group, Italy

Atlantic Council of Albania

Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Public Relations Department, Ministry of Defense

Bulgarian Atlantic Council, Defense Policy Working Group

Bulgaria, “G.S. Rakovski” National Defense College, Sofiia.

Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Science Department, Institute for Software Research, United States

Carnelutti Law Firm, Italy

Estonian Defense Forces HQ, Strategic Communications Division

Estonian Government Communication Unit

George Mason University, United States

George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies

General Mihailo Apostolski Military Academy – Skopje, Associate Member of the University of Goce Delčev – Stip, North Macedonia

GlobalFocus Romania

Hellenic Republic, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology, Laboratory of Mountainous Water Management and Control and Laboratory of Geology and Petrography

Hellenic Republic, Fire Service

Hellenic Republic, Research Institute for European and American Studies

Institute for Security, Defense, and Peace – Department of Philosophy, North Macedonia

International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS), Estonia

Montenegro, Directorate of Protection of Classified Information

Montenegro, Counter Intelligence Protection Department, Ministry of Defense

Montenegro, National Security Agency

Montenegro, Intelligence Security Directorate

NATO Allied Command Transformation – TBC

NATO Center of Excellence Defense Against Terrorism (COE-DAT) – TBC

NATO HUMINT Center of Excellence (HCOE)

NATO Kosovo-Force (KFOR)

NATO P-TEC Public Affairs Regional Council (PARC)

NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence (StratCom-COE)

NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy (NRDC-ITA) – TBC

North Macedonia, Army HQ, J2 and J9

North Macedonia, Cabinet of the President – TBC

North Macedonia, Directorate for Security and Classified Information

North Macedonia, International Cooperation Department, Crisis Management Center

North Macedonia, Ministry of Defense

North Macedonia, Ministry of Interior

North Macedonia, Protection and Rescue Directorate, Department of Prevention, Planning, and Development

Partnership for Peace Consortium (PfPC)

Pennsylvania State University, College of Information Sciences and Technology, United States

Rhino 911 NGO, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Ukraine, Monitoring and Change Management unit, Strategic Planning and European Integration Department, Administration of the State Border Guard Service

San Diego State University, Environmental Security and Global Medicine, United States

Singularity University, Global Grand Challenges and Exponential Medicine, United States

Supervising Board of Maritime Electronic Centre, Croatia

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)

Union-Nikola Tesla University, Department of International Policy and Security, Serbia

United Kingdom Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (dstl) – TBC

United States Embassy in North Macedonia – (representative to be determined)

United States European Command (Department of Defense) – TBC

United States Joint Special Operations University (Department of Defense)

United States Office of Naval Research (Department of Defense) – TBC

United States Sandia National Laboratories (Department of Energy)

University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Department of Information Sciences and Collaboration for Social Media and Online Behavioural Studies (COSMOS), United States

University of Advancing Technology, United States

University of Bath, Department of Computing Science, United Kingdom

University of Belgrade, Security Studies Department, Serbia

University of Criminal Investigation and Police Studies, Department of Informatics and Computer Science, Serbia

University of Ljubljana, Nautical Studies and Department of Maritime Studies and Transport, Slovenia

University of Niš, Department of Electronic Engineering, Serbia

University of Sarajevo, Department of Criminalistics, Criminology, and Security Studies, Bosnia and Herzegovina

University of Texas at San Antonio – Information Systems and Cyber Security Department, United States

University of Turin, English Linguistics and Political and Military Discourse Analysis, Department of Culture, Politics, and Society, Italy



NATO Country Director:

Professor / Dr. / Itamara Lochard

CARE, George Mason University

United States


NATO-Invitee Country Co-Director:

Professor / Dr. / Colonel Metodija Docjinovski

“General Mihailo Apostolski” Military Academy – Skopje

North Macedonia


NATO Partnership for Peace Country Co-Director:

Dean / Professor / Dr. Nedžad Korajlić

Department of Criminalistics, Criminology, and Security Studies

University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Organizational Committee:

Dean / Professor / Dr. / Colonel Orce Popovski

“General Mihailo Apostolski” Military Academy – Skopje

North Macedonia


Lieutenant Colonel Nikola Klentnikov, MS

“General Mihailo Apostolski” Military Academy – Skopje

North Macedonia


Vice Dean / Professor / Dr. Jasmin Ahić

Department of Criminalistics, Criminology, and Security Studies

University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Professor / Dr. Dejan Rančić

Department of Electronic Engineering

University of Niš, Serbia

* U.S. Office of Naval Research Grant # N00014-17-1-2664, “Command and Control of the Information Environment,” supports the research conducted by Dr. Itamara Lochard that is listed on this website.