IAFIE European Chapter is managed by an elected group of dedicated volunteers.

Our Board is currently led by Dr. Irena Chiru and includes eight members with separate, clearly defined portfolios.

Dr Irena Chiru Chair

Photo: Dr Irena Chiru

Irena Chiru is the director of the Doctoral Research Council and a professor of intelligence studies at “Mihai Viteazul” National Intelligence Academy, Romania. She holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Bucharest where she researched Romania’s representations and heteroimages in foreign media. Currently she serves as the chair of the International Association for Intelligence Education – European Chapter. In the last 25 years, she has taught scientific seminars and colloquia and given educational talks on strategic communication and its impact on intelligence organizations. She has also coordinated research teams involved in research projects dedicated to security and intelligence. Her latest publications are: Diversity in Intelligence: Organizations, Processes, and People” (in International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 2022), Building Ecosystems of Intelligence Education: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (in Rubén Arcos et al. The Academic-Practitioner Divide in Intelligence Studies Rowman and Littlefield, 2022), and Routledge Handbook of Disinformation and National Security (as co-editor).

Dr David Strachan-Morris, SFHEA, F.ISRM, MSecII Vice-Chair

Photo: Dr David Strachan-Morris, SFHEA, F.ISRM, MSecII

I am a Lecturer in Intelligence and Security in the School of History, Politics and International Relations (HyPIR) at the University of Leicester. I am also Co-Director of Distance Learning for HyPIR. Before becoming a full-time academic I worked in the private security sector as an intelligence analyst and intelligence manager for 10 years, and served in the Intelligence Corps in the British Army and the West Midlands Police Force. I hold a BA (Hons) Degree in War Studies with Politics, and Ph.D., both awarded by the University of Wolverhampton. My Ph.D. thesis was an analysis of the origins and implementation of the US Marine Corps counterinsurgency strategy in Vietnam.

My recent publications include: Spreading Ink Blots from Da Nang to the DMZ: An Analysis of the US Marine Corps Strategy in Vietnam, a monograph published by Helion in 2020; ‘Intelligence and the Russo-Ukrainian War: Introduction to the Special Issue’ (co-authored with Mark Phythian) in Intelligence and National Security (available online in advance of publication); ‘Developing Theory on the Use of Intelligence by Non-State Actors: Five Case Studies on Insurgent Intelligence’, in Intelligence and National Security, Vol 34, No 7, December 2019; ‘The Use of Intelligence by Insurgent Groups: the North Vietnamese in the Second Indochina War as a Case Study’, in Intelligence and National Security, Vol 34, No 7, December 2019; ‘The Who, What, Why, and How of Teaching Intelligence: The Leicester Approach’ (co-authored with Mark Phythian and Helen Dexter), in Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 32, No. 7, June 2017. My current research interests are strategic intelligence, military intelligence, and the role of intelligence in assessing risk and uncertainty.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Association, a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management, and a Member of the Security Institute of Ireland. I am on the editorial boards of the Journal of Policing, Intelligence, and Counterterrorism, Journal of Security, Intelligence, and Resilience Education, and Intelligence and National Security, and I am a board member of the Europe Chapter of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE). I am also the IAFIE Regional Director for Europe, and my duties include outreach and membership recruitment. I previously served on the IAFIE Board as the Vice President (International) and as a member of the Governance Committee. In 2018 I organised and hosted the IAFIE Europe Chapter Annual Conference at the University of Leicester.

Simon Ball, MSc, MA, CISMP, F.ISRM Secretary

Photo: Simon Ball, MSc, MA, CISMP, F.ISRM

Simon Ball is a Detective Chief Inspector with the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Crime Operations Department.

Simon has served as a police officer in Northern Ireland for over 29 years, with experience across the fields of public order/public safety, personnel security, information security, change management, and corporate governance. As an accredited Silver Commander he was responsible for the planning and delivery of public order and public safety operations. Simon has also served as the Service Vetting Officer for PSNI, where he was responsible for all Police and National Security Vetting decisions, including judicial appeals. He is currently working as a part of the PSNI’s response to counterterrorism and serious and organised crime, with his specialism being the management of threats to life.

Simon’s academic studies include a BA (Hons.) in Psychology, an MSc in Police Leadership and Management, and an MA in Intelligence and Security. His MA dissertation examined how the approach to tackling violent extremism can be informed by the Northern Ireland experience. Simon’s current research focus is on how law enforcement agencies can improve their response to threats to life.

In addition to being a Board Member of the International Association for Intelligence Education European Chapter, Simon also serves on the Governance Committee for IAFIE Global.

Simon is a Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management and is active within their Ireland Chapter.

Sabrina Testigrosso Treasurer

Photo: Sabrina Testigrosso

Sabrina Testigrosso is a cybersecurity specialist who works in International Security. She is Adjunct Cybersecurity expert at École Universitaire Internationale, Italy.

Sabrina also provides training for CEPOL – The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training.

John Nomikos Outreach Officer

Photo: John Nomikos

John M. Nomikos is the Director at the Research Institute for European and American Studies, Chairman, European Intelligence Academy and Founding Editor, Journal of European and American Intelligence Studies (JEIAS). He is a founding member of the International Association for Intelligence Education- Europe. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence (IJIC). He joined the Intelligence and Security Studies program as an Affiliate Faculty member in 2022 at Coastal Carolina University, USA. He specializes in transatlantic intelligence studies, intelligence reform, intelligence education, Greek national security, illegal immigration and transnational organized crime in the Balkan region, as well as energy security and critical infrastructure. He is a Certified Master Antiterrorism Specialist (ATAB/USA).

Alexandru Fotescu Research Officer

Photo: Alexandru Fotescu

Alexandru Fotescu is a researcher at the Helmut Schmidt University of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg, Germany. His research work focuses on hybrid threats and cognitive security, European security and defence policies and capabilities, wargaming, great power competition, and leadership agility. He is also involved in institutional international affairs, scientific cooperation and research management.

Prior to his life in academia, he was an analyst, consultant, and think tanker, working on EU policies, technological geopolitics, geoeconomics, political risk, strategic communication and political strategy.

Alexandru Fotescu's academic background includes music performance, business administration, political sciences, sociology, EU studies, communication sciences, public policy and public administration.

Peter de Werd Education Officer

Photo: Peter de Werd

Peter de Werd is Assistant Professor in intelligence and security at the Netherlands Defence Academy and has worked for the Netherlands Department of Defence in various positions and deployments over the last two decades. He has an academic background in both military sciences (Netherlands Defence Academy) and political science (Leiden University), and holds a PhD from Utrecht University, awarded in 2018. Recent publications include his first book US Intelligence and Al Qaeda: Analysis by Contrasting Narratives, published by Edinburgh University Press in 2020. His current research interests include open source intelligence (OSINT), intelligence oversight practices, contributing to the reflexivist and critical theoretical debate in intelligence studies, and innovating intelligence education.

Dr Raffaele Magurano Education Officer

Photo: Dr Raffaele Magurano

Raffaele Magurano is an Italian author in Social Sciences and Criminology, working for the Italian Public Administration in the Law Enforcement field, actively seeking for new opportunities. He is a Police Tactics & Techniques Instructor and IPA member, also actively researching in Neurosophy, an experimental branch of Neurosciences.

Prior to being professionally involved in the public sector, he has been a consultant operating in Italy and Romania, building business relations with Middle East and North-American companies. After graduating in Law, he completed two Master degrees in Jurisprudence and Public Administration & Safety and a Master Programme in Forensic Criminology, cultivating at the same time great interest in Intelligence, which has led him joining IAFIE in 2022.

Currently, he is serving in the IAFIE EC Board as Education Officer.