Keynote Speakers

OPENING KEYNOTE – Wednesday 12th February 2014

Opening Keynote Speakers:

gerald_howarthpic120Sir Gerald Howarth MP
Former Minister for International Security Strategy at the Ministry of Defence, UK


Nigel-BrownDr. Nigel Brown
Lead for Resilient ICT Strategy, Cabinet Office, UK


olivier_luyckx pic120Mr Olivier Luyckx
Head of Unit, Crisis Management and Terrorism, DG Home, European Commission


Sir Gerald Howarth MP
Former Minister for International Security Strategy at the Ministry of Defence, UK

In 1982 Sir Gerald was elected a Councillor for Chiswick in the London Borough of Hounslow.

In 1983 he was elected Member of Parliament for the former coal-mining constituency of Cannock and Burntwood, Staffordshire, Labour’s 50th most marginal seat which he held until 1992, becoming the only Conservative to hold Cannock for 2 terms.

Sir Gerald was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Michael Spicer MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy (1987-90), then Minister of State of the Department of the Environment (1990-91). From December 1991 to April 1992 Sir Gerald served as PPS to Margaret Thatcher.

Between 1983 and 1992 he was an officer of the Conservative Parliamentary Aviation Committee, and was a Founder Member of the No Turning Back Group.

In 1993, a year after losing his seat in Staffordshire, Sir Gerald was selected as the Conservative candidate for Aldershot where he succeeded Sir Julian Critchley in 1997. Since then, he has served on the Home Affairs Select Committee (1997-2001) and as Vice-Chairman of the Defence Select Committee (2001-03). For a while he was a member of the Executive of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers.

Between 2002 and 2010 he served as a Shadow Defence Minister with responsibility for defence procurement and the Royal Air Force. Following the 2010 General Election, from May 2010 to September 2012, he served as Minister for International Security Strategy at the Ministry of Defence, responsible for the EU, defence diplomacy and defence exports.


Dr Nigel Brown
Lead for Resilient ICT Strategy, Cabinet Office, Civil Contingencies Secretariat, UK

Dr Nigel P Brown works for the Cabinet Office at the centre of UK government in the Civil Contingencies Secretariat. The Secretariat works in partnership with government departments, the devolved administrations and key stakeholders to enhance the UK’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies. He has lead responsibility for the strategic policy direction for resilience of the information and communications technologies sector. He is closely involved with risk assessments in the telecommunications and energy sectors and the planning assumptions derived from them. Nigel previously worked for technical and management consultancies, BP Exploration and the Health & Safety Executive. He is a chartered Chemical Engineer and holds PhD, MBA and BSc degrees from Imperial College, London.


Olivier Luyckx
Head of Unit, Crisis Management and Terrorism, DG Home, European Commission, Belgium

Born in 1964, Olivier Luyckx (Belgian) studied Law (1987), Political Sciences (1988) and Business Management (1993) at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He also holds an LL.M. in International Legal Studies (1989). He graduated from the European Security and Defense College in 2005.

Olivier Luyckx was a practicing attorney from 1990 to 1992. In 1994, he joined the European Commission as a junior advisor in the Directorate General for Economic and Monetary Affairs where he worked on the preparation of the setting up the Euro. In 1995, Luyckx joined the private office of the Vice president of the European Commission in charge of External Relations.

From 1999 to 2004, he worked within the Secretary General of the European Commission. From 2004 to 2008, he served as the Assistant to the Director General responsible for Development Policy and Relations with Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Later, he was the Head of the Unit in charge of Aid Effectiveness until 2011.

Since January 2011, Luyckx serves in the Directorate General for home Affairs, as the Head of the Unit in charge of Fight against Terrorism and Crisis Management.
He earned his parachuting certificate from the 1st Para-commando Regiment in 1982. He did his military service in 1990 within the Commission National Defence Problems (CPND), a coordination body placed under the authority of the Prime Minister.