Who we are

Formed in 2002 under the patronage of Javier Solana, Chris Patten and George Robertson, the Security & Defence Agenda (SDA) was launched as a neutral meeting point for defence and security specialists from NATO and the EU. The SDA has since developed into an important forum for the discussion of defence and security policies. With the rapidly evolving nature of our security environment, the SDA champions dynamic new ways of consulting global opinion on security issues, including the world’s first mass-participation online security policy event, the Security Jam, involving 4,000 participants from 126 countries.

The SDA's Co-Presidents are Jaap De Hoop Scheffer and Javier Solana.

The SDA receives guidance from its Advisory Board, which advises the think-tank on its strategic direction, and relevant topics in the fields of defence and security.

The running of our events, formulation of discussion papers and publication of reports is run by our professional and international team.



Jaap De Hoop Scheffer, Former NATO Secretary General


Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has had a long and distinguished diplomatic career. He managed the private offices of four successive Ministers of Foreign Affairs until 1986. In June of that year, he was elected to the House of Representatives of the States General for the Christian Democratic Alliance (CDA), becoming the party’s spokesperson on foreign policy. In July 2002, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs, until he was appointed Secretary general of NATO in 2004, serving until 2009. He is now Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Justice and Security at Leiden University in the Netherlands.



Javier Solana, Former EU High Representative for Common Security and Foreign Policy and former NATO Secretary General


As Europe's top foreign representative, Dr. Solana has unparalled experience in the European diplomatic affairs. Beginning in Spanish politics, he served as a Spanish Cabinet Minister from 1982 to 1995, culminating in his appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs from July 1992 to December 1995. He became Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in 1995, leaving the post in 1999 to be the EU High Representative for Common Security and Foreign Policy, acting in this role until 2009. He is now President of the Madariaga - College of Europe Foundation.

SDA team



Giles Merritt, Director                       


Giles Merritt is among Brussels’ most influential commentators on EU issues. He has been a pioneer of the public policy debate on Europe’s future, both as a journalist and think-tanker. Merritt is also the head of the SDA’s sister think-tank Friends of Europe, whose debates and reports cover the whole spectrum of non-defence topics of interest to EU-level policymakers, researchers and stakeholders. In addition, he is the Editor of the policy journal Europe’s World launched in 2005 as an EU-wide platform for debate. Merritt’s background as a journalist and commentator has contributed to the success of the organisations he leads. From 1968-83, Giles Merritt was a correspondent of the Financial Times and reported successively from London, Paris, Belfast/Dublin and Brussels.


Geert Cami, Co-founder & Director


Geert Cami co-founded the SDA in 2002, after being Managing Director of Forum Europe since 1996. Before that, Cami worked for the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office as Deputy to the Information Counsellor. Cami was also a freelancer for two informational music programmes with Belgian Radio & Television (now VRT). During his military service, he worked as a journalist at Televox where he contributed to bi-monthly television news reports, broadcast in Germany, with regular co-productions with the national television stations BRTN and RTBF. He also produced a 26-minute report for the WEU, CSCE and NATO. In 2002, Cami and Merritt launched the New Defence Agenda (now the Security & Defence Agenda). Cami is also the co-founder and Director of Friends of Europe, the Brussels-based think tank for EU policy analysis and debate.

Pauline Massart, Senior Manager 


Pauline Massart serves as the main contact for SDA members and participants, manages all aspects of SDA operations, including the organisation and production of SDA international conferences, roundtables, dinner debates and publications, as well as dealing with SDA members and its Advisory Board.  Before joining the SDA, Massart worked for Thales in Italy for two years, and before that for a conference organiser in Germany. She holds a BA in History and German from King's College London and a MA in European Studies from Leiden University. She speaks English, French, German and Italian.


Contact: pauline.massart(at)securitydefenceagenda.org

  Andrea Ghianda, Project Manager

Andrea Ghianda coordinates the organization of SDA events and publications while maintaining relations with speakers, participants and SDA members. He studied Political Science at the Università degli Studi di Pavia in Italy, where he was also a member of a political communication research team. He worked for two years as Project Coordinator for an Italian company in the field of marketing and event organisation. Additionally, he also worked for two years as Project Coordinator at the European Security Round Table in Brussels. He speaks English, French and Italian.

Contact: andrea.ghianda(at)securitydefenceagenda.org

Igor Garcia-Tapia, Project Manager


Igor Garcia-Tapia manages and coordinates SDA activities related to cybersecurity. A former project assistant, Igor returned in 2011 to the SDA after a year working on the Spanish regional and municipal elections. Previously Igor had worked as a research assistant in Paris and as a programme assistant with the international cooperation department of the Spanish Red Cross. Igor earned his BA in History at Royal Holloway University of London and completed his graduate studies with the Peace Operations Training Institute, where he also received REACT certification. Igor speaks Spanish, English, Italian, some French, and a little Mandarin Chinese.


Contact: igor.garcia-tapia(at)securitydefenceagenda.org


Florian Bauernfeind, Project Assistant

Florian Bauernfeind studied Political Science (Focus: International Relations), Communication Science and French at the University of Leipzig, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Lyon and Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz (Magister Artium). He also holds a Master’s degree in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies (Focus: Bi- and Multilateral Diplomacy; Security Studies) from the College of Europe. He speaks English, French and German.

Contact: sda1(at)securitydefenceagenda.org


Eda Aygen, Project Assistant

Eda Aygen studied Political Science at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, where she specialised on International Relations and Defence Issues while working as a researcher for the Strategic Departement of the Belgian Ministry of Defence. She started working as a research assistant to the Defence committee of the WEU Parliamentary Assembly in Paris taking part in a report on the role of EU combating piracy off the coasts of Somalia. Before joinning the SDA team, Eda worked for the Operations Division at NATO HQ on Afghanistan. She speaks French, English and Turkish.

Contact: sda2(at)securitydefenceagenda.org


Federico Mozzi, Project Assistant


Federico Mozzi studied Political Science at the Università degli Studi di Bologna in Italy, where he helped founding a student network on the International Relations. He speaks English and Italian.

Contact: sda3(at)securitydefenceagenda.org



Hannah Ledger, Project Assistant

Hannah Ledger works freelance as a contributing geopolitical analyst for Wikistrat. Prior to this position she worked in national politics as an opposition researcher on the general election campaign team for Head of the UK Green Party, Caroline Lucas. Hannah studied at the University of Sussex and has recently completed an MA in International Security: Geopolitics and Grand Strategy, subsequent to a BA in Contemporary History and Politics.

Contact: sda4(at)securitydefenceagenda.org