Board of Advisors

Hiraal Institute’s Board of Advisors

Hiraal Institute’s BoA has relevant experience in security and journalism. Their advise and direction are integral to the Institute’s success.

Richard Barrett CMG OBE

Richard Barrett is Director of The Global Strategy Network. He is also a fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, New America in Washington and the Centre for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law and Financial Integrity at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. He sits on the advisory boards of several institutions, including the International Centre for Counter Terrorism – The Hague; the Global Center on Cooperative Security in Washington; Women Without Borders in Vienna; the Soufan Center in New York, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London. He is a member of the Independent Review Panel of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) in Geneva and of the International Advisory Board of Hedayah in Abu Dhabi.

From 2004 to 2012, he was Coordinator of the Al-Qaida and Taliban Monitoring Team at the United Nations in New York, appointed by the UN Secretary-General. In 2005 he helped establish the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force, now known as the Office of Counter Terrorism, where he led on radicalisation, terrorist use of the Internet, and the Financing of Terrorism.

He worked previously for the British Government both at home and overseas with postings in Canada, Jordan, Turkey, and at the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Bronwen Morrison

Bronwen Morrison has over 25 years of experience in donor funded stabilization and UN peacekeeping operations in conflict and post conflict countries.  Her country experience includes Somalia, Liberia, Mozambique, Sudan, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Cambodia, East Timor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, El Salvador, and Colombia.  Ms. Morrison’s skill set includes civil-military relations and operations, security sector reform, population- centric counter terrorism, conflict research and analysis, stabilization and strategic communications.

Most recently, Ms. Morrison served as the National Security Advisor to the Office of the President in Mogadishu, Somalia and Security Sector Advisor to the Office of Prime Minister.  Previously, in her role leading civil military programs, she developed and oversaw strategic and operational campaign level population engagement programs to gain support against insurgencies in support of Trans Sahel Counter Terrorism Partnership program.  Ms. Morrison also served in United Nations Peacekeeping missions as an embedded political-military officer in UNTAC (Cambodia), ONUSAL (El Salvador), ONUMOZ (Mozambique), and UNPROFOR (Bosnia-Hercegovina).  Ms. Morrison is a former Peace Corps volunteer and speaks Spanish fluently.



Mary Harper is the Africa Editor at BBC World Service News. She has reported on Africa for two decades, and has a special interest in the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia, where she spends much of her time.

Much of her work focuses on violent radical Islam in Africa, and sea piracy off its shores. She has reported from many conflict zones including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, South Sudan, Algeria and the two Congos. Mary is the author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State and is writing a book about the East African jihadist group Al Shabaab. She has written for The Economist, Granta, The Guardian, The Times and The Washington Post and is a regular speaker and moderator at universities, conferences and literary festivals.

She has served on the Advisory Boards of European Commission and other projects related to migration, Islamist extremism and the Horn of Africa, and is a Trustee of a number of Somalia-based organisations.

Mary is an expert witness in Somali-related legal cases and is a fellow of The Rift Valley Institute and The Heritage Institute for Policy Studies. She has degrees from Cambridge University and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

You can follow Mary on Twitter @mary_harper

Her website is

Amina Mohamed: Amina has worked in the security sector in Somalia since 2009. She has also worked as an adviser to the Somali PM. She is currently head of the government agency tasked with curbing money laundering.


Hassan Sheikh Ali Nur has a PhD in International Relations from the University of Malaya in Malaysia. He teaches on the BA & MA Political Science and International Relations programmes at Mogadishu University and SIMAD University. His chief areas of teaching including National Security Studies, Foreign Policy Studies, and Public Policy. He has contributed to the scholarly Journals such as Sarjana Journal of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, University of Malaya and Intellectual Discourse, IIUM. He has appeared on BBC, VOA, Aljazeera TVs, as well, Local media including SNTV, Universal, Goobjoog, SBC, Dalsan TVs. Nur’s research interests include the National Security Studies, history and governance of Somalia, the identity crises (mixing up clans identity, Islam’s worldview and nationhood).



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