Katja is a national security professional and PhD Candidate at HASS, with particular expertise in the areas of terrorism/extremism, jihadism and the propaganda dynamics of asymmetric conflict. Her doctoral thesis examines the moral dimensions of insurgent propaganda narratives and their strategic use in information operations. She is a member of the Future Operations Research Group and co-founder of the associated Women in Future Operations Platform. In her day job, Katja is a Senior Program Coordinator for Foreign/Security Policy and Analysis at the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation’s Regional Program Australia and the Pacific in Canberra. Here, she works on topics like cybersecurity, European defence/security matters, the wider strategic relations in the Asia-Pacific and the field of terrorism/extremism. She regularly publishes and presents at seminars, conferences and consultancy courses and appears on national TV and radio for commentary. Katja has previously taught and tutored courses on Middle East Politics, International Terrorism, and Propaganda in Cyberspace at the Australian National University and the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at Charles Sturt University.
A key premise underpinning Katja's work is to look beyond technocratic, rational-actor approaches and consider the nature of the human element more fully. Especially as future conflict is anticipated to take place in more 'foggy' environments, her research seeks to inform the understanding of so-called information warfare by drawing out variables relevant to the future operating environment. Her publications include Cybersecurity in a Contested Age, an analysis of The Marawi Crisis: Urban Conflict and Information Operations or Soft Power Thoughts for an Evolving Threat Paradigm.
Katja has lived in the Middle East, where she was engaged in educational projects and NGO work in Syria during the early years of Bashar al-Assad’s presidency. She holds a First-Class Honours degree in International Development from the Australian National University, was recipient of several scholarships including an Australian Government Research Training PhD Scholarship, and has been awarded the 2016 ANU Media and Outreach Award as Emerging Media Talent.