Colleagues talking during a meeting.

The SET Team: Director and Expert Instructors



Phil Gurski, the Security, Economics and Technology (SET) program Director, is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. ( and PDI SET Programme Director. He worked as a senior strategic analyst at CSIS  from 2001-2015, specializing in violent Islamist-inspired homegrown terrorism and radicalisation.  From 1983 to 2001 he was employed as a senior multilingual analyst at CSE, specialising in the Middle East.  He is the author of five books on terrorism, including his most recent When religion kills: how extremist justify violence through faith



John Gilmour joins the PDI team after a thirty-seven year career in the federal government in positions of growing responsibility. His initial professional experience was with Transport Canada and the management of Canada’s major international airports. This included serving as project manager and analyst for airport security programs. This led to a two-year assignment to the Security and Intelligence (Operations) section of the Privy Council office as a senior policy analyst, in support of the office of the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister (NSA). 

From there John joined the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), where he served in a variety of branches, most recently as the Head-Strategic Planning and Operational Analysis with the Service’s Counter-Terrorism Division.  Although retiring in 2018 from the Service, John continues to be periodically retained as a senior advisor for CSIS.

John has a BA from Carleton University (Ottawa), and a Masters and Ph.D from the War Studies Program of the Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston). He serves on the Advisory Board of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies (CASIS) – Vancouver, and is a Fellow with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute (CGAI).


Mark Hearn is a seasoned Business Leader and technical Product Management executive, bringing technology and business together to solve market problems for over 25 years. Mark’s expertise in software security and anti-reverse engineering has helped industry leaders solve critical product security issues with innovation and minimized risk. As a product security evangelist, Mark has spoken at many industry conferences and engaged in panel discussions on the need to protect software products from attack. He is an expert on the business risks associated with reverse engineering and the critical impact that hacking could have for manufacturers, and for their customers. Mark has held executive roles in product management and strategic market development, developing expertise in both the business-critical and technical functions related to business strategy, use/abuse cases, technical requirements, competitive analysis, and security threat-risk analysis.



Alan Jones worked for 32 years in the Canadian Security and Intelligence community including as an Executive responsible for developing cyber programs and as a member of a number of senior committees on the development of cyber security strategies at the national and international level.  He is now a consultant who has worked on the development of a major cyber security center to protect critical infrastructure.




Serena Joseph-Harris is a Caribbean scholar, expert, and practitioner in international security and geopolitics. She holds the Anti -Terrorist Assistance (ATA) accreditation, is a certified Legal Assessor in the Financial Action Task Force Revised Recommendations and contributor to establishment-linked platforms, such as the Cipher Brief and Defence IQ, on the topics of modern terrorism and violent extremism. She previously served as Trinidad and Tobago High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, policy and intelligence advisor to the National Security Council Secretariat, and governmental representative to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Council of Ministers and Plenary of Senior Officials.



Dr. Joshua Krasna is a senior researcher, writer and university lecturer. He retired in 2017 after 30 years of government service in Israel, including as a strategic planner, senior Middle East and strategic analyst, manager of government analytical teams, and diplomat. He was assigned as counselor at the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, followed by being appointed an instructor and team leader at the Israel National Defence College. Dr. Krasna is now a Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, as well as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the New York University Center for Global Affairs.


Alan McCafferty is a highly skilled and successful Strategic Consultant with 25+ years of progressive experience working with start-ups, multi-national and public organizations.  Educated in Canada, the USA and Europe in multiple disciplines including Engineering, Business, and Risk Management, he’s authored more than 25 white papers and holds a Canada Award for Excellence. As a lead consultant Alan, has delivered highly complex and critical technology projects ranging in value from $10M to $1.3B, by working effectively with international multi-disciplinary teams and stakeholders.  His work as a business strategist has been in risk management, business analytics, information governance and security, business continuity, cybercrime, cyberterrorism, strategic planning and performance based systems for public and private organizations with 4 employees to 1,000+ employees.  Alan is the founder of The Strategic Consulting Group an Ottawa based strategic advisory analytics firm, sought after by private corporations and all levels of governments in Canada and abroad.



Dave McMahon has an honours degree in computer engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada and 35 years experience in defence, security and intelligence.  Dave was a CSO, COO to defence, telecommunications and intelligence organizations, co-chair or the Interdepartmental Committee on Information Warfare, expert witness to the Senate and special advisor to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and intelligence oversight and review. Dave is currently the Chair of the CADSI cyber council, and the CEO of Clairvoyance Cyber Corp.




Minke Meijnders is an expert in Strategic Foresight, focusing on geopolitics, geo-economics and international security issues. She is a former Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute, the leading think tank on international relations in the Netherlands. In this function, she co-headed the Strategic Foresight Programme of the Security Unit and was part of the Dutch Network of Safety and Security Analyst. Ms. Meijnders has a background in International Politics and International Security Studies.



Angus Smith was an intelligence analyst with the RCMP for more than 30 years, a career that included work on Latin America, the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, corruption, terrorism and national security. He has also had a long career as a Jewish educator, as a Jewish youth movement leader and as a speaker and writer on Jewish culture and history. Now semi-retired, he is an award-winning author and a popular teacher with the Seniors’ College Association of Nova Scotia.




Daniel M. Stanton served for thirty-two years with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, including twelve years as an Executive Manager in operations. Mr. Stanton had a lengthy career in counterintelligence, counter-proliferation, and counterterrorism, with recognized expertise in human source recruitment, handling, validation, and training.  Mr. Stanton is President of Promethean Intelligence Consulting, a leader in the development of Insider Threat risk assessments for private and public sectors, and for practical performance measurements in time-sensitive and legally compliant environments. A graduate of Queens University, Mr. Stanton has an Honours B.A. in History and Philosophy.


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