International Conference: Cybersecuring Democracy

Athens, 2 June 2022, 9:00-16:00 EEST


  • Department of International and European Studies-University of Piraeus
  • USC Election Cybersecurity Initiative (supported by Google)
  • USC Institute for Technology Enabled Higher Education (USC ITEHE)
  • The Council for International Relations-Greece (CfIR)

Working language: English (simultaneous interpretation in Greek-English)

Watch on demand



9:00 - 9:30   Registration

9:30 - 10:30 Welcoming remarks

  • Vinton G. Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google (on video)
  • George J. Tsunis, US Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic
  • Dimitris Avramopoulos, former EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, former Minister of National Defense, Foreign  Affairs, Tourism Development, Health and Social Solidarity, former Mayor of Athens
  • Vice Admiral Ioannis Drymousis (HN), Deputy Chief of Defence
  • Michail Sfakianakis, Dean, School of International, Economic and Business Studies, University of Piraeus
  • Maria Virvou, Chair, Department of Informatics, University of Piraeus

Moderator: Chrysostomos L. Nikias, President Emeritus and Professor, University of Southern California and  President of the Advisory Board, Council for International Relations-Greece (CfIR)

10:30-10:45 Introductory remarks

10:45 – 11:00 Break

11:00 - 11:30   Keynote address

  • Adam Clayton Powell III, Executive Director, Election Cybersecurity Initiative, University of Southern California, Member of the Advisory Board  of the Council for International Relations-Greece (CfIR)

12:00 – 13:30  Panel discussion: Cybersecurity and Cyberthreats

- Keynote speakers:

- Discussants:

  - Moderator: Konstantina Botsiou, University of Piraeus,  CfIR General Director

13:30 - 13:45 Break

13:45 - 15:45 Panel discussion: Cybersecurity and Democratic elections

- Keynote speakers:

- Discussants:  

- Moderator: Aristotle Tziampiris, University of Piraeus, CfIR President

15:45 - 16:00  Closing of the Conference


Dimitris Avramopoulos is a Greek politician and diplomat whose career in public service spans four decades. He was the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship from 2014 until 2019. Previously, Mr. Avramopoulos served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of National Defence (two terms), Minister of Tourism and Minister of Health and Social Solidarity of the Hellenic Republic, also having been elected MP several times. Before, Dimitris Avramopoulos served twice as Mayor of Athens (1995 to 2002).

Konstantina E. Botsiou is Professor of History and International Relations at the Department of International and European Studies of the University of Piraeus and General Director of the Council for International Relations (CfIR). She is Visiting Professor at the Hellenic National Defense College and has also taught at the University of Athens and the University of Peloponnese, where she served as Vice Rector for Studies and Quality Assurance.

Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google. Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet," Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has served in executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and on the faculty of Stanford University. He has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998, and in 2012, President Obama appointed him to the U.S. National Science Board. Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, US National Medal of Technology, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Tunisian National Medal of Science, the Japan Prize, the Charles Stark Draper award, the ACM Turing Award, Officer of the Legion d’Honneur and 29 honorary degrees.

Ioannis Drymousis
He was born in 1963 and graduated in 1986 from Hellenic Naval Academy. He was promoted to Vice Admiral in March 2020 and assume the duties of Deputy Chief of Defence. During his career he has served as commander and staff officer in several important positions in sea duty and shore/staff assignments while he holds significant Qualifications and Degrees, including also a Master of Science in Computer Science carried out in USA.

Christos Hadjiemmanuil is a Professor of International and European Monetary and Financial Institutions at the University of Piraeus, and a Visiting Professor of Law at the London School of Economics & Political Science. On 10 April 2020 he was appointed by Presidential Degree as Member of the Monetary Policy Council, Bank of Greece. He is a member of the Athens Bar Association.

Chrysostomos L. Nikias is currently the holder of the Malcolm R. Currie Chair in Technology and the Humanities, President Emeritus and Life Trustee of the University of Southern California (USC). He has been at USC since 1991, and in addition to his work as a professor of electrical engineering, has served as a digital media center director, dean of engineering, provost, and president of the university.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an associate member of the Academy of Athens.

Ioannis L. Konstantopoulos is Assistant Professor of International Relations – Economic Diplomacy at the Department of International and European Studies,  University of Piraeus. He also lectures at the Joint Intelligence School of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, the Hellenic Air War College (former Hellenic Air Staff and Command College), and the National Security School of the Hellenic Police Academy, while he has lectured at the Hellenic Supreme Joint War College (2009-2014) and at the Hellenic National Defence College (2009-2011, 2014).

Andrew N. Liaropoulos is Assistant Professor in University of Piraeus, Department of International and European Studies, Greece. He is also a senior analyst in the Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS) and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Information Warfare (JIW).

Lilian Mitrou is Professor at the University of the Aegean (Dpt. Information and Communication Systems Engineering) and Visiting Professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business and the University of Piraeus. She is President of the Institute for Privacy Law, Data Protection and Technology (EPLO/IPL) and member of the Greek National Council for Radio and Television.

Sarah Mojarad is on the faculty at the University of Southern California. She is a lecturer in Viterbi School of Engineering. Her areas of expertise are in social media, science communication, and online misinformation. Sarah conducts misinformation and disinformation workshops through USC's Election Cybersecurity Initiative. She is a Kavli Fellow. She was on the organizing committee for the 2022 US Kavli Frontiers Symposia and planned the Misinformation, Disinformation, Polarization, and Social Media session. She has given seminars around the world and she has been quoted by CNBC, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and CNN.

Clifford Neuman is Director of the Center for Computer Systems Security at the University of Southern California and Associate Professor of Computer Science Practice in USC's Viterbi School of Engineering where he oversees USC's computer security curricula.   Dr. Neuman designed the widely used Kerberos network authentication system while with MIT's project Athena. He has conducted research on scalable systems, electronic commerce, network payment, critical infrastructure, and security for election systems.

Athanasios Platias is Professor of Strategy at the University of Piraeus. He is also the Chairman of the Department of International and European Studies.
Professor Platias has written in five principal areas: i) Grand Strategy and Strategic Theory ii) Geopolitics and Geoeconomics iii) International Security iv) Theory of International Relations v) Greek Foreign and Defence Policy.

Adam Clayton Powell III directs the USC Election Cybersecurity Initiative, working with election officials and campaign workers in all 50 U.S. states. Previously he was USC’s Vice Provost for Globalization; Director of USC's Integrated Media Systems Center, a U.S. National Science Foundation engineering research center; Vice President of News at NPR; News Manager at CBS News; and Executive Producer at Quincy Jones Entertainment. 

Michael Sfakianakis 
Professor of Applied Informatics and Statistics in Business Administration at the Department of Business Administration, University of Piraeus, Dean of the School of Economics, Business and International Studies, University of Piraeus.

George A. Tsihrintzis (Diploma of Electrical Engineer, National Technical University of Athens; M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, USA); Professor and ex-Head, Department of Informatics, University of Piraeus; Director, “Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning–Multimedia Systems” Lab; Director, Program of Graduate Studies in “Advanced Informatics and Computing Systems”.

George J. Tsunis is the US Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic since May 2022. He was a founding trustee of the Hellenic American Leadership Council, and is a trustee of the Hellenic Initiative. Prior to his nomination, he was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Chartwell Hotels, LLC. Ambassador Tsunis served as the chairman of the Nassau University Medical Center, and previously, he was a Counsel and Partner (Attorney of Law), at Rivkin Radler LLP, Uniondale, NY, and Legislative Attorney, New York City Council.  He earned a B.A. from the New York University and a J.D. from St John’s University of Law, Queens, NY. He was an Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (Order of Saint Andrew), the highest ecclesiastical honor that can be bestowed upon a layman by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award for Long Island Cares and the lifetime achievement award for civic engagement for Long Island Business News.

Aristotle Tziampiris is Professor of International Relations at the Department of International and European Studies of the University of Piraeus and Director of the MSc Program in American Studies: Politics, Strategy & Economics offered in English in cooperation with New York University’s Center on Global Affairs. He is the President of the Council for International Relations-Greece (CFIR-GR). Dr. Tziampiris is also Visiting [Non-Resident] Scholar at the Center on Public Diplomacy of the University of Southern California (USC), Standing Fellow at New York University's Remarque Institute and Academic Advisor to the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC).

Matthew Turpin is a senior advisor at Palantir Technologies and visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution.  Matt served as the U.S. National Security Council’s Director for China and was responsible for managing the interagency effort to develop and implement U.S. Government policies on the People’s Republic of China.

Maria Virvou (B.S. in Mathematics, University of Athens; M.Sc. in Computer Science, University College London (UCL); Ph.D. in Computer Science, University of Sussex); Professor and Head, Department of Informatics; Director, Software Engineering Lab, University of Piraeus; Founder and Director, Program of Graduate Studies in “Computer Science.