Thomas K. Samuel

Thomas Koruth Samuel is at present the Regional Consultant for Terrorism Prevention with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). He is focusing on Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism and his chief areas of interest is in Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia in particular, and the Southeast Asia region in general. He was also a consultant for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2019 on the subject of utilizing education in countering violent extremism.

Prior to his this, he was the Director of the Digital Strategic Communications Division (DSCD) with the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT), which is under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. He started off as a volunteer Health Officer for World Vision East Timor in 2003 and then moved to the Research and Publications division in SEARCCT in 2004. He served as the division’s director from 2010 to 2016 before assuming the position with the DSCD. He has an honours degree in Biomedical Technology (2000) and a Masters degree in Strategic and Defence Studies (2005) from the University of Malaya, Malaysia.

His main areas of research includes Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), the role education in P/CVE, the role of law enforcement and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in P/CVE, the narratives of the terrorists and the subsequent counter-narratives, the radicalization process, strategic communications and youth involvement in terrorism. He is also very interested in mediation, conflict resolution and ‘spoiler management’ during times of conflict. He lectures frequently on counter-terrorism and international security and has delivered lectures and briefings in Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, China, Cambodia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Germany, Japan, Laos, Nepal, Maldives, The Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States. Besides delivering papers, he has been a resource person at numerous conferences and workshops for nation-states, International Organizations (IOs), and UN bodies and has facilitated and conducted workshops for the UNODC in the Philippines and Thailand. He has also represented Malaysia and led delegations as an officer for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was awarded the Excellence Service Award by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia in 2009, 2011 and 2014.