The EST Working Group on Defense and Security in Europe aims at giving young professionals a voice to express their vision and analyze the main security and defense challenges in Europe – namely terrorism, US – Russia axis, cyber defense and EU’s security norms.

Our Members

Hélène Richard 

Hélène Richard is the founder and head of the Working Group on Security and Defense in Europe. She has been working on peacekeeping issues for more than a year, first with the Soldiers of Peace International Association and then at the United Nations within the Department of Peace Operations. 

She has always been passionate about security-related issues, with a focus on Russia for more than 4 years. She has published over 15 articles in collaboration with youth NGOs and institutes.

She completed her Masters in Security, Defense and Diplomacy at the University of Lyon, France, in 2015. She speaks French, English, Spanish, Russian and has started learning Italian. 

Eric Adamson

Eric Adamson serves as deputy head and editor of the working group. He is currently the program manager for policy and research at the American Jewish Committee in Berlin, focusing on transatlantic issues.

Previously, Eric gained professional experience at the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway.

He completed his masters degree in European Studies at Freie Universität Berlin in 2017 and has a bachelors degree in European Studies and German from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine USA. He speaks Swedish and German.

Adriana Mara

Adriana is a research associate at the Risk Advisory Group based in London. There she is part of the Europe team and focuses on mitigating regulatory and reputational risks. Prior, Adriana held research positions in the London think-tank sector including at Tech Against Terrorism and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. At the ESTt, Adriana produces academic papers and contributes to collaborative projects on various issues Europe is facing especially those involving technological challenges. 

She holds a Masters degree from City, University of London where she completed her dissertation on digital diplomacy as well as a Bachelors degree from the University of Essex in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Angelica Puntel

Angelica is currently a cyber threat intelligence researcher, focusing on how cyber-threats shape, and are affected by, international political developments. She previously worked as a research assistant for the international secretariat of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Brussels, where she analysed the relationship between NATO and Russia and NATO’s policies, initiatives and perspectives on cyber security, defence, and deterrence. Within the EST Working Group on Security and Defence, she wrote on the relationship between EU and NATO and on how they plan to face the ever evolving hybrid threat.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Trieste, (ITA), and a Master of Science in International Relations from the University of Glasgow (UK). In her dissertation, she focused on the development of the EU’s strategic culture and on the influence that such a concept has on the relationship between EU and NATO and on their role as security providers for Europe.

Markus Pollak

Markus Pollak works as Junior Policy Officer at The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities in Brussels and monitors political developments on EU level. He previously worked for NGOs in the field of education in Austria and Argentina, the Holocaust Exhibition Vilnius and the British embassy in Vienna. Most recently he was intern at UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Paris.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Vienna. During an exchange at Sciences Po Paris in 2017 he started to specialize in international politics and began to work on security-related questions and the European Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). In his thesis he compared the EU and NATO discourse of securitization towards the enclave Kaliningrad.

Within the working group, he approaches security as discursive concept that increasingly expands to a wider range of policy fields, such as climate change and migration. His regional interest lies in the Baltic region and Latin America. He speaks German, English, Spanish and French.

Zhaohan Shen

Zhaohan holds a bachelor in International and Comparative Politics from the American University of Paris, and is currently pursuing a Masters in International Security from the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). He leads the Singapore Students’ Association in France as President and has experience working alongside the French military during his time at the Ecole de Guerre. He also has experience working in UN organizations and the private sector.

Zhaohan has been featured as an expert on Asia-Pacific security issues on France 24 and other news outlets. He speaks English, Mandarin Chinese, French, Japanese, and basic Spanish.

Jack Smith

Jack is currently a Masters student at Sciences Po Paris, where he is on the Dual Degree Programme with the London School of Economics and specialises in International Security.

After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Human, Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge, he spent several years working in the private sector for Tesco and BT before coming to Paris. Jack also spent some time during his Bachelor’s as an intern for the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.