The Great Game: Intelligence in Modern Statecraft

When: October 2 – 30, 2023 | every Monday, 18:00-21:00

Where: Deree – The American College of Greece, Aghia Paraskevi Campus (6 Gravias Street, 153 42 Aghia Paraskevi)

Language of Instruction: English

Audience: By registration only


The Great Game: Intelligence in Modern Statecraftthe first of its kind in Greece- will run under the Institute of Global Affairs and the School of Graduate & Professional Education to provide a grounding in the study of intelligence, offering a conceptual framework in which to understand the nature and role of intelligence in modern government, a practical understanding of the value and potential of intelligence as a tool, and an appreciation of wider issues in war and international security.

Who is this for?

The program is primarily addressed to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the areas of politics, law, economics and international affairs, students of military academies, and young career professionals in policy-making, diplomacy and consulting. 

All sessions will be held in English. It is assumed that all participants have an excellent knowledge of English and a solid understanding of political and historical fundamentals. Familiarity with geopolitical, military and commercial international trends will be an asset.

Why attend?

Participants will develop an understanding of intelligence collection, assessment and reporting processes, and an appreciation of the ways in which intelligence matters manifest themselves in security issues in peace and war. In completing the series, participants will have acquired both historical and industry insights, seeing intelligence as a necessary part of a sound national security strategy.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this seminar, participants will have acquired both historical and industry insights, seeing intelligence as a necessary part of a sound national security strategy.

Dates & times

5 days (15 hours in total)

Mondays, 18:00-21:00

October 2, 2023
October 9, 2023
October 16, 2023
October 23, 2023
October 30, 2023

Course Curriculum

1st Session

Vassilis Benopoulos will offer an introduction to the study and practice of intelligence, outlining its role within the apparatus of government, and discussing the elements of the intelligence cycle.

2nd Session

Ambassador Bikas will discuss the challenges of analyzing intelligence and acting upon it: reasoning, avoiding cognitive biases, rational choice theory, bounded rationality, heuristics, behavioral decision-making, and power conflicts within leadership groups.

3rd Session

Dr Filis will place the discussion within the national setting, offering an overview of the geopolitical situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Greece’s potential as a pillar of security and defence.

4th Session

Prof. Gioe will delve into Russia and Ukraine, outlining Russian disinformation and providing new and thorough analysis of open source intelligence in the modern setting.

5th Session

Brig. Gen. Brun will conclude the seminar series with a fresh take on intelligence analysis in an era of dramatic change, bringing in new tools like ChatGPT. 

Certificate of Attendance

In order to be awarded the Certificate of Attendance from the Deree – School of Graduate and Professional Education, participants will need to attend at least 12 out of 15 hours.

Course fees

Regular single participant fee: €200

Members of the ACG Community, Professional Education past participants and the unemployed: €150


Vassilis BenopoulosVassilis Benopoulos is second lieutenant in the Hellenic Infantry Reserves. He holds an LLB in Politics, Philosophy, and Law with first class honours from King’s College London. His thesis titled “SOE: Invisible Tool of Empire – How the Special Operations Executive Was Allowed to Facilitate the Greek Entanglement, Unconstrained” explored the absence of checks and balances on SOE in its capacity as a tool of foreign intervention. He completed his MA in Intelligence and International Security at the Department of War Studies of King’s College London, focusing on covert action, geopolitics, and great-power conflict. He has professional experience in legal and management consulting, and spent a year working at the Royal Courts of Justice in 2018/19. His research article titled “Within and Without: The Participation of Private Power in American Intelligence as Seen Through Operation AJAX” was published in the American Intelligence Journal in 2022. He has written articles for Greek newspapers and is the author of three novels of literary fiction.     

Konstantinos BikasKonstantinos Bikas, Ambassador (Ret.) is Former Head of the Greek National Intelligence Service, now serving as International Business Director in Mytilineos SA., since 2019. In this capacity he supports the Company’s international presence in its two business Sectors, Energy and Metallurgy. He studied law at the University of Athens and Hamburg. He has been a career diplomat having served, among others, as Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, Director of the Private Office of the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, Head of the Greek Embassy in Baghdad and Ambassador of Greece to the UK and Israel. 

Itai BrunBrigadier General (Ret.) Itai Brun joined the Institute for National Security Studies as a Deputy Director for Research and Analysis in December 2018. He served as the head of Israel Defense Intelligence (IDI) Analysis Division (2011-2015). He was the head of the Analysis Department in the Israeli Air Force Intelligence and the first director of the IDF’s DADO Center for Interdisciplinary Military Studies. Brigadier General Brun is a lawyer by training. His academic background includes Law and Political Science. He earned his LL.B Degree (Law studies) from Haifa University (cum laude) and a Master’s Degree in Political Science (Diplomacy and Security Studies) from Tel-Aviv University (cum laude). He has published a series of articles on intelligence, air power and military doctrine. His book Intelligence Analysis – Understanding Reality in time of Dramatic Changes was published in 2015 (Hebrew edition) and in 2018 (updated English version) by the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center (IICC). He is the co-author (with Itamar Rabinovich) of the book Israel Facing a New Middle East: In Search of a National Security Strategy (2017), published by the Hoover Institution Press.

Constantinos FilisAssociate Professor Constantinos Filis is Director at the Institute of Global Affairs & Associate Professor at the American College of Greece. President of the Foundation for Thracean Art and Tradition and member of Advisory Committee of the Institute of International Relations, Panteion University. Expert representative of Greece at the The European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE). Associate Academic Researcher, Centre for Foreign Policy Planning (KESEP), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hellenic Republic Energy and Geoeconomics Advisor to the Hellenic Association of Entrepreneurs (2018-present). Member of the Greek-Turkish Forum (2013-present). Corresponding Member of the Institute of Energy for South-East Europe (2017-present). Former Head, Russia, Eurasia and Southeast Europe Centre of the Institute International Relations, Panteion University (2004-2021). Former Executive Director and Director of Research at the Institute of International Relations, Panteion University. Former instructor at the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence of the National and Kapodistrian, University of Athens. Chair of the Greek-Israeli Joint Committee on Energy Prospects of the Eastern Mediterranean (2009-2011). Collaboration with the office of the Foreign Minister of Greece on the OSCE Presidency (2008-2009). His most recent books/monographs are: “Eastern Mediterranean: Total Comeback?”, “The future of History”, “Assertive Patriotism”, “Greece in its neighborhood”, “A Closer Look at Russia and its Influence in the World”, “Turkey, Islam, Erdogan”, and “Refugees, Europe, Insecurity”.   

David GioeProfessor David V. Gioe is Visiting Professor of Intelligence and International Security in the Department of War Studies of King’s College London. He joins the department as a British Academy Global Professor. He is Associate Professor of History at the US Military Academy at West Point, where he also serves as History Fellow for the Army Cyber Institute. David is also Director of Studies for the Cambridge Security Initiative and co-convener of its International Security and Intelligence program. Professor Gioe is an internationally recognised academic scholar of intelligence and a veteran professional practitioner of the craft. He is experienced in civilian, military, corporate and law enforcement intelligence with expertise in intelligence analysis and overseas operations. After over a decade of public service as an intelligence officer, he became a leading intellectual with several conference presentations, media engagements and publications on intelligence and national security issues. He holds advanced degrees from Georgetown University and the University of Cambridge. His scholarship and analysis have appeared in numerous outlets.

For more information, please email [email protected] or call +30 210 600 9800 ext. 1532, 1332.

Classes start: October 2, 2023