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Hillary Briffa is Lecturer in National Security Studies and the Assistant Director of the Centre for Defence Studies at King’s College London, where she read for her Ph.D in War Studies, asking whether small states can have a grand strategy. She is also a founding member of the Centre for Grand Strategy, where she serves as the research lead for the Climate Change and International Order portfolio, and previously administered five editions of the annual summer school ‘The U.S., U.K., and World Order’ in partnership with the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas.

In the Department of War Studies, Hillary is the research theme lead for National and International Security in the School of Security Studies. She currently teaches National Security Studies, and Small States and International Security at MA level; The Art of War at BA1 Level; and is the BA3 Dissertation tutor and training lead. She has been nominated and shortlisted in the King’s Education Awards categories of ‘Sustained Excellence’ (2019/2020), ‘Inclusive Education’ (2021) and 'Expanding Opportunities' (2022) for four consecutive years.

Across the College, Hillary serves as an elected representative on the KCL Council, which is the supreme governing body of the university, and the Academic Board. She also serves on the Faculty level Academic Working Group for Online CPD and Executive Education, and the SSPP Faculty EDI in Research Working Group. She is committed to championing gender and equality policies at KCL through the War Studies Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and is a regular contributor to KCL Widening Participation programmes. Beyond the College, Hillary is the Academic Chair for the Knowledge Hub on Climate on behalf of KCL for Circle-U, the European University Alliance. She is also a member of the editorial board of open-access peer-reviewed journal Small States & Territories (ISSN: 2616-8006), serves as Literacy Lead for Europe for the Royal Commonwealth Society, and is an Early Career Member of the Royal Historical Society.

Previously, she has taught courses across the spectrum of global politics, international relations, defence, foreign policy, security and strategy at the Royal College of Defence Studies, the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, University College London, Birkbeck University of London, and Queen Mary University of London. Beyond academia, she served as Youth Ambassador for Malta to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for three years, and worked at the Malta High Commission to the UK throughout Malta’s tenure as Commonwealth Chair-in-Office. After running peace-building projects in Eastern and Central Europe (capturing a $25k grant and winning the European Union Youth Award and the U.S. State Department Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund Award), in 2015 she was appointed an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and in 2016 became a recipient of the U.S. State Department’s inaugural Emerging Young Leaders award.

Research interests

  • Small States and International Security
  • National Security
  • Grand Strategy
  • First World War Propaganda
  • Migration
  • Soft Power and Political Communication
  • Frozen Conflicts in Eastern Europe
  • Strategic Foresight


  • Hans J. Morgenthau Fellow at The Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) - 2020/2021
  • Clements Centre for History, Strategy and Statecraft (University of Texas) Graduate Summer Seminar in History and Statecraft - Colorado, July 2016
  • U.S. State Department inaugural Emerging Young Leaders Award and Exchange Programme, April 2016
  • Malta Government ENDEAVOUR scheme January 2015-2018
  • Malta Government Scholarship MASTER it! Scheme 2013, part-financed by the European Union – European Social Fund (ESF) under Operational Programme II – Cohesion Policy 2007-2013, “Empowering People for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life”
  • Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship, North Carolina 2010


  • Briffa, Hillary, Ian Hall, Alessio Patalano, and Bec Strating. 2022. "Enhancing Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific". Policy Brief. Griffith Asia Institute.
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2022. "Neutrality and Small States: A Strategic Approach" In Neutral beyond the Cold: Neutral States and the Post-Cold War International System, edited by Pascal Lottaz, Heinz Gärtner, and Herbert R. Reginbogin. Lexington Books: London. 19-38.
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2021. “The Integrated Review and the View from Small States: Time to Think Smaller?” In The Integrated Review in Context: A Strategy Fit for the 2020s?,edited by Joe Devanny and John Gearson, 86–92. Centre for Defence Studies.
  • Melitensium Amor: The surge of Nationalism in Colonial Malta during the First World War’ presented at the 2019 International Society for First World War Studies conference was awarded the Gail Braybon Award in September 2021
  • Briffa, Hillary, Jasen Castillo, Alexander Cooley, and Naazneen Barma. 2021. “Roundtable 13-1 on An Open World: How America Can Win the Contest for Twenty-First-Century Order.” H-Diplo, September 17, 2021.
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2021. “Tourism and COVID-19 in 2020: The Case of Malta as a Small State.” Small States & Territories, 4 (1): 75–104.
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2021. “Neutrality and Shelter Seeking: The Case of Malta.” In Small States and the New Security Environment, edited by Anne-Marie Brady and Baldur Thorhallsson. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.
  • Briffa, Hillary, and Alessandra Baldacchino. 2021. “Diaspora Policies, Consular Services and Social Protection for Maltese Citizens Abroad.” In Migration and Social Protection in Europe and Beyond (Volume 2): Comparing Consular Services and Diaspora Policies, edited by Jean-Michel Lafleur and Daniela Vintila. Cham, Switzerland: IMISCOE Research Series, Springer International Publishing.
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2021. “Section Introduction: Multilingual Environments.” In Multilingual Environments in the Great War, edited by Julian Walker and Christophe Declerq. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2020. “1919: Repression, Riots and Revolution.Imperial & Global Forum, June 9, 2020.
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2019. “Malta.” In Religion and Contemporary Politics: A Global Encyclopedia, edited by Timothy Demy and Jeffrey Shaw. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2017. “Audita Tremendi, Emicho, Melito of Sardis.” In War and Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict, edited by Jeffrey Shaw and Timothy Demy. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLI
  • Briffa, Hillary. 2016. “Malta in the First World War.” In Languages and the First World War: Communicating in a Transnational War, edited by Julian Walker and Christophe Declerq, 175–189. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Consultant on Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) 2016 report 'A New Comprehensive Strategy for Countering Violent Extremism'

Book reviews:

  • Micallef Grimaud, J. (2018). Small states and EU governance: Malta in EU decision-making processes. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Review by Hillary Briffa. In Small States & Territories Vol. 2, No. 1, May 2019
  • Harwood, M., Moncada, S. & Pace, R. (Eds.) (2018). Malta’s EU Presidency: A study in a small state Presidency of the Council of the EU. Msida, Malta: Malta University Publications. Review by Hillary Briffa. In Small States & Territories Vol. 2, No. 1, May 2019
  • Paul, T.V. (2018) Restraining Great Powers: soft balancing from empires to the global era. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Review by Hillary Briffa. In International Affairs Vol. 95, No. 6, Nov 2019