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Speaker Biographies

Moderator and Speaker Profiles (PDF Format)





LEFOYER, Sylvain - new picture.jpg        Moderator

Sylvain Lefoyer became the Deputy Director of Aviation Security and Facilitation in the Air Transport Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on 1 March 2017. He leads teams responsible for developing Aviation Security and Facilitation policy and Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs), conducting audits of Member States’ aviation security activities, assisting States that are unable to address serious security deficiencies highlighted by those audits, and implementing the Traveler Identification Programme (ICAO TRIP) Strategy.
Sylvain has extensive experience at the senior executive level in policy and regulations development, strategy, oversight, critical incident management and organization development in aviation security and facilitation. Previous to his role in ICAO, Mr. Lefoyer’s career in transport safety and security spans more than 25 years. He held various positions, including a Deputy Regional Director for Ground Transport Safety, Security and Defence in the Regional Directorate for Equipment and Urban Planning in the Paris metropolitan area and the Deputy Head of Aviation Security and Defense in the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC). Prior to that, he was enhancing his career in air traffic management from 2005 to 2011, in risk prevention and management from 2002 to 2004, and in maritime transport safety and security from 1992 to 2001.
He holds a Master’s Degree in electronics from Paris University and a Master’s Degree in public administration from École des Ponts ParisTech.



Mark Rodmell - Cropped.jpgModerator

​Mark Rodmell is the Head of Aviation Security Policy and Regulation at the Department for Transport in the United Kingdom, and chair of the ICAO AVSEC Panel's Working Group on Threat and Risk.  Mark was first involved in aviation policy in 1992 when tasked with reviewing UK policy on aircraft noise.  He was from 2003-2008 the UK Head of International Aviation Negotiations for North America and Asia-Pacific, with additional responsibility for facilitation policy.  Subsequently he was Head of Aviation Security Policy and International Representation in the UK Department for Transport, and was the UK representative on the ICAO Aviation Security Panel from 2008-2012.  Mark was the United Kingdom Permanent Representative to ICAO from 2012-2017 and chair of the ICAO Council's Committee on Unlawful Interference from 2014-2015.


Bernard Lim.png Moderator

Bernard Lim is Senior Director for International Relations and Security with the Ministry of Transport, Singapore. He served as the Vice-Chairman of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Aviation Security (AVSEC) Panel from March 2009 to March 2011, and then as Chairman from March 2011 to April 2015. During this period, the Panel made a number of key achievements, such as the establishment of the ICAO's Comprehensive Aviation Security Strategy 2011-2016; the development of new ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices for air cargo security; cyber security; security of air traffic service providers; access control measures with respect to persons other than passengers; security awareness training; landside security and international AVSEC co-operation, amongst others.

Bernard also served as a member of the ICAO's Secretariat Study Group (SSG) on liquids, aerosols and gels (LAGs) (2007) that developed the ICAO guidelines on the hand carriage of LAGs. He also served as the Rapporteur of various other ICAO AVSEC Panel Working Groups working on Guidance Materials; Screening of Non-Passengers; the ICAO Comprehensive Aviation Security Strategy 2011-2016, and Air Cargo Security. Since 2014, he has served as the co-chairman of the ICAO-World Customs Organization (WCO) Joint Working Group on Advance Cargo Information (ACI). Bernard was also appointed as the Chairman of the ICAO AVSEC Panel's Task Force to develop the ICAO's first Global Aviation Security Plan (2016-2017). Within the Asia Pacific region, he continues to serve as Vice-Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Aviation Security Experts Sub-Group. Bernard is a certified ICAO Aviation Security Instructor and has shared and spoken on various topics at international AVSEC conferences and seminars. He has also conducted AVSEC training sessions and courses including for Directors-General of Civil Aviation.


HIFDI, Sonia Mugshot - Cropped.jpgModerator

Sonia HIFDI is an engineer in physics and transportation within the French Civil Aviation Authority. She graduated in transport economics, in airport management and in resilience and crisis management. 

She started her career as the head of the explosives detection unit within the French civil aviation technical center in 2004. 

After 5 years, she moved to the office of security measures to manage the air carrier security program. 

Since January 2016, she is the head of the office of security measures with the aim of defining the national AVSEC policy, to ensure the coordination with the main departments within the French government in charge of aviation security. 

Since 2013 she is the chair of the ECAC Guidance Material Task Force. 

Moreover, since 2014 she is the French representative to the ICAO Aviation Security Panel and the rapporteur of the ICAO working group in innovation in Aviation Security. She is the current vice chair of the ICAO Aviation Security Panel.



​Mr. Ian Gilchrist is currently the Head of the Aviation Security Unit of the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority. He is a former independent contractor specialising in aviation security training and consulting; a former international civil servant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); a former police officer with the Royal Hong Kong Police; held the position of airport security manager of a large international airport; and a former full time employee of a specialist consulting firm where he held a number of senior operational and management positions.

Mr. Gilchrist is an ICAO accredited Instructor; an IATA certified Instructor, an IOSA qualified Auditor, and has achieved a Professional Manager Certification in AVSEC (AVSEC-PMC) granted by ICAO/Concordia University, a programme that he served as subject matter expert during the development stage and as Course Director for several courses.


Patricia Reverdy (june 2018) - Cropped.jpgModerator

As the Deputy Executive Secretary of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) Patricia REVERDY leads ECAC's coordination for international meetings and events. She manages the implementation of ECAC's work programme, in particular on economic and legal matters, as well as on security and facilitation. She also supports the activities of the ECAC expert group on accident investigations. In all these fields of activities, she leads the works among ECAC 44 Member States, and contributes to various international groups.

Patricia has over 20 years of experience in civil aviation. She first joined ECAC in September 2001 as Aviation Security Audit and Assistance Officer having previously worked for the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation.



Mr. Mohamed Khalifa Rahma is the Regional Director of the International Civil Aviation (ICAO) Middle East Regional Office. Mr. Rahma took over his position on March 20th, 2016. Since that time, he has been instrumental in strengthening regional and inter-regional collaboration in aviation security. This effort includes enhancing risk awareness and response, establishing a better-defined security culture, promoting  technologies while fostering new innovations, and improving oversight and quality assurance. Mr. Rahma continues to significantly increase cooperation among member States, global and local organizations. Under his leadership, the Global Ministerial Aviation Summit was held in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and concluded with the Riyadh Declaration on Aviation Security and Facilitation in the ACAC and ICAO MID region. Additionally, he was responsible for the establishing the Africa and Middle East Aviation Security Roadmap, which formed the basis for the work to be carried out by the relevant regional AVSEC/FAL Groups in line with the Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP) key priorities. This roadmap is the foundation for the other Regional Roadmaps around the world.

Prior to his appointment as ICAO Middle East Regional Director he was the Undersecretary of International and Internal Affairs at the Ministry of Civil Aviation of Egypt and previously the advisor to the Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation.

During his tenure, Mr. Rahma played a substantial role in many influential projects that actively supported and enhanced aviation capacity in Egypt. He developed cooperative relationships with government bodies and investors while paving the way for future business partnerships and opportunities. He acted as a liaison person to facilitate communication between the local bodies and the international and regional organizations such as ICAO, IATA, AFCAC and ACAC.

Mr. Rahma was a board member of various companies including Cairo Airport Company, Aerotel Company and EMAC Aqaba Company and chaired many strategic committees under the umbrella of the Ministry of Civil Aviation for special projects and has continuous presence in high level national and regional committees.

Mr. Rahma has 28 years of aviation experience in various fields including aviation management, airline management, operation, safety, training, corporate communication, marketing and crisis management. He is an accredited senior instructor and holds MBA in Aviation Management and is currently working to achieve his PHD in the same field. Mr. Rahma speaks fluent Arabic and English.

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