Elizabeth McKinney-Bennett

Senior Non-Resident Fellow -Global Affairs

Areas of Expertise 


  • Strategic Communications specialist
  • Full-spectrum strategic media analysis advice to government clients
  • Senior advisor in international perception and reputation management
  • Participates in regional ‘think tank’ strategic communications advisory sessions for senior clients
  • Crisis communications specialist
  • Monitor and evaluate open-source media, delivering  strategic analysis on global terrorism threats for senior government clients



Royal Military Academy Sandhust

UK Defence Academy




Elizabeth is a highly experienced communicator and leader who has worked with b'huth since 2012. She possesses a wide spectrum of experience in strategic communications gained in the fields of military, education and government strategy.

Elizabeth was seconded as the Director Strategic Communications and Media for the Abu Dhabi Education Council, responsible directly to the Director General of ADEC, Her Excellency Dr Amal Al Qubaisi. The b'huth team evaluated and restructured the Strategic  Communications and Media Division (SCMD) and created and executed innovative campaigns to promote key ADEC policies and initiatives and significantly improved regional and international positioning, recognition and reputation of the DG and of ADEC.

Under Elizabeth's leadership, the team conceived and implemented a full spectrum of strategic communications and media operating policies and procedures, including a digital engagement strategy. She handled Arabic and English language media entities locally, regionally and internationally. Elizabeth created and established a crisis communications policy at ADEC and successfully managed two major crises with international media interest. She promoted a greater understanding of strategic communications principles within ADEC and SCMD, particularly the importance of effective internal communications and the concept of ‘staff as advocates’. She led a large team of mostly Emirati staff, fully implementing HR policies, such as CPD and KPIs and championed ADEC’s Emiratisation Program.

Career highlights of Elizabeth's 28 years of military service (with extensive operational and overseas experience) include service with 22 Special Air Service Regiment and as a commander at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS). There, she received a Commandant’s Distinction and established and led its leadership analysis centre and was the first female officer to command a male platoon at RMAS. She has commanded over 300 officers and soldiers on combat operations.

Elizabeth has been responsible for all strategic communications and media operations for the British Army in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Northern England and has briefed and trained senior military commanders on media policy and interview techniques. Elizabeth served with HM Royal Marines Commandos as instructor and policy advisor at RM Lympstone and was seconded to the Bangladesh Army to advise on key policy implementation. She was responsible for the assignment and career progression of over 500 specialist officers deployed globally and was the first female ever to complete Arctic Warfare training.