New head of ANU National Security College

14 November 2014

The University has appointed distinguished strategic and foreign policy analyst Rory Medcalf as Professor and Head of the ANU National Security College (NSC).

Professor Medcalf is currently Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and a Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution. He is also a member of the expert panel providing independent advice on the Australian Government’s 2015 Defence White Paper.

He replaces the outgoing Head, Professor Michael L’Estrange AO, a former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who has led the NSC since it was established in 2009.

“I congratulate Rory Medcalf on taking up the leadership role in the National Security College as it consolidates its reputation as Australia’s premier institution for strengthening Australia’s national security community,” said ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young AO.

“I welcome Professor Medcalf to the ANU community and look forward to working with him in his new role.

“I would also like to thank Professor L’Estrange for the tremendous job he has done to lead the National Security College since it was formed. Under his leadership, the NSC has become a valuable national institution with a strong reputation for its academic programs, high quality executive and professional training, and outreach.”

Professor Medcalf will take up his new position from late January 2015.

“The mission of the National Security College is ultimately to contribute to better policy and better outcomes for Australia across the spectrum of security challenges," Professor Medcalf said.

"I'm privileged to have the opportunity to carry forward this important work.”

The NSC was set up as a joint venture between the ANU and the Commonwealth Government in 2009, to shape a new generation of strategic analysts and enhance the skills of those in the national security community.

Professor Medcalf joins the ANU after a career spanning think tanks, diplomacy, intelligence analysis and journalism. Most recently he has spent almost eight years with the Lowy Institute, making a significant contribution to its development.

Before that, he worked as a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments and as a diplomat specialising in international security. His service with DFAT included a posting to India, a secondment to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and truce monitoring after the conflict in Bougainville. He has contributed to three major international reports on nuclear arms control.

Professor Medcalf has been active in building Australia’s ties with India and helping shape an Indo-Pacific perspective for Australian foreign and security policy. He has served as Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of the Australia India Institute, University of New South Wales, and is the founding chair of the Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informal dialogue between the two countries.

He is on the editorial board of the Australian Journal of International Affairs, a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Nuclear Security and a Nonresident Visiting Fellow with the Seapower Centre of the Royal Australian Navy.