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Rory Medcalf

Rory Medcalf is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute.

Professor Medcalf is Head of the National Security College at the Australian National University. His professional background spans diplomacy, journalism, think tanks and intelligence analysis. He was Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program from 2007 to 2015. He has worked as a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments, Canberra's peak intelligence analysis agency. His experience as an Australian diplomat included a posting to New Delhi, a secondment to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, truce monitoring after the civil conflict in Bougainville and policy development on Asian security institutions. He has contributed to three landmark reports on nuclear arms control and disarmament including the Canberra Commission and the Tokyo Forum. His earlier work in journalism was commended in Australia’s leading media awards, the Walkleys. He has been active in developing Australia's relations with India, including as founding convener and co-chair of the Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informal policy dialogue between the two countries.

In 2014 the Australian Government appointed him to an expert panel providing independent advice on the 2015 Defence White Paper. His current research areas include Australia's strategic and defence challenges, the further development of his work on an Indo-Pacific concept of the Asian strategic environment, and prospects for maritime and nuclear stability in Indo-Pacific Asia, on which he is leading two major projects funded by the MacArthur Foundation. Professor Medcalf is a member of 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 fellow with the Brookings Institution and the Seapower Centre of the Royal Australian Navy.




Articles by Rory Medcalf (51)

  • New thinking about Australian security

    This is an extract from a speech delivered by the author in Brisbane on 18 September. A full transcript can be found here. Australia's greatest strategic challenges are very much in the realm of geopolitics, in our Indo-Pacific region. They are related to changing balances of power, the use of force, and the way in which planning for our future may be frustrated by the interests, concerns and destabilising behaviour of other states.
  • So long, farewell

    It's always good to leave a job while you're still enjoying it. After almost eight years, today is my last day as director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute. I am proud to have contributed a substantial part of my working life to the Institute's development as a force to be reckoned with in foreign and security policy debates, whether in Australia, its Indo-Pacific region or globally.
  • Sydney siege: A postscript

    The Sydney hostage siege is over and three people — the lone gunman and tragically two of the innocent people he had held captive — are dead. The people of Sydney and Australia are still coming to terms with what has happened. How Australians respond in the next few days will matter greatly to whether this horrific incident will change this country in any way for the worse.  A few things are becoming increasingly clear: