Rory Medcalf

Professor Rory Medcalf is the head of the National Security College at The Australian National University.

Professor Rory Medcalf began his tenure as the Head of the National Security College in January 2015. His professional background involves more than two decades of experience across diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks and journalism. Most recently he was the Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute for International Policy from 2007 to 2015.

Prior to that, Professor Medcalf 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: the 1996 Canberra Commission, 1999 Tokyo Forum and 2009 International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament. His earlier work in journalism was commended in Australia’s leading media awards, the Walkleys.

Professor Medcalf has been active in developing Australia’s relations with India. He has been Associate Director of the Australia-India Institute and Senior Research Fellow in Indian Strategic Affairs at the University of New South Wales. He is the founding convener and co-chair of the Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informal policy dialogue between the two countries.

In early 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 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 and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Nuclear Security. He is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy with the Brookings Institution in Washington DC and retains affiliation as a Nonresident Fellow with the Lowy Institute and the Seapower Centre of the Royal Australian Navy.