Professor Rory Medcalf

Head, National Security College
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Political Science 1606
  • Defence Studies 160604
  • Government And Politics Of Asia And The Pacific 160606
  • International Relations 160607

Research interests

Australian security, defence and foreign policy; Asian strategic dynamics, including an Indo-Pacific concept of the Asian strategic environment; maritime security; nuclear issues; strategic implications of the rise of China and India; Australia-India relations.



Professor Rory Medcalf commenced as the Head of the National Security College inJanuary 2015. His professional background spans diplomacy, intelligence analysis, thinktanks and journalism. Most recently he was the Director of the International SecurityProgram 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 ofNational Assessments. His experience as an Australian diplomat included a posting toNew Delhi, a secondment to Japan’s foreign ministry and truce monitoring after the civilconflict in Bougainville. He has contributed to three landmark global reports on nucleararms control. His earlier work in journalism was commended in Australia’s leading mediaawards, the Walkleys.

Professor Medcalf has been active in developing Australia’s relations with India. He is thefounding convener and co-chair of the Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informalpolicy dialogue between the two countries. His current research areas include Australia’sstrategic and defence challenges, the further development of an Indo-Pacific conceptof the Asian strategic environment, and prospects for maritime and nuclear stability inIndo-Pacific Asia. He holds nonresident affiliations with the Brookings Institution and theLowy Institute, and is a member of the independent expert panel providing advice on theAustralian Government’s 2015 Defence White Paper.

Researcher's projects

MacArthur Foundation projects on Indo-Pacific maritime security, Indo-Pacific (nuclear) strategic stability (Lowy Institute), and China-India maritime security relations (Australia-India Institute).


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  22 March 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers