After an international search, The Australian National University (ANU) has appointed Dr Dave Peebles as the new Director for the Australia Pacific Security College. 

Dr Peebles will lead the College from February 2023, holding the title of Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University (ANU).

Professor Helen Sullivan, Dean of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, welcomed Dr Peebles’ appointment.

“Dr Peebles will make a vital contribution to the life of ANU with his extensive academic background, connections across the Pacific and strategic outlook.  I look forward to the Australia Pacific Security College going from strength-to-strength under his direction,” Professor Sullivan said.

“Dr Peebles joins the most concentrated community of Pacific scholars in the world. Importantly, those scholars are increasingly drawn from the Pacific and are making crucial impacts back in their communities.”

Dr Peebles has been passionately engaged with the Pacific academically and professionally for almost 30 years, and said he was delighted to take up the appointment.

“Pacific Islanders will confront some of the most difficult security challenges in human history in coming years.  Climate change.  Geostrategic competition.  The impact on development from the COVID-19 shock,” Dr Peebles said.

“I am honoured and privileged to have this opportunity to lead the Australia Pacific Security College, as we work together on these challenges. 

“We will take this voyage together as a Pacific family, guided by the Pacific Islands Forum’s 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, and Boe and Biketawa Declarations.

“My family and I have a deep love and affection for the Pacific.  Many of our happiest times as a family, and our most professionally rewarding work, have been in the Pacific.  My wife Justine has also served as the RAMSI Special Coordinator in Solomon Islands and my children’s formative years were spent in the Pacific. 

“I look forward to working with Pacific governments and citizens as the Director of the Australia Pacific Security College.”

Dr Peebles currently works in the Office of the Pacific in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, where he has been responsible for some of the most critical Pacific strategic issues, including climate change and oceans, the Pacific Islands Forum and Australia’s overall Pacific policy.

As part of his diplomatic career, Dr Peebles served as Deputy High Commissioner in Solomon Islands, Minister Counsellor in Indonesia and as a peace monitor in Bougainville as part of the regional peace monitoring group. 

Dr Peebles has also served as a Senior Adviser on Overseas Aid and Pacific Island Affairs at Parliament House and as the Chief of Staff to the ACT Minister for Education and Training. 

Dr Peebles has a PhD, Master of Strategic Affairs, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Hons).  He is the author of Pacific Regional Order, published by ANU.

The Australia Pacific Security College is an educational institution that enables critical thinking about national security pressures and opportunities, and new pathways to a more secure Pacific.  The College works in partnership with Pacific Islands Forum members on the region’s security challenges.  The College is funded by the Australian Government.

Top image: Dr Dave Peebles. Photo: supplied

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