Professor Rory Medcalf is Head of the ANU National Security College.

Professor Medcalf’s career spans diplomacy, intelligence analysis, think tanks, academia and journalism, including as founding director of the security program at the Lowy Institute. He has been Head of the National Security College (NSC) at the Australian National University since 2015, leading its transformation into a key institution for national capability uplift across education, training, research, policy contestability and futures analysis.

In government, Professor Medcalf was a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments, Australia’s peak intelligence agency, and a diplomat with service in India, Japan and Papua New Guinea. He has been a sustained advocate of Australia-India relations and continues to play a lead role in informal diplomacy among a range of Indo-Pacific powers. He has contributed to three landmark international reports on nuclear arms control and was an adviser for Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper.

Professor Medcalf is recognised globally as a thought leader on the Indo-Pacific strategic concept, as articulated in his acclaimed book Contest for the Indo-Pacific (published internationally as Indo-Pacific Empire). He is a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum Register of Experts and Eminent Persons, the board of the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, and the Scientific Advisory Council of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs.


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Articles

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National service will safeguard Australia’s security

The current global polycrisis — a cascade of entangled emergencies like climate change and energy security, pandemics and…

8 December 2022



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Pandemic hero receives Queen’s honours

An ANU intensive care specialist who helped keep the ACT community safe during COVID-19 has been recognised in…

14 June 2022



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Unpacking Solomon Islands’ security pact with China

The tide is turning on the security of Solomon Islands after its Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare signed a…


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Australia and America in lockstep on China, US diplomat says

Australia and the United States are working together on contingency plans for the potential scenario of a war with China over Taiwan and other possible flashpoints in the…


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Why we are in for a dangerous decade

Two leading strategic studies experts outline the national security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cascading strategic shocks Professor…

22 December 2020



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Time to rethink our approach to national security: expert

The Head of the ANU National Security College has called for the appointment of a sovereignty commissioner to…


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