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Director - Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University

Leanne Smith is the Director of the Whitlam Institute within Western Sydney and Adjunct Fellow at WSU School of Law. She is an Australian diplomat and human rights lawyer, and former Chief of the Policy and Best Practice Service of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York. Leanne has worked in the Australian judicial system, for the Australian Human Rights Commission, in the NGO sector, regional human rights organisations, for the Australian Government (DFAT) and the United Nations. She has served in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Balkans and Afghanistan. She is a Religion, Diplomacy and International Relations Fellow of the School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, from which she also holds a Master of Public Policy degree. Leanne graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours).


  • –present
    Visiting Fellow, Australian National University