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Director, Foreign Policy and Defence, United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney

Professor Peter J. Dean PhD SFHEA is the Director, Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He is also a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and at the Royal Australian Navy's Sea Power Centre.

Previously Professor Dean was the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) first Chair of Defence Studies and the inaugural director of the UWA Defence and Security Institute. At UWA he also served as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education), where he received a Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Outstanding Leadership. Prior to joining UWA Peter held a number of senior roles at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific and Strategic and Defence Studies Centre where taught military strategy, operations and Australian defence policy at the Australian Command and Staff College.

Professor Dean has been a Fulbright Fellow and Endeavour Research Scholar in Australia-United States Alliance Studies. He was a Senior Fellow with the Perth USAsia Centre, as well as a non-resident fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC. He is a graduate of Advance HE’s Top Management Programme for Higher Education, a recipient of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation Award for leadership and teaching excellence and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professor Dean was the founding editor of the Melbourne University Press Defence Studies Series, is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Australian Army Journal, Global War Studies and the Military Studies Journal and a former managing editor of the journal Security Challenges. An international award-winning author he has authored numerous books and articles on the US-Australian alliance, Australian defence policy and military operations. His books include Fighting Australia’s Cold War The Nexus of Strategy and Operations in a Multipolar Asia, 1945–1965 (2021); After American Primacy: Imagining the Future of Australia’s Defence (2019); MacArthur’s Coalition (2018); and Australia’s American Alliance (2016).

Professor Dean leads two US State Department-funded public diplomacy programs on the US-Australia Alliance and is a chief investigator on a number of projects including: Blue Security: Regional Maritime Exchange (DFAT); The United States’ Evolving Indian Ocean Strategy: Implications for Australian Strategic Policy (Department of Defence); Do the Ties Bind? Expectations and Commitments in the Australia-US Alliance (ARC); and Strategic Change and the US Alliance: Lessons from Australian Strategy and Views from the Nation (Department of Defence).


  • 2022–present
    Director, Foreign Policy and Defence Program, United States Studies Centre, Sydney University
  • 2020–2022
    Director, UWA Defence and Security Institute, The University of Western Australia
  • 2018–2020
    Pro Vice Chancellor (Education), The University of Western Australia
  • 2014–2018
    Senior Fellow, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
  • 2009–2011
    Director of Research, University of Notre Dame Australia
  • 2005–2009
    Associate Dean, Arts & Sciences, University of Notre Dame Australia


  • 2007 
    University of New South Wales, PhD
  • 1996 
    University of Newcastle, Grad Dip Ed
  • 1995 
    University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Arts (hons)