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Key Points for Peter Jennings

  • Peter Jennings is a Senior Fellow and was the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) from May 2012 to May 2022.
  • He has worked in senior roles in the Australian Public Service on defence and national security. He was Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Defence Department (2009-12); Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence (1996-98) and Senior Adviser for Strategic Policy to the Prime Minister (2002-03).
  • Peter led the ‘External Expert Panel’ appointed in 2014 to advise on the Defence White Paper, released in February 2016. Peter was a member of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group, appointed by the Prime Minister and German Chancellor in 2015 to develop closer bilateral relations. He has been a member of the Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations advising the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Peter has previously held several Senior Executive Service positions in Defence including First Assistant Secretary International Policy and First Assistant Secretary Coordination and Public Affairs, Deputy Director of the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation and head of the Strategic Policy Branch. In 1999 Peter ran Defence’s East Timor Policy Unit, developing policy for the stabilization operation in East Timor.
  • Peter was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day 2013 Honours list. In February 2016 Peter was awarded the French decoration of Knight in the Order of Legion of Honour. In 2021 he was awarded a Commendation by the Foreign Minister of Japan for services to the bilateral relationship.
  • Peter has stepped down as ASPI Executive Director after a decade in the position in early May 2022.

Topics for Peter Jennings

  • Global security and the war in Ukraine- how does it impact in Australia?
  • Prospects for war and peace in the Indo-Pacific – an Australian Strategist’s perspective.
  • China’s rise and future trajectory –what are the implications for Australia’s corporations?
  • How to strengthen Australia’s defence- is there a role for Australian Businesses?
  • The emerging landscape of cyber security – are you ready?
  • How Canberra decision-making works and how to shape policy outcomes - can you make it work for you?

Testimonials for Peter Jennings

ASPI went from strength to strength under Mr Jennings over the past decade, becoming a leading global voice on the threat posed by Xi Jinping’s China.
Foreign Affairs and Defence Correspondent
The Australian

Peter Jennings will retire as executive director of ASPI early in 2022. He has been an extraordinary contributor as a writer and commentator on Australian national security. Hopefully, ASPI Washington DC will be an important part of his legacy.
former Labor senator for NSW and national ALP president
Peter Jennings brought an immense wealth of knowledge as former Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Defence Department and during his tenure he cemented the ASPI as a pre-eminent leader in insights and analysis into Australia’s national security.
ASPI’s research has made huge contributions in informing the Government and the public about the emerging dangers of foreign interference and the Chinese Communist Party Dictatorship, well before they were prominent national security issues they are today.
ASPI has been invaluable to exposing the level of foreign interference in the fabric of society, be it universities, politics, social media or Chinese language media in Australia. It has been particularly valuable in informing me as part of my role as Chair of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.
I thank Mr Jennings for his contribution and insights as part of ASPI.
Senator the Hon Eric Abetz

Peter Jennings PSM … led ASPI for a decade. Peter Jennings’ significant tenure enriched the defence and national security narrative in Australia and expanded ASPI’s presence to the US. His contributions and leadership have deepened strategic policy discussions in this country, especially at a time when frank appraisals of our strategic circumstances have been needed the most. I sincerely thank Peter for his work and wish him well.
Former Australian Minister for Defence

Whether it be at symposiums, dialogues, during television or net-streamed interviews, or in newspaper and journal articles, Peter has consistently and resolutely backed the Japan-Australia relationship and highlighted its strengths and the need for greater levels of cooperation between both countries.
It is not very often that an individual and their arguments can change the course of government policy, but in Peter’s case I think we can safely say that Australia’s security has been vastly strengthened due to Peter’s advocacy for foreign interference and critical infrastructure legislation.
Peter has fearlessly stood up for Australia, its institutions and its democracy against all comers, becoming a bane to those who seek to down-play or belittle Australia and its relations with other nations. Such an outstanding personality as Peter’s will always be in great demand but also such short supply. He will always be warmly welcomed in Tokyo.
Ambassador of Japan

It is an honour and a pleasure for me to be with you today to present you the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Today France honors an eminent specialist in Defence matters, someone that has done so much for the strategic relations that unite our two countries as well as a friend of France which I wish to recognise, one of our true supporters here in Australia. … Your freedom of thought and frankness of your analysis, always well argued and pertinent, allow us to better measure the major challenges Australia faces.
Former Defence Minister of France