Technology Underpinning the National Interest - Breakfast Series

National Security College | Professional course
Technology and National Security - Breakfast Series


Join us for our exciting new breakfast series running over five consecutive Fridays (8am-10am). Drawing on expertise from key minds in industry, academia and government, this course informs how technology and the national security community are enmeshed and the implications, risks and opportunities for policy development and implementation.

#132 Crawford Building, Lennox Crossing, ANU

Please contact or 6125 2233 2020 Dates TBC

Course overview

Technological change can provide new tools for national security operators, but also create new security vulnerabilities, alter the political and social context in which the national security community must operate, and affect strategic competition between states. This seminar series will explore the strategic implications of technology, in two parts. The first two sessions will provide participants with new perspectives and frameworks for analysing the strategic implications of technology change. The second half of the course will examine the national security implications of current developments in information technology and bio-technology—including big data collection and analysis, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and gene editing. Importantly, the emphasis in the second half is not on potential technology futures—but on existing and near-horizon developments, and the policy choices confronting policymakers today.

Scope and content

By the end of the course, participants will have:

• a strong understanding of emerging patterns of technology-driven strategic
competition and of the implications of this dynamic for Australia;

• an awareness of current technology trends in information technology and bio-technology and their national security implications;

• the tools to evaluate technology-related policy and engage more effectively on technology-related matters; and

• a deeper understanding of the policy levers the Australian government has to
shape technology and to address technology’s societal, security and geopolitical implications.

This is a NSC breakfast series over five weeks with two-hour sessions from 8am-10am. The series is designed for staff who need a contemporary understanding of technology to inform policy development.

Course details

  • Five Fridays: 2 hours, non-residential, fully-catered series (hot breakfast)
  • Course Dates: 5 Friday mornings: 30/08, 6/09, 13/09, 20/09, 27/09
  • Course Timings: 8:00am - 10:00am
  • Certificate of Completion provided
  • Parking available on campus (self pay options)
    Please click here to register or contact us at for further information.

Course convenor

Mr Brad Fallen

Brad Fallen joined the National Security College as Manager, Executive and Professional Development in March 2018, on secondment from the Department of Home Affairs. Brad’s professional national security experience includes international relations, intelligence, Cabinet and ministerial decision-making, and policy development and delivery. As Senior Adviser International Cyber Policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) from 2014, Brad was part of the small team who delivered Australia’s 2016 Cyber Security Review and Strategy. He then implemented the Strategy for 18 months from the Office of the Cyber Security Special Adviser. Brad led PM&C’s National Security Committee Secretariat between 2011 and 2014, supporting Prime Ministers Gillard, Rudd and Abbott, and before this the Department of Defence’s Cabinet and Freedom of Information teams from 2008 to 11. He was Defence Adviser to the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, the Hon Bruce Scott MP, in 2000-01. Brad studied South Pacific history at the University of Queensland before joining the Department of Defence’s Graduate program in 1988. Brad’s career in Defence focused on Australia’s regional relationships, and included three years as First Secretary (Defence) at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, and two years seconded to the New Zealand Government in Wellington.

Ms Katherine Mansted

Katherine Mansted joined the National Security College as a Senior Researcher in 2018.

Katherine’s professional background includes work in both law and government. She has been a commercial solicitor with King & Wood Mallesons, ministerial adviser to the federal government, and served as an Associate in the High Court of Australia to now Chief Justice Kiefel.

In 2016, Katherine was awarded an Australian General Sir John Monash Scholarship, and completed her Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2018. She also holds a dual Bachelor of Laws / International Relations (Business) from Bond University, where she studied as a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholar and graduated with First Class Honours and the University Medal in Law.

Katherine’s current research interests include cybersecurity policy, information operations and strategy, and US-Australia relations. Her publications include work on cyber-enabled foreign interference, network defence, information warfare, and internet privacy.

She maintains a research affiliation with Harvard, as a non-resident fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Course presenter(s)

Dr Lesley Seebeck

Dr Lesley Seebeck started as the CEO of the Cyber Institute, Australian National University, on 30 July 2018. Most recently, she was Chief Investment and Advisory Officer at the Digital Transformation Agency, prior to which she served as Chief Information Officer at the Bureau of Meteorology from mid-2014 to late 2017. In March 2017, she was recognised as Federal Government CIO of the Year. Dr Seebeck has extensive experience in strategy, policy, defence and intelligence, management, budget, information technology and research roles in the Australian Public Service, industry and academia. She was appointed to the Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board in February 2019. Dr Seebeck has a PhD in information technology, an MBA, a Masters in Defence Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Applied.

Dr Sarah Logan

Sarah is a Research Fellow/Lecturer in the Department of International Relations. Her primary research focus is the impact of technology, especially the internet, on International Relations. She is interested in how technology interacts with traditional understandings of statehood, power and agency. Sarah’s previous research project concerned the history of counter extremism policy in the US and the UK.

Prior to joining the Department in 2019, Sarah was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales. She was awarded a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University in 2014. Prior to joining academia, Sarah worked in government.

Dr Zac Rogers

Dr Zac Rogers PhD is a Research Lead at the newly established Jeff Bleich Centre for the US Alliance in Digital Technology, Security, and Governance at Flinders University of South Australia

Dr Samantha Hoffman

Samantha Hoffman is a Fellow at ASPI’s Cyber Centre and an independent consultant.

In 2018, she was a Visiting Fellow at the MERICS in Berlin. She also worked as a consultant for the IISS (2012-2018) and IHS Markit (2012-2017).

Her research explores the domestic and global implications of the Chinese Communist Party’s approach to state security. The research offers new ways of thinking about how to understand and respond to China’s technology-enhanced political and social control efforts.

Dr. Hoffman holds a PhD in Politics and International Relations from the University of Nottingham (2017), and an MSc in Modern Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford (2011), and BA degrees in International Affairs and East Asian Languages & Cultures from the Florida State University (2010). She written for Foreign Policy, The Hill, War on the Rocks, The National Interest, China Brief, Forbes, and Jane’s Intelligence Review. She has been widely quoted in the media on China’s security state and politics, including The New York Times, The Economist, BBC, ABC (Australia), Foreign Policy, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Science Magazine, and WIRED. Publications List:

Dr Gaetan Burgio

Dr Burgio was born in France and completed his education in Paris. He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine Xavier Bichat in Paris in 2002 with a Medical Degree. He worked as a consultant in an emergency department at Paris while he was undertaking his PhD studies at Pasteur Institute, Paris. He completed his PhD in 2008 from Pasteur Institute in France and migrated to Australia to join Professor Simon Foote as a postdoctoral researcher at the Menzies Research Institute (University of Tasmania) from 2008 to 2012, and the Australian School of Advanced Medicine at Macquarie University from 2012 to 2015 investigating the host response to the malaria parasite using large scale ENU mutagenesis in mice. In 2015 he was appointed as a Group Leader at The John Curtin of Medical Research, and Head of the transgenesis core facility at the Australian Phenomics Facility to establish a new research program of the host pathogens interaction on multidrug resistant bacteria and the malaria parasite, using cutting edge technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. His research is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) in Australia.

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Updated:  21 October 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator