Futures Council

The Futures Council is a select group of distinguished academics, former senior government officials, national opinion leaders and emerging strategic thinkers who regularly contribute to policy contestability and futures analysis. It acts as a high-level advisory panel for the National Security College Futures Hub.

The Futures Council members for 2020/2021 include:

James Clapper AO is a former Director of National Intelligence (2010-17). He led the U.S. intelligence community and served as principal intelligence advisor to President Barack Obama.

Michele Grossman is Professor and Research Chair in Diversity and Community Resilience at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.

Alastair MacGibbon is Chief Strategy Officer, Cyber CX. He was recently National Cyber Security Adviser, Head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security.

Jane Halton AO PSM is a member of the National Covid-19 Advisory Board and Chair, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. She is a former Secretary of the Department of Health and Department of Finance.

Dino Patti Djalal is Founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, and a former career diplomat with posts including Indonesian ambassador to the United States (2010-13).

Mark Crosweller AFSM is an expert in crisis leadership and emergency management. He was Director-General of Emergency Management Australia and Head of the National Resilience Taskforce.

Gai Brodtmann is a member of the ASPI council and Sapien Cyber advisory board. She served as the federal Member for Canberra (2010-19) and as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security and Defence.

Lucy Hughes Turnbull AO is an urbanist, businesswoman and philanthropist. She was inaugural Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission (2015-20) and first female Lord Mayor of the City of Sydney.

Mark Binskin AC is a leader and senior executive in the defence, national security and aerospace sectors. He was Chief of the Defence Force (2014-18), Vice Chief of the Defence Force (2011- 14) and Chief of Air Force (2008-11).

Helen Toner is Director of Strategy at Georgetown’s Centre for Security and Emerging Technology. She formerly worked at the Open Philanthropy Project and with Oxford University’s Centre for the Governance of AI.

Natasha Kassam is a Research Fellow in the Diplomacy and Public Opinion Program at the Lowy Institute. She directs the annual Lowy Institute Poll. She is a former Australian diplomat.

Tanvi Madan is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy in the Foreign Policy program and directs The India Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.

Kerri Hartland is a former senior public servant with posts across eight federal departments and agencies, including as Secretary of the Department of Employment. She was the first female Deputy Director-General of ASIO.

Duncan Lewis AO DSC CSC is the recently retired Director-General of Security and was Australia’s inaugural National Security Adviser. Previously he was Secretary of the Department of Defence and retired from the Australian Defence Force as Major General.

Darren Lim is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the ANU, focusing on geo- economics and grand strategy. He co- hosts the Australia in the World podcast.

John Birmingham is a science fiction author, columnist and former researcher for the Department of Defence. His novels have been set as recommended reading at ADFA.

Chris Zappone is the Digital Foreign Editor at The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, where he was among the first in the global media to report on the Kremlin’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

Sir Michael Hintze AM is the founder, Group Executive Chairman and Senior Investment Officer of London-based asset management firm CQS. Previously, he held senior roles at CSFB and Goldman Sachs.

Kori Schake leads the foreign and defense policy team at the American Enterprise Institute. She is the author of Safe Passage: the Transition from British to American Hegemony.

Richard Maude is Executive Director Policy at Asia Society Australia. He was Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Director-General, Office of National Assessments. He led development of Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

Nicholas Rasmussen is Executive Director of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. He held senior counterterrorism posts in the White House and U.S. intelligence community from 2001-17, including as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

Heather Smith PSM is a former senior public servant with posts including Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (2017-20) and Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts (2016-17).

Audrey Kurth Cronin is the founding Director of the Center for Security, Innovation, and New Technology at American University and author of Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists.

Key contacts

  • Professor Rory Medcalf, Head of the National Security College (NSC)
  • Dr Ryan Young, Director of Research & Methods, Futures Hub
  • Ms Dayle Stanley, Director of Strategy & Engagement, Futures Hub

About the Futures Hub

The Futures Hub is an NSC initiative. Led by an expert team, it is designed to facilitate whole-of-government and whole-of-nation futures projects.

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‘The National Security College is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and The Australian National University’

Updated:  28 January 2023/Responsible Officer:  Head of College, National Security College/Page Contact:  Web administrator