Peter Jennings commenced as ASPI Executive Director on 30 April 2012. Prior to that he was the Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Australian Department of Defence.
Peter’s career has included extensive experience advising Government at senior levels; developing major strategic policy documents; conducting crisis management, and researching, writing and teaching international security.
Peter has previously held a number First Assistant Secretary positions in Defence including First Assistant Secretary International Policy Division, First Assistant Secretary Coordination and Public Affairs and Secretary of the Defence Audit and Risk Committee.
Peter was for a number of years the Director of Programs at ASPI. He wrote and commentated widely on defence policy and international security, and taught postgraduate studies on terrorism at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).
In 2002–03 Peter was a Senior Adviser in the Prime Minister’s office responsible for developing a strategic policy framework for Cabinet. Peter had previously been Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence (1996–1998) and Defence adviser to the Federal Opposition (1990–1993).
In the Defence Department, Peter has also been the Deputy Director of the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation (2002) and as head of the Strategic Policy Branch (1998–1999). In late 1999 Peter was co-director of the East Timor Policy Unit, responsible for developing Australia’s policy approaches to the international peacekeeping operation in East Timor. Following that, as an acting First Assistant Secretary, Peter was closely involved in developing the 2000 Defence White Paper.
Peter studied at the London Business School in 2000–2001 as a Sloan Fellow and was awarded a Masters of Science (Management) with Distinction. He has a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from the Australian National University (1987) and a BA (Honours) in History from the University of Tasmania (1980–1984). He has been a Fulbright Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1985). Peter taught politics and international relations at the University of New South Wales/ADFA (1987–1990). He has written and published widely on defence and security issues.
Peter was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day 2013 Honours List for outstanding public service through the development of Australia's strategic and defence policy, particularly in the areas of Australian Defence Force operations in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan.