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Dr Denis Dragovic

ASPI Council member

Contact information

Biography

Denis is a former humanitarian aid worker with experience in war zones around the world, a scholar of religion and society, public commentator and currently sits on Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

A graduate from the University of Adelaide with a degree in civil engineering Denis relocated to Singapore to work on major construction projects before moving to Washington D.C. to complete the Master of Science in Foreign Service degree at Georgetown University.

Following the 1999 civil war in East Timor, Denis was hired as a shelter engineer for the International Rescue Committee, a leading US humanitarian organisation. Over the subsequent twelve years Denis worked in war zones and disaster-stricken areas in South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa running humanitarian and development programs including in Iraq where he led one of the world’s largest community development programs. During this period, he led the successful efforts to release the first aid worker kidnapped by militants in Iraq, provided consulting services to various United Nations agencies and helped establish an Iraqi NGO.

Drawing on his experiences working in conflict and post-conflict environments Denis completed a PhD from the University of St Andrews’ School of Divinity which led to the book Religion and Post-Conflict Statebuilding: Roman Catholic and Sunni Islamic Perspectives. His second book, No Dancing, No Dancing: Inside the Global Humanitarian Crisis, is a narrative non-fiction based on his return journey to Iraq, South Sudan and East Timor to see what happened to the people and aid projects.

He is currently a senior member on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing asylum claims, a regular commentator in the media on the intersection of religion and society as well as an honorary senior fellow at the University of Melbourne.