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Leanne Close - profile

Leanne Close

Former Head Counter-Terrorism Program

Contact information

Contact information


National Security, Policing, Counter-terrorism, Strategic policy, Leadership development, Organisational design, Human resource management, Integrity and professional standards


Leanne Close was the head of ASPI’s counter-terrorism program in 2020.

Prior to joining ASPI, Leanne was a Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), with over 33 years policing and law enforcement experience.

From 2017 – 2019, Leanne was responsible for the AFPs National Security portfolio. As part of that role she led and managed teams responsible for counter-terrorism investigations, protection and aviation operations. Leanne provided policy advice to Ministers and government and collaborated with Commonwealth, State and Territory agencies in relation to the development of key strategies for dealing with national security matters. She was also the AFP representative at the Australia / New Zealand Counter-Terrorism Committee.

In 2016, Leanne completed a 12-month secondment at the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department as Deputy Secretary Criminal Justice Group. In this role she was responsible for the strategic leadership and management of criminal justice matters on behalf of the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. Specifically, Leanne led teams managing: criminal law policy and legislation development; Australian treaty negotiations; extradition and mutual assistance requests; anti-corruption policy; negotiation for international transfers of prisoners; national firearms policy, including successful re-negotiation of the National Firearms Agreement; and, international engagement with justice sectors in South-East Asia, the Pacific and Papua New-Guinea.

From 2015-2019, Leanne was the permanent Co-Chair of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on Money Laundering. The APG is the largest Financial Action Taskforce in the world today, comprising 41-member states. It is a regional multi-lateral organisation, with the strategic mission to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Commencing her policing career in 1986, Leanne has investigated, and led teams involved in, a variety of areas including financial crimes and narcotic importation in Sydney and community policing within the Australian Capital Territory. Other senior leadership roles held by Leanne in the AFP included Deputy Commissioner Operations and Assistant Commissioner for Protection, Aviation Operations, Human Resources, Professional Standards and Learning and Development.

While working at the Australian Federal Police College, Leanne developed and introduced mechanisms and structures for the AFP College to become a Registered Training Organisation, thereby allowing the organisation to grant nationally recognised qualifications, including the inaugural Diploma of Policing and Certificate IV in Investigations.

Leanne was awarded with the Australian Police Medal in 2005.

Her qualifications include a Master of Education Leadership from the University of Canberra and two Graduate Certificates in Professional Development Education (University of Canberra) and Applied Management (Australian Institute of Police Management).