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Mr Peter Jennings PSM

Previous Executive Director

Contact information

Contact information


Strategic policy, crisis management, international security, international policy


Peter Jennings was the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) from May 2012 to May 2022.

He has worked in senior roles in the Australian Public Service on defence and national security. He was Deputy Secretary for Strategy in the Defence Department (2009-12); Chief of Staff to the Minister for Defence (1996-98) and Senior Adviser for Strategic Policy to the Prime Minister (2002-03).

Peter led the ‘External Expert Panel’ appointed in 2014 to advise on the Defence White Paper, released in February 2016. Peter was a member of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group, appointed by the Prime Minister and German Chancellor in 2015 to develop closer bilateral relations. He has been a member of the Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations advising the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Peter has previously held several Senior Executive Service positions in Defence including First Assistant Secretary International Policy and First Assistant Secretary Coordination and Public Affairs, Deputy Director of the Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation and head of the Strategic Policy Branch. In 1999 Peter ran Defence’s East Timor Policy Unit, developing policy for the stabilization operation in East Timor. 

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 was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day 2013 Honours list. In February 2016 Peter was awarded the French decoration of Knight in the Order of Legion of Honour. In 2021 he was awarded a Commendation by the Foreign Minister of Japan for services to the bilateral relationship.

Peter has stepped down as ASPI Executive Director after a decade in the position in early May 2022.