Professor Peter Dean

Director, Foreign Policy and Defence, United State Studies Centre

Professor Peter J. Dean PhD SFHEA is the Director, Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.

Previously Professor Dean was the University of Western Australia’s (UWA) first Chair of Defence Studies and the inaugural director of the UWA Defence and Security Institute. He served as a Pro Vice-Chancellor at UWA, where he received a Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Outstanding Leadership, and held a number of senior roles at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific and Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. He is currently a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council.

Professor Dean has an extensive background in military and defence studies. He has been a Fulbright Fellow and Endeavour Research Scholar in Australia-United States Alliance Studies. He was a Senior Fellow with the Perth USAsia Centre, as well as a non-resident fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC. He is a graduate of Advance HE’s Top Management Programme for Higher Education, a recipient of an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Citation Award for leadership and teaching excellence, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professor Dean was the founding editor of the Melbourne University Press Defence Studies Series, is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Australian Army Journal, Global War Studies and the Military Studies Journal and a former managing editor of the journal Security Challenges. An international award-winning author he has authored numerous books and articles on the US-Australian alliance, Australian defence policy and military operations. His books include Australia’s American Alliance (Melbourne University Press 2016), MacArthur’s Coalition (University Press of Kansas, 2018), After American Primacy: Imagining the Future of Australia’s Defence (Melbourne University Press, 2019) and Fighting Australia’s Cold War: The Nexus of Strategy and Operations in a Multipolar Asia, 1945–1965 (The Australian National University Press, 2021). 

Professor Dean leads two US State Department-funded public diplomacy programs on the US-Australia Alliance and is a chief investigator on a number of projects including: Blue Security: Regional Maritime Exchange (DFAT); The United States’ Evolving Indian Ocean Strategy: Implications for Australian Strategic Policy (Department of Defence); Do the Ties Bind? Expectations and Commitments in the Australia-US Alliance (ARC); and Strategic Change and the US Alliance: Lessons from Australian Strategy and Views from the Nation (Department of Defence).

Areas of expertise

  • Australia-US relations
  • US foreign policy, defence and strategy
  • Indo-Pacific security
  • Australian foreign policy, defence and strategy