About us

Our governance

Professor Brendan Sargeant - Head, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

Brendan Sargeant is Professor Practice in Defence and Strategic Studies and Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Studies at the Australian National University.

He retired from the Department of Defence in October 2017. From September 2013 to October 2017, he was the Associate Secretary of Defence. Prior to that appointment he was the Deputy Secretary Strategy. As Associate Secretary, he was responsible for oversight of the implementation of the First Principles Review, a major reform of Defence organisation and enterprise governance, planning, performance and risk management. He was the principal author of the 2013 Defence White Paper.

Dr Garth Pratten - Deputy Head of Centre and Director of Studies

Dr Jean Bou - Program Convenor, Master of Strategic Studies

Dr Andrew Carr - Program Convenor, Bachelor of International Security Studies

Professor Evelyn Goh - Director of Research

Professor Andrew Stewart - Principal, Military and Defence Studies Program

Former Heads of SDSC are a highly esteemed group of leading thinkers and educators who enjoyed distinguished careers in public service and academia. Learn more about our Former Heads of Centre.

Our mission

The Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) is Australia’s largest body of scholars dedicated to the analysis of the use of armed force in its political context. As a leading international research institution specializing in strategy and defence, SDSC has a three-part mission:

To provide ‘real world’-focused strategic studies that is research-based, research-led and world-class. Our primary expertise within the broad field of Strategic Studies consists of three related research clusters: Australian defence, military studies, and Asia-Pacific security. Our scholarship in these areas is intended to be recognized internationally and of value to the Australian policy community; To prepare and educate the next generation of strategic leaders – military, civilian and academic – in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region by providing world-class graduate and undergraduate programs in strategic and defence studies; and to contribute toward a better-informed standard of public debate in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region using high-quality outreach and commentary on issues pertaining to our core areas of expertise.

Our vision

Founded in 1966, the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre is proud to be counted among the earliest generation of post-World War II research institutions dedicated to the analysis of the use of armed force in its political context. The Centre seeks to build upon our achievements over the past half century, and to play a leading role in shaping international strategic studies, policies and debates. Within the next decade, SDSC aims to position itself as the leading university-based institution for research, education, and outreach in strategic and defence issues in the Asia-Pacific region. In a fluid and fast-changing strategic milieu, we will invest in the strategic development of our research and teaching programs in order to play a leading role in defining Strategic Studies for our age. Our goal is to shape the areas of scholarship and policy-making which will inform the leadership of the Asia Pacific, and equip strategic planners and analysts to be bold and innovative in addressing the challenges of the future.

Updated:  25 September 2021/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team