Hugh White AO

Emeritus Prof Hugh White AO

Professor Emeritus


BA(Hons) (Melbourne), BPhil(Oxon)

Contact details
+61 2 6125 1562
Building: Hedley Bull Building
Hugh White

Hugh White AO is Emeritus Professor of Strategic Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of the Australian National University. He has worked on Australian and regional strategic, defence and foreign policy issues since 1980.

He has been an intelligence analyst, journalist, ministerial adviser, departmental official, think tanker and academic. In the 1990s he served as International Relations Adviser to Prime Minister Bob Hawke and as Deputy Secretary of Defence for Strategy and Intelligence. He was the principal author of Australia’s 2000 Defence White Paper.

His recent publications include How to Defend Australia, published by Black Inc. in 2019, Power Shift: Australia’s Future between Washington and Beijing published by Black Inc. in September 2010, and The China Choice: Why America should share power, published in Australia by Black Inc. in 2012, and by OUP in 2013. The China Choice has also been published in Chinese and Japanese.

In the 1970s Hugh White studied philosophy at Melbourne and Oxford Universities. He was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia(AO) in the Queen’s Birthday honours in 2014 for distinguished service to international affairs, through strategic defence studies as an analyst, academic and adviser to government, and to public administration. In 2018, Hugh was granted the title of Emeritus Professor.

Career highlights

1985-1991 Senior Adviser to Defence Minister and Prime Minister; 1995-2000 Deputy Secretary for Strategy, Department of Defence; 2001-2004 Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute

Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

China now likely to call America’s bluff over Taiwan

The question no longer seems hypothetical. Last year the Prime Minister compared the dangers today to those of the late 1930s.

Secretary Pompeo meets with Australian FM Marise Payne

Payne sensibly says no to Pompeo's coalition of the willing

Marise Payne was right when she said, before heading off for Washington this week, that this year’s annual

Australia 360

Australia 360 – exploring the big issues that confront us

Young leaders and professionals gathered with leading researchers, thinkers and practitioners in the majestic Gandel Hall at the National Gallery of Australia on Wed 21 August to take a closer look

Q&A: Hugh White - How to defend Australia

Australia’s defence policy has always been a tight focus for Emeritus Professor Hugh White AO, although he has approached it from many different angles during his diverse career as an intelligence

A member of the Chinese military marches before the welcoming ceremony for President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. AP

Foreign policy: why we should expect more of ourselves

We are starting to turn the “soft bigotry of low expectations” against our own government, and therefore against ourselves.

Nikki Haley, United States ambassador to the United Nations, confers with an aide during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council at United Nations headquarters, July 5, 2017 in New York City. Getty Images.

Empty US threats over North Korea are serving Beijing’s interests

When North Korea tested a ballistic missile back in February, the Trump administration threatened military action. They did the same thing when Pyongyang tested again on 4 July.


Shangri-La Dialogue should address Asia's new strategic order

Each year, the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore provides a platform for Washington to affirm America’s strategic commitment to Asia, promote its policies to strengthen United States regional


Updated:  26 March 2023/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team