My professional life has been a blend of research, teaching and academic leadership roles. My academic training is in political science and has been intertwined with an almost life-long interest in Asia, growing from an early curiosity about life outside Australia, beginning with visits to Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia and then the wider Asia-Pacific region.
Somewhat unusually for an academic, I have also had a longstanding interest in how universities work and trying to contribute to the development of the institution in which I was employed. In professional terms, this has evolved as a combination of praxis and intellectual inquiry.
My current role is Deputy Vice-Chancellor Global Development & Vice President at RMIT University in Melbourne. It’s a fascinating job: leading the international efforts of a very large and applied university that has developed a remarkably extensive international footprint. My job is to make RMIT more global in outlook and operations, with a particular focus on creating global learning experiences for students, nurturing alumni and diversifying revenue generation.
Prior to joining RMIT in 2014, I was based in Canberra at my alma mater, the Australian National University. At ANU I was a professor in political science and held two positions: Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific (which included a parallel position as Director of the Research School of Asia and the Pacific), and before that founding Director of the Crawford School of Public School.
My second appointment was at the University of California, San Diego in the Graduate School of Global Policy Studies – where I first won promotion to professor and also served as Associate Dean and Acting Dean. My first appointment was at Griffith University in Brisbane, where I held the positions of senior lecturer in political science, Deputy Dean and Acting Director of the Centre for the Study of Australia-Asia Relations.