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The Institute for Regional Security


The Institute For Regional Security brings together experts in government and academia from all over the world who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis on a full range of public policy issues. We thank them for their support of the Institute and their contribution to our community.

Professor Ross Babbage

Professor Ross Babbage is Founder of the Kokoda Foundation, the predecessor of the Institute for Regional Security. He is also Managing Director of Strategy International (ACT) Pty Ltd, Chair of the Academic Council of the Australian Business Academy, a member of Accenture’s Advisory Board and a member of the Academic Advisory Council of the Menzies Research Centre.

Professor Babbage served for 16 years in the Australian Public Service holding several senior positions, including Head of Strategic Analysis in the Office of National Assessments, and leading the branches in the Department of Defence responsible for ANZUS and global strategic policy and then Force Development. In 2003 and 2004 he served as Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.  Professor Babbage served as a special advisor to the Minister for Defence during the preparation of the 2009 Australian defence white paper. He was also appointed to the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London for a maximum six year term.




John Blackburn AO

John retired from the Royal Australian Air Force in 2008 as the Deputy Chief of the Air Force following a career as an F/A-18 fighter pilot, test pilot and strategic planner. His senior posts included Commander of the Integrated Area Defence System located in Malaysia, commanding a multinational headquarters established to effect the Five Power Defence Arrangements, and Head of Strategic Policy in the Defence Headquarters. He is now a consultant in the fields of Defence and Natonal Security and is a member of the RAAF Reserve.

In his RAAF Reserve role, he supported the Chief of Air Force in the design of Plan Jericho in 2014, and served as the team mentor untill December 2015.

His pro-bono roles have included being the Chairman of the Kokoda Foundation Board (now the Institute For Regional Security (IFRS]), and the Deputy Chairman of the Williams Foundaton Board. He is currently a Fellow of both the Williams Foundaton and the IFRS.

John has published reports on Cyber Security, Defence Logistics, Defence White Papers and Fuel Security. He holds a Masters of Arts and a Master of Defence Studies.         



Dr Ralph Cossa

Ralph Cossa is president of the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is also senior editor of the Forum’s quarterly electronic journal, Comparative Connections. Mr Cossa is a board member of the Council on US-Korean Security Studies and the National Committee on US-China Relations. He is also a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the ASEAN Regional Forum Experts and Eminent Persons Group, as well as a founding member of the Steering Committee of the multinational Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP). He is a political/military affairs and national security specialist with more than 30 years of experience in formulating, articulating, and implementing US security policy in the Asia-Pacific and Near East–South Asia regions. He writes a regular column for the Japan Times and Korea Times and is a frequent contributor to the International Herald Tribune and other regional newspapers and periodicals. Mr Cossa served in the US Air Force from 1966 to 1993, achieving the rank of colonel and last serving as special assistant to the commander in chief of the US Pacific Command. He previously served as deputy director for strategic studies at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies and earlier as a national security affairs fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Mr Cossa holds a B.A. in international relations from Syracuse University, an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, and an M.S. in strategic studies from the Defense Intelligence College.



Dr Miles Jakeman

Miles is the Managing Director of Citadel. For over 27 years, he has advised senior business leaders and government officials, including representing countries in ministerial level forums. He has been Citadel’s Managing Director since the Company’s inception.

His key skills cover business strategy, program management, security risk management and staff development. Miles has significant overseas working experience with multinational companies in sales, marketing and business development capacities with full profit and loss responsibilities.

Miles has a Bachelor of Science (Hons), a Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies, a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Asian Studies and a PhD in Business Leadership. He has also completed the AICD Advanced Diploma Mastering the Boardroom and the AICD Diploma of International Company Directors, plus holds an Advanced Diploma Project Management.

Miles is a visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the ACT's Capital Angels. He is also a member of Midnight Basketball Australia.




Dr Sanu Kainikara

Sanu Kainikara is the RAAF’s Air Power Strategist at the Air Power Development Centre. He is a former fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) who retired voluntarily as a Group Captain after 21 years of commissioned service. He has flown over 4,000 hours on fighter aircraft (MiG-21,-23,-25,-27, and MiG-29; Jaguar and Hunter).

Dr Kainikara is a graduate of the Indian National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and the College of Air Warfare. He holds a Master of Science in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras. His PhD in International Politics was awarded by the University of Adelaide. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies on the topic of the Law of Armed Conflict and Military Strategy at the ANU.


Peter Leahy AC 

Former Chief of Army, Peter retired from the Army in July 2008 after a 37 year career as a soldier. Since leaving the Army Peter has joined the University of Canberra as the foundation Director of the National Security Institute. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Director of Codan Pty Ltd and Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited, a member of the Defence South Australia Advisory Board, Chairman of the charity “Soldier On” and former Director of the Institute For Regional Security.




Dr Edward Morgan

Dr Edward Morgan has held several posts across the Australian Department of Defence spanning policy development, strategy and planning. He has worked at a state level on the interface between Government and defence industry. He was educated at the University of Melbourne (BA (Hons)) and the University of Cambridge (MPhil, PhD), has taught at the Australian Command and Staff College and was Associate Dean at Ormond College, the University of Melbourne before joining Defence. He has researched and written on strategic, legal and maritime issues related to the South China Sea and has expertise on global currents affecting security trends such as jihadism. Dr Morgan is fluent in several languages.

Dr Morgan was a Director of the Institute for Regional Security, formerly the Kokoda Foundation, from 2011-2016. He is now a Fellow at the Institute and sits on its Research Committee. Dr Morgan is married and lives with his family in Canberra, Australia.




Manuel Panagiotopoulos

Manuel Panagiotopoulos is a specialist consultant and advisor on Australia-Japan economic relations. Manuel’s network incorporates extensive senior contacts at the highest levels in Australian and Japanese business, Government and academic sectors.  He has arranged many high level events and has written many research papers on numerous aspects of the bilateral relationship, including foreign direct investment, trade, macroeconomic and industry sector specific studies. He has been a guest lecturer on these issues at the University of Sydney, University of NSW and University of Technology, Sydney


Craig Valli

Professor Valli has over 25 years experience in the IT Industry and consults to industry and government on network security and digital forensics issues. His main research and consultancy is focussed on securing networks and critical infrastructures, detection of network borne threats and forensic analysis of cyber security incidents. Craig is also a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. Craig's Professional Associations include the Australian Computer Society and the Australian Information Security Association.



Dr Gary Waters

Dr Gary Waters was a founding Director of the Institute For Regional Security. He is an independent consultant in the areas of defence and national security, strategy formulation, capability development, acquisition, and sustainment. He served for over thirty years in the RAAF, taking early retirement as an Air Commodore, spent four years as a senior public servant in Defence, and then seven years as Head of Strategy for Jacobs Australia. He holds a PhD in political science and international relations, a Master of Arts in History, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has written over a dozen books on military strategy and history.


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