Appointment of a new Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)

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The Hon Peter Dutton MP

Minister for Defence

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Nicole Chant: +61 419 850 222

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29 March 2022

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Justin Bassi to the position of Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

 Mr Bassi was selected from a strong field of candidates, based on his significant national security experience and wide networks.

Mr Bassi most recently served as Chief of Staff to Foreign Minister Senator the Hon Marise Payne, as the national security adviser to the Hon Malcolm Turnbull AC when he was Prime Minister and former Senator  the Hon George Brandis QC when he was Attorney-General. He also served as a senior officer at the Office of National Intelligence.

I am confident that Mr Bassi will be a significant asset to ASPI and I look forward to witnessing ASPI go from strength-to-strength under his leadership.

Mr Bassi replaces Peter Jennings PSM, who led ASPI for a decade.

Peter Jennings’ significant tenure enriched the defence and national security narrative in Australia and expanded ASPI’s presence to the US. 

His contributions and leadership have deepened strategic policy discussions in this country, especially at a time when frank appraisals of our strategic circumstances have been needed the most.

I sincerely thank Peter for his work and wish him well.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of four new members to the Council of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

These new members are:

  • Ms Catherine McGregor AM, Senior Veterans Advisor at RSL Queensland and former Australian Defence Force officer;
  • The Hon John Anderson AO FTSE, former Deputy Prime Minister and publisher on defence and strategic issues;
  • Ms Rachael Falk, one of Australia’s leading cyber security experts; and
  • The Hon Michael Keenan, former Minister for Human Services and Digital Transformation, Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter-Terrorism.

The incoming Council Members’ combined skillset and experience will be a valuable asset for the ASPI Council.

These members fill the vacancies that arose due to the conclusion of the terms of outgoing ASPI Council members the Hon Robert Hill AC, Mr Stephen Brady AO CVO, Dr Denis Dragovic and Ms Jennifer Ma.  I thank the outgoing members for their valuable contributions to the ASPI Council.

I thank Lt Gen (Ret’d) Ken Gillespie for his continuation as ASPI Council Chair.

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