Senior Analyst, International Cyber Policy Centre at ASPI and PhD Scholar, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University
What drew you to working in your chosen field?
I've always been fascinated in the intersection of global politics, international security, cyberspace and strategic technologies. It's an emerging and messy field that, in Australia, we are very much still getting our head around – which makes it a very interesting space to work in. And I would highly recommend it to others, things are moving quickly and there's a lot of international interest in cyber and technology developments in Asia, particularly surrounding China's emerging & influential role in this space.
Which of your many career achievements do you feel is your greatest and/or most exciting?
There is not one in particular that stands out but I thrive when I'm managing big projects, teams and working collaboratively with industry partners, government and media while also being able to participate in the public debate. It's hard to line up that mix, but when it does come together, that's what I find most exciting.
What would you say is the currently the biggest challenge facing the international cyber community?
Until now, governments have rightly focused on defending against traditional cyber-security threats, but concurrently democratic governments have failed abysmally in understanding the influence aspect to the content side of cyberspace. Going forward, most governments including Australia's, will have to play serious catch-up to defend their open political systems from malicious cyber-enabled influence and interference.
How could Australia further engage with our international partners to harness the opportunities of the digital age?
I think that the Australian cyber community has come leaps and bounds over the past few years, but one area we all need to focus on more is developing stronger public arguments, underpinned by data & policy-focused research, which make the case for how our region can better leverage ICTs for development outcomes, while also maintaining an open and free cyberspace. The second part is really key and in order to develop and to convincingly prosecute evidenced arguments there's going to have to be much closer collaboration and coordination between government, research institutes and regional industry so that we are all moving in the same direction.