As part of its Distinguished Speaker Series, the Lowy Institute for International Policy was pleased to host an address by Mr Nick Warner, Secretary of Defence.
The title of Mr Warner's address was "256,800 Paper Towels: Mending Defence's Broken Backbone"- The Lowy Institute for International Policy
Allan Gyngell, the executive director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy, has a wide background in international policy making and analysis.
He has written and spoken extensively on Australian foreign policy, Asian regional relations, and the development of global and regional institutions.
After graduating in history and political science from Melbourne University, he served as an Australian diplomat in Rangoon, Singapore and Washington. He also spent a number of years with the Office of National Assessments, Australia's national intelligence analysis organisation, where he worked on southeast Asian issues and headed the branch dealing with great power relations at the end of the Cold War.
He was later first assistant secretary in the international division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. From 1993 to 1996, he was foreign policy adviser in the office of the Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating.
After leaving government in 1997, he worked as a consultant to a number of Australian companies. In 2003, he was appointed as the founding executive director of the Lowy Institute. He is a member of the Australian Government's Foreign Affairs Council.
The second edition of his book, Making Australian Foreign Policy, co-written with Professor Michael Wesley, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007.
Nick Warner was appointed as the secretary of defense of Australia on December 4, 2006. Prior to taking up this position, he was the senior adviser (international) to the prime minister, a role he occupied from July 2005.
Mr. Warner has held a number of senior positions, most recently as deputy secretary, in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He also worked in the Joint Intelligence Organisation from 1973-77.
Overseas, Mr Warner has served as the special coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (2003-2004), high commissioner of Port Moresby (1999-2003), ambassador to Tehran (1994-97), deputy head of Mission of the Australian Permanent Mission to the Supreme National Council, Cambodia (1991-93) and head of the Australian Liaison Office in Namibia (1989-90), and in the Australian Liaison Office in Salisbury, Rhodesia (1980).
Born in Singapore, Warner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in history and Asian Studies and a Master of Arts degree in history from the Australian National University.