Professor Peter Leahy ACDirector - National Security Institute


Phone: (02) 6201 2443


Centre for Change Governance


University of Canberra

Research Interests

National security



Peter Leahy retired from the Army in July 2008 after a 37 year career as a soldier. As an infantry officer the focus of his career was with soldiers in command, training and staff appointments. He was fortunate enough to command at almost every level in the Army and to serve on exchange in Hong Kong with the Gurkhas and in the United States at the Army’s Command and General Staff College.

Peter concluded his career in the Army with the rank of Lieutenant General in the appointment of the Chief of Army. He served in this appointment for 6 years, which was the longest period of service as Chief since General Harry Chauvel in the 1920s. His period of command was marked by the continuous global deployment of Australian soldiers on high tempo, complex and demanding combat operations. During his tenure as Chief of Army he was responsible for the rapid expansion and development of the Army to enable it to cope with the many changing demands of modern conflict. His focus was to enlarge the Army and provide a hardened and networked force with increased adaptability and flexibility.

Since leaving the Army Peter has joined the University of Canberra as a Professor and the foundation Director of the National Security Institute. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been appointed to the Boards of Codan Limited and Electro Optic Systems Holdings Limited. He is a member of the Defence South Australia Advisory Board, a Director of the ACT Branch of the Australian Industry Defence Network and is a Director of the Kokoda Foundation.


  • Bachelor of Arts in Military Studies, UNSW@ADFA, BA(Mil)
  • Master of Military Arts and Science (MMAS)
  • Fellow, Australian Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies
  • Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Graduate, Australian Army Command and Staff College psc
  • Graduate, United Kingdom Higher Command and Staff Course hcsc(j)
  • Graduate, United States Army Command and General Staff College, psc

Foreign Honours and Awards

United States of America Meritorous Service Medal Inducted into the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Hall of Fame Legion of Merit (Commander) Awarded by the United States Marine Corps
Singapore – (Meritorious Service Medal)
Indonesia – Medal of Bintang Kartika Eka Pakri Utama
Malaysia – Armed Forces Order for Valour
Cambodia – Medal of the Royal Order of Sahametrei
France – Ordre national du Merite (Order of National Merit)

PhD Supervision

Area of Supervision:

  • National Security

Involvement in PhD Supervisory Panels:

  • Gavin Spackman, "Assessing Australian Ecological Security - Water, Food and Energy Security in an Uncertain Future" (Secondary Supervisor)
  • Clare O'Neill, "Junior military commanders' thinking for the human domain" (Advisor)
Back to Fellows