Strategy International’s Managing Director
Dr Ross Babbage AM
Dr Ross Babbage is Managing Director of Strategy International, a privately-owned company committed to serving the national security, business and educational communities of Australia, its allies and international partners with high quality consulting services.
Dr Babbage is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) in Washington DC. In addition he is Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Forum, a not-for-profit national security consulting and education service delivery organization committed to fostering high-level discussions and debates on the primary security challenges confronting Australia and its close allies.
Dr Babbage served for 16 years in the Australian Public Service holding several senior positions, including Senior Strategic Analyst in the Office of National Assessments, and leading the branch in the Department of Defence responsible for ANZUS policy. Dr Babbage was Assistant Secretary, Force Development in the late 1980s, carrying responsibility for the analysis of all major defence capability proposals and the preparation of recommendations for the senior Defence committees and for Cabinet.
Through the 1990s, Dr Babbage moved to the corporate sector, as a member of the team that reformed and re-shaped the Office of Defence Production with its loss-making, government-owned defence factories. What emerged was a modern, profitable corporation known as ADI Limited that grew to become Australia’s largest defence company.
Dr Babbage has served a period as Deputy Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University (1987-1990) and also a period as Head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (2001-2003).
Dr Babbage served as a senior advisor to the Minister for Defence during the preparation of the 2009 Australian defence white paper. He also served on the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London for a maximum six-year term.
As Founder, Chair and CEO of the Kokoda Foundation, he designed, developed and organised the first high-level one-and-a-half-track Strategic Dialogues between Australia and the United States and subsequently he organised the first trilateral Strategic Dialogue between Australia, the United States and Japan.
Dr Babbage has Bachelor and Master degrees in economics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University. Amongst his publications are: Game Plan: The Case for a New Australian Grand Strategy (Menzies Research Centre, Canberra, 2015), Countering China’s Adventurism in the South China Sea – Strategy Options for the Trump Administration (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Strategic Forum, Washington D.C., 2016) Winning Without Fighting: Chinese and Russian Political Warfare Campaigns and How the West Can Prevail (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Strategic Forum, Washington D.C., 2019), Stealing a March: Chinese Hybrid Warfare in the Indo-Pacific: Issues and Options for Allied Defence Planners (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Strategic Forum, Washington D.C.,2019) and Which Way the Dragon? Sharpening Allied Perceptions of China’s Strategic Trajectory, (Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and Strategic Forum, Washington D.C., 2020).
Professor Babbage was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2011.