The Lowy Institute convenes an expert panel to examine the implications of President Obama's push to reduce nuclear dangers, as well as to debate broader questions about nuclear disarmament.
Martine Letts joined as Deputy Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy in January 2005 following 4 years as the Secretary General (CEO) of Australian Red Cross and a 17-year career with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Letts served as Australian Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, Deputy Head of Mission and Australian Deputy Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna and was an adviser to Foreign Minister Evans from 1992 to 1994.
Letts specialised in arms control and disarmament on postings in Geneva, Vienna and as a policy officer in DFAT.
Rory Medcalf worked variously as an intelligence analyst, diplomat and journalist before joining the Lowy Institute as the International Security Program Director in March 2007.
From 2003 to 2007, he was a senior strategic analyst with the Office of National Assessments, Australia's peak intelligence analysis agency. His work dealt with Australia's strategic environment, particularly power relations in Asia. From 1996 to 2003, Mr Medcalf was an officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. From 2000 to 2003 he served at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi. His diplomatic experience also included a secondment to Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he played a key role in drafting the Tokyo Forum report on nuclear non-proliferation, service as a truce monitor in Bougainville, policy development on the ASEAN Regional Forum and assisting the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.
Mr Medcalf's earlier work as print journalist was commended in Australia's premier media awards, the Walkleys. He has a first class Honours degree in political science and a University Medal from the University of Queensland.
He is the Australian convener of the Australia-India Roundtable and a research consultant for the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.
Andrew O'Neill is Associate Professor in International Relations and Associate Head (Research) of the Faculty of Social Sciences. He is also Director of the Flinders International Asia Pacific Institute (see http://www.fiap.flinders.edu.au/)
Before taking up an academic position in 2000, he worked as an intelligence analyst with Australia's Defence Department. Between 2005 and 2007, O'Neill was a member of the Australian Foreign Minister's National Consultative Committee for International Security Issues.
In 2007 O'Neill held the status of visiting professor at Hiroshima University, Japan, and he is presently Chair of the International Network of Universities' Academic Committee.
Michael Wesley is the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Previously he was Professor of International Relations and Director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Hong Kong and Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China.
Prior to this, he was the Assistant Director-General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments, and a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of New South Wales.
Between 2007 and 2009, Dr. Wesley was the Editor of the Australian Journal of International Affairs and a Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS). He has served on the Australian Research Council's College of Experts and the Queensland Art Gallery's Board of Trustees. In April 2008, he was Co-Chair (with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith) of one of the ten issue streams at the Australian government's 2020 Summit and gave the keynote speech at the Summit.
His most recent books are Energy Security in Asia(Routledge, 2007); The Howard Paradox: Australian Diplomacy in Asia 1996-2006 (ABC Books, 2007); and (with Allan Gyngell) Making Australian Foreign Policy, 2nd edition, (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
Andrew O'Neil, director of the Flinders International Asia Pacific Institute, argues that President Obama's commitment to nuclear disarmament is perceived by some nations as a hollow gesture because the US now relies less on nuclear weapons for its strategic military credibility.