Personal profile


Dr Sue Thompson has extensive experience in academia, government, the media and the non-government sector.  Her research specialisation examines the history of regional cooperation in Southeast Asia during the Cold War with a focus on foreign and defence policy influences in the post-war evolution of Southeast Asian regionalism. Dr Thompson has conducted extensive fieldwork in North America, Europe and Southeast Asia and has recently published her second sole-authored book on this topic. Dr Thompson’s research has previously been awarded funding by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation, the Eisenhower Presidential Library Foundation and the Gerald Ford Presidential Library Foundation, amongst others.

Prior to joining the ANU, Dr Thompson was the research coordinator at the Australian Civil Military Centre, in the Australian Department of Defence, working on complex issues of coordinating civil, military and police personnel in conflict zones, disaster relief missions, post-conflict reconstruction and peacekeeping missions.

Dr Thompson completed her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London in the United Kingdom. Dr Thompson holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor degree with honours from the Australian National University.

Before embarking on her PhD studies, Dr Thompson worked for a minister in the Australian Government. Following this Dr Thompson worked as a journalist for the Associated Press, based in London, producing a wide range of international news stories.

Dr Thompson has also worked in the non-government sector, notably as a corporate affairs officer for the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and as a communications and policy officer for the Mental Health Council of Australia.


Research interests

Post-war Security History, Western Defence Policy in Southeast Asia, History of Regional Co-operation, Cold War studies


BA (Hons) (ANU), Msc (LSE) PhD (SOAS, London)