Dr Kate O’Shaughnessy

Research Director

Expertise: Indonesia, Indian Ocean

Dr Kate O’Shaughnessy leads the Centre’s suite of research programs across the Indo-Pacific.

She brings to the Centre an academic background in Indonesian language and history, along with 16 years’ experience with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Her public sector experience spans providing policy advice to government on Australia’s interests in the Indian Ocean, to supporting development of the Australian aid budget, to intelligence analysis.

During her diplomatic career, she served in Ghana, as well as deployments to Lebanon, France and Nigeria.  Immediately before joining the Centre in 2022, she was Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius and Seychelles, and Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros, advocating Australia’s Indo-Pacific vision to stakeholders across the western Indian Ocean.

Originally from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and PhD in Indonesian history from the University of Western Australia.  Her work on gender in Indonesia during the Suharto era – Gender, State and Social Power in Contemporary Indonesia – was published by Routledge as part of its Women in Asia Series. She speaks Indonesian and French.

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