Alana Ford joins the Perth USAsia Centre

Thursday 27 June 2024

The Perth USAsia Centre has appointed Alana Ford as its Senior Research and Program Fellow.

An experienced national security expert, Ms Ford has recently returned home to Western Australia after several years working interstate and overseas as a public servant and diplomat.

Most recently, she served as the Attorney General Department’s representative to the United States in Washington, D.C. In this role, she led the Australian Government’s efforts in North America to address online harms and criminal exploitation of technology, as well as other high profile national security, law enforcement and criminal justice matters.

Previously, she served in the Department of Home Affairs, where she led work on a broad range of national security issues, including cyber and digital technology policy, law enforcement policy, countering online terrorism, child exploitation, and intelligence.

Commenting on the appointment, Research Director Kate O’Shaughnessy said Ms Ford would bring invaluable insights to the Centre’s work, especially in the areas of tech policy, cyber and critical technologies.

“We are delighted to welcome Alana to the team. Governments around the Indo-Pacific continue to grapple with the challenges and opportunities of technology, from AI’s role in election disinformation to cyber-attacks to the legislative frameworks to manage these technologies. In this context, robust analysis of these emerging trends has never been more important,” Dr O’Shaughnessy said.

“It’s an honour to join the ranks of the Perth USAsia Centre, and to bring my experience from both Canberra and Washington D.C. back to WA,” Ms Ford said.

“Technology is an incredible force for civic and social good, but it’s also a tool for harm where the immediacy and reach is continuously unprecedented. I am excited to hit the ground running, unpacking what this means for the Indo-Pacific region and within the context of the Australia-United States alliance.”

Alana Ford holds a double degree (BA) from Murdoch University in Security, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism studies; and Politics and International Studies. She is an Affiliate at All Tech Is Human – a voluntary organisation that advocates for a more secure and equitable tech future aligned with human rights and the public interest – and a director on the board of the Data Federation Lab.


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