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Inaugural Executive Director Appointed to Security & Defence PLuS

13 February, 2023

Three of the world’s leading universities have strengthened their shared commitment to help advance AUKUS-related research, education and policy by appointing an inaugural Executive Director to lead their Security and Defence PLuS venture.

Prof Paul Maddison has been appointed the inaugural Executive Director of Security and Defence PLuS.

Paul brings a wealth of experience and passion to the role and will be instrumental in furthering the PLuS Alliance’s mission of advancing education, research, and innovation globally.

Security and Defence PLuS is a partnership between Arizona State University (ASU), King’s College London (King’s), and the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The partnership brings together researchers and practitioners from ASU, King’s, and UNSW who will collaborate to support the official efforts of the US, UK and Australian governments through scholarship, policy-focused research, and the generation of new ideas for the public discourse.

“It is a great honour to lead the Security & Defence PLuS program on behalf of three world-class universities in Phoenix, London and Sydney, representing each of the AUKUS partner nations,” Prof Maddison said.

“At its core, AUKUS is about bringing three like-minded allies together with unprecedented strategic integration in order to accelerate our collective defence and security readiness in an uncertain world.

“Universities will have a key role to play in enabling AUKUS’s success through the delivery of joint defence-related research, education, and continuing professional development programs, across the full spectrum of defence activity.”

Sir Malcolm Grant, Chair of the PLuS Alliance congratulated Prof Maddison on his appointment and said the importance of the partnership continues to grow.

“I am delighted Prof Maddison has agreed to come on board to guide this major PLuS Alliance venture. We have the opportunity to draw together the extensive resources and expertise of three leading universities behind the shared security and defence needs of their three countries,” Sir Malcom said.

The PLuS Alliance, under which the Security and Defense PLuS partnership sits, was established in 2016 to bring together three globally influential universities to make a positive and lasting contribution to global innovation, research and education through a variety of interdisciplinary projects.

Prof Maddison is a graduate of Canada’s Royal Military College and served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 37 years. He commanded at all levels, both at sea and ashore, and retired in 2013 from his appointment as Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Prof Maddison returned to public service in 2015 and served until 2019 as the High Commissioner of Canada to Australia, with accreditation to seven Pacific island countries. In this role, Prof Maddison was tireless in his pursuit of strengthened bilateral relations between Australia and Canada, with a focus on collaboration in the public policy, trade, social and security sectors.