Stephen Smith is a Senior Advisor to The Asia Group, based in Australia. During a long and distinguished career in public life, he served as Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs (2007-2010), Minister for Trade (2010), and Minister for Defence (2010-2013). Since leaving the Australian House of Representatives in 2013, he has been a Professor of Public International Law at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and a Distinguished Fellow and Board Member of the Perth USAsia Centre. He is also Chair of the UWA Defence and Security Institute, which he helped establish.
Prior to his service in Government as a ruling party leader, Smith occupied several senior Opposition Front Bench positions, including Shadow Minister for Resources, Shadow Minister for Industry and Infrastructure, and Shadow Minister for Communications. Before entering the Australian Parliament, he was Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Australia, and senior Adviser to the Australian Treasurer, the Honorable PJ Keating, and Principal Private Secretary to the Attorney General of Western Australia.
Smith is a lawyer by profession, having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) from UWA. He is admitted to and has practiced as a lawyer of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. He has also studied and lectured in law in the United Kingdom, where he is admitted as a Barrister of the Bar of England and Wales (Middle Temple), and has a master’s degree in Public International Law from the University of London (LSE).
Since his retirement from the Australian Parliament, Smith’s principal foreign, defence and national security policy interests have focused on the Indo-Pacific, with a particular focus on Australia’s alliance relationship with the United States, and Australia’s relationships with India, and Indonesia and ASEAN. He was member of the Australian delegation for the 5th and 6th Official Australia-China High Level Dialogue (December 2018 and January 2020). He is also a regular participant in Indo-Pacific policy conferences such as the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, and the Foreign Policy Community Indonesia’s Global Town Hall in Jakarta.
Smith is also actively engaged in industry and commerce, and has a particular interest in cybersecurity and critical infrastructure. He is Chair of the Australian cybersecurity company Sapien Cyber. He has previously been Chair of the ASX-listed cybersecurity company archTIS. He is a member of the Australian Government’s Cyber Security Industry Advisory Committee.
Smith also has an enduring interest in Australia’s minerals and petroleum resources industry, including critical minerals. He was a member of the Australian Government’s Taskforce on Australia’s minerals resources industry, Resources 2030.