Leighton G. Luke is a security analyst with expertise on both the Indian Ocean and Indo-Pacific regions.
He has a Master of Philosophy (Defence and Strategic Studies) from Massey University and a Master of Arts (Translation and Linguistics) from the University of Western Sydney. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Language Studies) and was awarded a place on the Faculty Honour Roll at Edith Cowan University. In addition, Leighton has a diploma in French language studies issued by the French Government (the Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française) and has also studied Spanish and Portuguese.
For 13 years, Leighton presided as the Manager of the Indian Ocean Research Programme (latterly Indo-Pacific Research Programme) at the think tank Future Directions International (FDI) and has written over 300 articles and researched a wide variety of topics, including international relations, maritime security, geo-politics, regional security and economic and trade issues. Among Leighton’s more significant contributions to the FDI publication program, he project-managed and contributed to the major publications Indian Ocean: A Sea of Uncertainty and The Indian Ocean Region: A Framework for Australian Policy Options.
Of note, Leighton’s work has been published in a number of print and online publications in Australia and overseas. Examples include the Asia Pacific Security Magazine, the New Zealand Institute of International AffairsInternational Review, the South Asian Tribune, the Kenya-based Daily Nation and several other African-based publications such as Your Botswana, Times of Swaziland and Seychelles Nation.
Throughout his tenure at FDI, Leighton engaged frequently in briefings with senior professionals from across the spectrum of politics, government, Defence, diplomacy and academia. He has chaired and co-chaired numerous research workshops and guest speaker events and assisted in the management and administration of the second Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Indian Ocean Dialogue held in Perth in September 2015.
Recognised for his subject matter expertise, Leighton has been interviewed on Indian Ocean region geo-politics by ABC Radio National and RTR FM Perth, and in 2012, he spoke of the growing importance of the Indian Ocean region before the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into the Significance of the Indian Ocean Rim for Australia.