What we do

An Australian think tank with a global outlook.

Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Lowy Institute is an Australian think tank with a global outlook. Our research interests are as broad as Australia’s interests, and we host distinguished speakers from around the globe on foreign policy, defence, politics, aid and development, journalism, sport, science and the arts.

As an Australian think tank, Asia touches everything the Lowy Institute does. Our research and events calendar have a special Asia-Pacific focus, and our experts produce commentary for the world’s leading news outlets on events in the region.

The Lowy Institute is at the centre of Australia’s foreign policy and national security debates. Every prime minister and foreign minister since 2003, when the Institute was founded, has spoken at the Lowy Institute. Our annual poll of Australian public opinion is cited around the world, our experts are sought out by the Australian media for commentary on breaking events, and our research – including our flagship Lowy Institute Papers, published by Penguin – helps set the national agenda.

The Lowy Institute aims to be a world-leading online think tank. Our digital magazine, The Interpreter, was the first of its kind among foreign-policy think tanks, and we publish groundbreaking interactive research such as the Global Diplomacy Index, the Asia Power Index, and the Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map.

Among the many events we host, the annual Lowy Lecture is the Lowy Institute's signature event, at which a prominent individual reflects on Australia’s role in the world and the world’s influence on Australia. Past Lowy Lecturers have included Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull; H.E. Dr Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany; General David Petraeus AO, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Rupert Murdoch AC, Executive Chairman of News Corp; Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times; and Prime Minister John Howard OM AC, who delivered the inaugural Lowy Lecture in 2005.

Other Lowy Institute speakers of global stature include US Vice-President Joe Biden, Burmese Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and former US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021