Susannah Patton

Director, Southeast Asia Program
Areas of expertise

Indo-Pacific strategy; Australian foreign policy; Southeast Asia.

Susannah Patton
Biography
Publications
News and media

On leave until April 2024

Susannah Patton is Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Lowy Institute and the Project Lead for the Asia Power Index, the Institute’s annual data-driven assessment that maps the changing distribution of power in the region. Her research on Southeast Asia is focused on strategic alignment dynamics and the roles of external powers including the United States, China and Australia.

Before joining the Lowy Institute, Susannah was a Research Fellow in the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the United States Studies Centre. Her commentary and analysis have featured in Australian and international outlets, including The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Australian Financial Review and The Interpreter. Before leaving government, she worked in various Southeast Asia-focused positions in the Australian government, including as a Senior Analyst in the Southeast Asia Branch at the Office of National Intelligence, in the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit Taskforce in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and as a diplomat in the Australian Embassy in Bangkok. Susannah holds first class honours degrees in law and political science from the Australian National University.

Thailand’s Election: Will the Country Move Forward?
Commentary
Thailand’s Election: Will the Country Move Forward?
Originally posted in The News Lens
Does Thailand’s election matter?
Does Thailand’s election matter?
The election won’t be free and fair but it could be highly consequential for the country and the region.
Strategic divergence with Indonesia: an Australian perspective
Strategic divergence with Indonesia: an Australian perspective
Despite expected differences with Indonesia, Australia also underplays how fast its regional approach has changed in just a decade.
Asia Power Snapshot: China and the United States in Southeast Asia
Reports
Asia Power Snapshot: China and the United States in Southeast Asia
China is more influential than the United States in a number of measures in Southeast Asia and has increased its lead over the past five years.
Taking Australian statecraft from good to great
Taking Australian statecraft from good to great
To remain effective in Asia, Canberra must do more with less, multiplying the effects of its bureaucratic tools.
Are Australia’s neighbours ready for AUKUS?
Commentary
Are Australia’s neighbours ready for AUKUS?
The AUKUS fallout has not prevented positive momentum in Australia’s relations with South-East Asia, yet regional concerns still lurk below the surface, and Canberra needs to…
Why Australia needs to own its strategic power
Commentary
Why Australia needs to own its strategic power
Australia will need to shape a region likely to be made up of a messy patchwork of coalitions, rather than a grand concert of powers. First published in the Australian…
As US-China rivalry heats up, can Australia defuse the risk of superpower conflict?
Commentary
As US-China rivalry heats up, can Australia defuse the risk of superpower conflict?
Albanese will need to explain how Australia’s investment in more lethal defence capabilities will make the Indo-Pacific safer – and ensure conflict never occurs. Originally…
Top