Susannah Patton

Director, Southeast Asia Program
Areas of expertise

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

Susannah Patton
Biography
Publications
News and media

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.

Scoring Biden’s ASEAN summit
Scoring Biden’s ASEAN summit
Good for ties with Southeast Asia, but a so-so agenda suggests US influence in the region will continue to decline.
Strategic divergence: Australia’s Southeast Asia challenge
Strategic divergence: Australia’s Southeast Asia challenge
Australia’s next government needs to find ways to relate to the region that don’t depend on geopolitical alignment.
The right lessons to learn from Ukraine
Commentary
The right lessons to learn from Ukraine
Australia should be careful in evaluating the impact of the Ukraine crisis on its strategic outlook. The crisis has not altered many of the key facts about our international…
Does the Quad Plus add up?
Does the Quad Plus add up?
The four-way security group should walk its talk about an inclusive region by stepping up dialogue with other countries.
Reading Southeast Asia on Ukraine 
Reading Southeast Asia on Ukraine 
Russia’s invasion has unified the West with new clarity, yet exposed ambiguity and uncertainty in Southeast Asia.
AUKMIN shows the UK is a world away from Australia
AUKMIN shows the UK is a world away from Australia
London’s global focus on malign authoritarian actors makes clear thinking and prioritisation impossible.
Is Australia relevant?
Is Australia relevant?
Neighbours in Southeast Asia may not be “forced to choose” but rather “left behind”.
AUSMIN is a chance to refocus Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy
AUSMIN is a chance to refocus Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy
For all the talk, there is little evidence that Washington is treating the region as a decisive priority.
Debating the alliance
Debating the alliance
An ambitious attempt to open new avenues to assess the US-Australia alliance misjudges the chance of independent action.
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