Carl Thayer is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the UNSW's School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is currently Director of Thayer Consultancy, a small business registered in Australia in 2002 that provides political analysis of current regional security issues and other research support to selected clients.
Professor Thayer was educated at Brown University in the United States (1967). He holds an M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from Yale (1971) and a PhD in International Relations from The Australian National University (ANU, 1977). He studied Vietnamese language at Yale, Cornell and Southern Illinois University, Thai language at The University of Missouri at Columbia, and Lao language at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Before embarking on an academic career, Carl served in Vietnam with the International Voluntary Services (1967-68) and as a volunteer teacher in Botswana with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (1968-69). He began his professional career in 1976 as lecturer at the Bendigo Institute of Technology (renamed the Bendigo College of Advanced Education). In 1979, he joined The University of New South Wales and taught first in its Faculty of Military Studies at The Royal Military College-Duntoon (1979-85) and then at University College, ADFA (1986-2010). He served as Head of the School of Politics from 1995-97. In 1998, he was promoted to full Professor and Emeritus Professor in 2010.