Dr Leanne Piggott
Leanne is a specialist in Middle East security issues, terrorism, counter-terrorism, and energy security. She is the author of the book, The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Timeless Struggle, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She began teaching Middle East politics some decades ago, with a focus on the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was a subject that, in many cases, attracted students with pre-conceived assumptions about who was right or wrong, driven more often than not by their cultural and religious background. She learned quickly the importance of establishing an intellectual model for students that requires them to apply a critical lens to all narratives as a means of understanding why conflict exists and to challenge unexamined assumptions and biases that lie at the heart of all prejudices and, in the worst cases, extremist ideologies. Now located in The University of Sydney Business School, Leanne teaches about opportunities and risks in the business environment, including political and security issues. Her research continues to examine the security environment of the Middle East generally and geopolitical factors that impact on global energy markets in particular. It remains a research realm that is largely the domain of male academics and policy analysts, who at times must struggle with their own set of perception biases as to what a woman might have to contribute to the world of security. High on Leanne’s agenda is the need to provide research supervision for more women preparing to become professionals in the public and private sectors in the areas of international security and risk analysis.
Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: The University of Sydney