Mr. Samuel Bashfield

PhD Candidate and Research Officer at the ANU National Security College

Sam is a PhD candidate and research officer at the ANU National Security College. He joined the ANU in 2016 and the National Security College in April 2018. His research engages with Indian Ocean security issues, with a focus on the past, present and future of the Chagos Archipelago (British Indian Ocean Territory). He also supports the NSC’s Indo-Pacific Strategy: Undersea Deterrence Project and the Indo-Pacific Strategy: Indian Ocean Project.

Sam completed his Master of National Security Policy degree in July 2020 and received an ANU Professional Staff Scholarship and the National Security College Award. He was most recently Course Coordinator in the NSC Professional Studies team, and Project Officer in the Strategic Partnerships and International Office at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. Prior to joining the ANU, Sam interned at the Jakarta Globe newspaper in Indonesia, worked at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at the University of Sydney, and at the Attorney General’s Department. He completed his honours degree in Indonesian Studies at Monash University and undertook an ACICIS flexible immersion program at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta. During his studies, Sam was awarded an Anne Wallace Memorial Travel Grant, as well as a Victorian Government Hamer Scholarship.


Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne (Retd.)


Admiral Ravindra Chandrasiri Wijegunaratne, WV, RWP & Bar, RSP, VSV, USP, NI(M), ndc, psn, is a retired Sri Lankan naval officer, and former Chief of Defence Staff of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.[2] He has also served as the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy, Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy, the Director General of the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and held, at various times, four of the seven Naval Commands of the SLN. Wijegunaratne has also served as Director Naval Operations, and is a recipient of the Weerodara Vibhushanaya.

Christian Bueger

Christian Bueger is Professor of International Relations at the University of Copenhagen, honorary professor at the University of Seychelles and a Research Fellow at the University of Stellenbosch. He is also one of the directors of the SafeSeas network on maritime security. He holds a PhD from the European University Institute, Florence and a MA from the Goethe University Frankfurt.

Professor Bueger is widely known for his research on maritime security, crime, piracy, maritime strategies and maritime domain awareness. His most recent publications address the concept of blue crime (in Marine Policy 2020) and the relation of different ocean governance paradigms (forthcoming 2022).

Mr. Zhou Bo, Senior Col (retd)

Senior Fellow, Center for International Security and Strategy (CISS), Tsinghua University

Senior Colonel Zhou Bo (retired) started his military service in 1979. He served in different posts in Guangzhou Air Force Regional Command. From 1993 he worked successively as staff officer, Deputy Director General of West Asia and Africa Bureau and then Deputy Director General of General Planning Bureau of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense of China, Chinese Defense Attaché to the Republic of Namibia and Director of the Centre for Security Cooperation in the Office for International Military Cooperation, Ministry of National Defense. He is now a senior fellow of Center for International Security and Strategy Tsinghua University and China Forum expert.

Senior Colonel Zhou Bo has published more than 100 essays and opinions in English in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy,Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Australian, South China Morning Post, The Diplomat, Strait Times,China~US Focus and China Daily, etc. He had exclusive interviews with BBC,NBC, Time, Euronews, Channel NewsAsia (Singapore), NHK, Russia Today, CNBC and CGTN. He speaks as a PLA delegate at Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore and at Munich Security conference. He is supervisor to foreign post-graduate officers at PLA National Defense University.
Senior Colonel Zhou Bo is an under-graduate of Air Force Engineering College and a postgraduate of St Edmund College of Cambridge University (Mphill in International Relations). He was a visiting fellow to the Land Warfare Studies Centre of the Australian Army in 1999. He has attended various courses in Harvard University, Westminster University, PLA National Defense University, PLA University of Science and Technology for the National Defense and PLA Army Command College (Shijiazhuang).

Vice Admiral (Retd) Pradeep Chauhan

Director General National Maritime Foundation
An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, the Defence Services Staff College, the Naval War College, and the National Defence College, with BSc, MSc and MPhil degrees under his belt, Vice Admiral Pradeep Chauhan, AVSM & Bar, VSM, is currently the Director-General of the National Maritime Foundation, New Delhi, which is India’s foremost resource centre for the development and advocacy of strategies for the promotion and protection of India’s maritime interests.


The admiral retired on 30 November 2013 after an illustrious, rich, and varied four-decade-long career in the Executive Branch of the Indian Navy. This included a stint in Antarctica, as also a three-year deputation to the Government of Mauritius, where he set up and commanded the Mauritius National Coast Guard. His sea-going service incorporates as many as four command-appointments. After doing the 42nd NDC, he was the Principal Director of National Operations and thereafter went on to command the Indian Navy’s sole aircraft carrier of that period, the Viraat. As a Rear Admiral, he was the Navy’s first Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Foreign Cooperation & Intelligence), where he conceptualised and executed the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). As a Vice Admiral, he has been Chief of Staff of the Western Naval Command; and was, in his last naval appointment before retirement, the Commandant of the Indian Naval Academy (Ezhimala). He has been commended three times by the President of India for sustained distinguished service. Not one to rest on past laurels, he has remained active even after retirement and is a much sought-after thought-leader and leadership mentor. Apart from being on the visiting faculty of the higher-command establishments of all three of India’s defence services, as also tri-Service establishments such as the College of Defence Management, Hyderabad and the National Defence College, New Delhi, he has also been advising the government through his interaction with the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence (Navy), the Ministry of External Affairs, and the National Security Council Secretariat. He is, in addition, a prolific writer with over 95 published professional articles and papers, and, a respected Adviser and Fellow of several important think-tanks