Bryden Spurling

Senior Research Leader at RAND Europe

Senior Research Leader, RAND Europe

Bryden Spurling is a senior research leader with RAND Europe focusing on defence and security.

Spurling was a strategist at the Australian Department of Defence for over a decade, leading the department’s highest-level classified planning document, the Defence Planning Guidance; contributed to the 2013 Defence White Paper and the 2020 Defence Strategic Update; managed defence strategy on specific issues such as Iran, North Korea, and Antarctica and the Southern Ocean; directed the precursor to the Australian Government’s Pacific Step-Up; was a policy advisor on the department’s COVID-19 Taskforce; and most recently wrote the department’s first dedicated policy on climate change.

In 2019, Spurling was the Alliance 21 Fellow with the United States Studies Centre, assigned to the Center for a New American Security in Washington, DC. His report – The Peril of Modern Democracy: Short-Term Thinking in a Long-Term World – was published in February 2020. He has also worked across a number of other roles in foreign and economic policy, in government and politics. He was an adviser to Australia’s Chief Scientist, and worked in Australia’s Federal Parliament as the science, higher education and foreign policy adviser to Senator Natasha Stott Despoja AO.

Spurling is an occasional opinion author for Fairfax media, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and Online Opinion.