Mr James Brown


James Brown is the President of the Returned and Services League NSW – Australia’s largest veterans’ charity. He is also a director of RSL Lifecare Limited, and RSL Custodian Pty Ltd. He is the chairman of the Anzac House Trust, deputy chair of the Anzac Memorial Trust, and a trustee of the RSL Welfare and Benevolent Institute.

A former Australian Army officer, James commanded a cavalry troop in southern Iraq, served on the Australian taskforce headquarters in Baghdad, managed operations and contingency planning for Australia's Solomon Islands mission (for which he was awarded a commendation), and was attached to Special Forces in Afghanistan. James also instructed at the Army’s Combat Arms Training Centre.

After leaving the Australian Defence Force James worked as a management consultant before joining the Lowy Institute for International Policy, a foreign policy think tank based in Sydney. As the Institute’s Military Fellow between 2010 and 2014, his research and writing focused on Australian defence operations, policy, and strategy. In 2015 James was appointed to direct a program focused on the Australia-US alliance at the United States Studies Centre. He was also appointed as an Adjunct Associate professor at the University of Sydney. James is on a leave of absence from his current role as the centre's Director of Foreign Policy, Defence, and Strategy.

James’s first book was the acclaimed Anzac's Long Shadow: The Cost of Our National Obsession (Black Inc, 2014) and in 2016 he wrote the Quarterly Essay Firing Line: Australia’s path to war. He is a regular contributor to Australian and international media and appears weekly on Sky News Australia.

James studied economics at the University of Sydney and completed graduate studies in strategy at the University of New South Wales. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He lives in Sydney with his wife and two young children and is an active member of the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club.