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Executive Director, UNSW Institute for Cyber Security

  • Build and oversee a cutting-edge institute dedicated to advancing cyber strategies, fostering innovation, and equipping the next generation of cyber experts  


Employment type and duration: Full time. Fixed term, for a period of up to five years. 

Location: Sydney (New South Wales)/ Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) 


About UNSW  

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) is one of Australia’s leading universities ranked in the top 20 universities worldwide, and a member of Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight 

UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) is a Faculty of the University of New South Wales, with a unique focus on defence and security. UNSW Canberra at ADFA has been preparing future global leaders since 1967 as the official education provider for the Australian Defence Force. UNSW Canberra specialises in high-quality undergraduate and postgraduate courses in all areas relating to military, strategic and defence studies, in defence partnerships that are crucial to protecting the security and safety of Australia and its allies. 

UNSW Canberra at ADFA houses more than 200 researchers who are recognised for their research excellence and impact. It is renowned for defence-related research, alongside many other research areas such as bushfire prediction modelling, public sector management, and other applied areas to address complex and contemporary challenges across Australia, the region and the globe.

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About the Institute

UNSW is seeking an Executive Director and Professor or Professor of Practice for the UNSW Institute for Cyber Security (IFCYBER). The appointment will lead a unique multi-faculty institute to address the sociotechnical complexity of cyber security and coordinate the IFCYBER mission through continuing development and implementation of the IFCYBER strategy. 

Since 2019 UNSW has been developing multidisciplinary education (including micro credentials) and applied research in cyber security. IFCYBER is a multi-campus, cross disciplinary initiative that works with a range of external partners, coordinating and utilising the University’s deep academic expertise in cyber security research, defence research, and technology. IFCYBER members come from all UNSW faculties, with strengths in consumer and engineering, computer science and law, giving a wide span across civil aspects of cyber security as well as national defence aspects, national priorities and regulatory, industry and community concerns.  

The Institute is collectively placing Australia as a leader in multidisciplinary cyber security research, education, innovation, and commercialisation. To ensure the Institute’s research has real-world impact, work is conducted with partners – Defence, government, industry, and community groups. 

Funded projects include development of seL4 microkernel technology – the world’s most advanced cybersecurity technology with support from the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and many more.

UNSW Canberra City Campus

Due to open in early 2025, UNSW Canberra City Campus will support capability growth in critical technologies and national priority areas such as cyber security and artificial intelligence.

The new $1 billion campus will strengthen UNSW’s robust commitment to education, research and innovation in the ACT, building on the strategic partnership that has endured for 55 years in UNSW Canberra at ADFA.

The new, state-of-the-art campus will consist of 14 buildings across eight hectares, and is located in the middle of Canberra’s research and innovation corridor, with other like-minded institutions such as the Defence precinct in Russell and Campbell. It will also become a hub of innovation, with a new Defence and Security Innovation Precinct set to be a key feature of the new campus.

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About the position

The Executive Director will build and oversee a cutting-edge institute dedicated to advancing cyber strategies, fostering innovation, and equipping the next generation of cyber experts. The Executive Director leads collaborations with industry leaders, government agencies, and other academic institutions to develop strategic partnerships and initiatives that drive impactful research and education, promoting knowledge sharing, and addressing emerging cyber threats. 

Specific accountabilities for this role include: 

  • Create an evolving roadmap for implementing the IFCYBER Strategic Plan, establishing the Executive team, and activating enablers to drive the Institute initiatives.
  • Establish external expert advisory committees from across Defence, government, industry, and alumni.
  • Support the overarching objectives of UNSW Strategic Plans, contribute into the Faculty leadership and broader university executive, demonstrating exemplary corporate citizenship.
  • Act as an ambassador for UNSW, and IFCYBER by participating in public events such as thought leadership panels, conference presentations, etc.
  • Effectively administer and allocate institute resources, optimise and operate within budget, and meet relevant corporate governance, legislation and compliance obligations. 

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The right candidate  

To successfully lead this cross-institutional Institute and bring a highly engaged, future orientation, our ideal candidate will have insights into the technical aspects of Cyber, and will also: 

  • bring a distinguished record of leadership in Cyber Security or one or more related fields, with relevant qualifications or equivalent experience, with a national and international reputation for excellence.
  • have a proven record in senior management with demonstrated experience providing effective strategic leadership in education and/or research, fostering innovation and leading change management.
  • demonstrate a record of successful engagement at a senior level with government, defence, and/or industry to develop long term collaborative research partnerships and translate research into tangible commercial benefits including policy impacts.
  • be well-established with a sustained record of exemplary professional practice and leadership within a relevant community which extends to a strong network in the Australian cyber community. 

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To learn more, and to apply 

UNSW has engaged De Sailly Search to conduct a broad search and manage the recruitment process. You are encouraged to register your confidential interest early by contacting Dr Rosalind De Sailly and Jack Andrew-Kabilafkas via email to UNSWCyber@desailly.com.au 

The Position Description can be downloaded here. 

Full applications should be sent to the above email address, and systematically address the skills and experience for the role (see the dot points listed under “Skills and Experience” in the position description), include a complete and detailed curriculum vitae and contact details of 3-5 nominated referees, and a cover letter in which you indicate your motivation for the role.  


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