Defence Academy welcomes first Visiting Fellow Heather Skousgaard

28 January 2019 / Categories: DA News and Events

Defence Academy officially welcomes its first Visiting Fellow Heather Skousgaard.

Heather is the first Visiting Research Fellow to attend the Defence Academy, and represents what AVM Luck, Chief Executive Defence Academy and Commandant Joint Services Command & Staff College hopes will be the beginning of an expanded fellowship program for the academy. 

A Visiting Fellow is an individual who has attained higher degrees in the relevant area and who is deemed to be at an equivalent level to lecturer or above in their particular academic or professional field and enrich the intellectual landscape of an organisation and in this case, Defence Academy.

Dr Heather joins us from the Australian Defence College where she is the Research Fellow for Cross-Cultural Development.  During her time here at the academy Heather will be reviewing the Professional Military Education (PME) strategies and curricula of both MOD and NATO partners to identify areas of best practice for the development of cross-cultural leadership skills. Heather is also delivering a module on the Higher Command and Staff Course on cultural intelligence and its implications for 21st century warfighting.

On taking up the post of Visiting Fellow, Heather said:

“I'm delighted to take up this visiting fellowship at a time when both the UK Defence Academy and Australian Defence College are reviewing their PME programs to better ensure they prepare military professionals to meet the intellectual and moral challenges of 21st century warfare. I believe cultural intelligence, or CQ, is a key part of the kind of reflexive leadership that such professionalism requires, and am excited to be able to learn more about how the MOD is preparing its people for the cross-cultural challenges of their work.”

Heather is accredited as an advanced CQ facilitator by the Cultural Intelligence Centre, USA.  She has a Bachelor of Business (Hons) in Marketing and Consumer Psychology, a Masters of Anthropology, and a PhD in Anthropology from the Australian National University. Prior to joining the Department of Defence, Heather taught anthropology and sociology at the Australian National University.

The aim of the Visiting Fellowship is to build strong relationships with individuals and organisations outside the Defence Academy for the purposes of research, professional development and knowledge transfer.

Heather and her husband, Tristan, a legal officer in the Royal Australian Navy, are thoroughly enjoying being a part of the vibrant international community that makes up the Defence Academy.

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