John Watts

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Middle East Peace and Security Initiative

John Watts

Expert Connect

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Asian Security, Defense industry, Emerging technologies in defense and NatSec, International Security, Non-traditional Threats, Terrorism, US Defense Policy

Read Full Bio

Recent Activity

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Full Bio

John Watts is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security.

Watts has spent more than a dozen years working across military, government, and industry, focused predominantly on the nature of future warfare and implications of complex emerging security risks. As part of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security he is focused on Middle East and Indo-Pacific security issues. He has co-led wargames on Islamic State and researched the role Australia can play in Gulf security.

Previously, as a senior consultant with Noetic Corporation, he advised international, military, federal, and local government agencies. Considered by his clients as a trusted adviser and honest broker, he improved strategic planning and technology evaluation approaches, exercised emergency management teams, facilitated non-traditional interagency initiatives, developed new operating concepts, and analyzed the impact and opportunities of emerging, disruptive technologies and threats.

Prior to moving to the United States, he was a Staff Officer at the Australian Department of Defence, working in a variety of strategic planning, implementation, evaluation, and management roles. His primary focus was organizational capacity building as well as the development and implementation of strategic guidance and military preparedness. Watts spent more than a dozen years in the Australian Army Reserves, where he held command, training, officer development, and emergency management positions. His most recent position was a Liaison Officer with the Virginia National Guard.

Watts was a founding member and inaugural Chair of the Institute for Regional Security's (formerly the Kokoda Foundation) Young Strategic Leaders Forum, for which he received the 2010 Rob Chaloner Memorial Prize for Outstanding Young Strategic Leadership.

Watts holds an Honours of Arts (International Studies) from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and a Masters of International Law from the Australian National University.