Contact Professor Laura Cleary


Professor Laura Cleary is the Director of Oakwood International Security. She has three decades of experience as an academic, author and consultant specialising in security governance and management.

Prior to establishing Oakwood International Security, Professor Cleary was Head of the Centre for International Security and Resilience at Cranfield University. She joined Cranfield in 2002 to head its Defence Diplomacy Education programme, Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context (MDWSC). As academic director for that programme she taught 150 nationalities across four continents, and acted as a consultant and advisor to MODs and Parliaments in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. A leading expert in the fields of International Defence Engagement (IDE), governance and defence transformation, her research in the field has contributed to British policy formation and strategic planning.

In 2017 she was shortlisted for a Women in Defence Award for her Outstanding Contribution to British Defence. In 2006 and again in 2019 she was awarded the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom Director's Commendation for Contributions to UK Defence Relations. Professor Cleary is also the recipient of two teaching awards, one from the Political Studies Association (1997) and the other from Cranfield Defence and Security (2010). She has a PhD from Glasgow University on Soviet Defence Conversion and a BA in International Politics and History from Indiana University.

Current activities

Professor Cleary is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University. She continues to teach on the MDWSC course as well as on other Executive Education courses and MScs. Her teaching and research expertise is in the following areas:

- MSc and Executive level course design and delivery

- International Security

- Security Sector Governance

- Civil-Security Relations in Transitional States

- Defence Transformation

- International Defence Engagement



FCO and DFID through the Conflict Pool

Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Ireland

Scottish Government


Government of Nepal



Conference Papers