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Dr. Paul Buchanan

Paul G. Buchanan is the Director of 36th Parallel Assessments, a New Zealand based, geopolitical and strategic analysis consultancy (

Born in the US, he was raised in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. He speaks fluent Spanish and conversational Portuguese.  He has a BA in Political Science from St. Michael’s College, an MA in Government from Georgetown University and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. During his time as a PhD. student he did human rights research and advocacy as Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Relations in Washington DC. Upon completing his Ph.D. he was recruited to create the Western Hemisphere Area Studies program at the US Naval Postgraduate School. Located in the Department of National Security Affairs, the program trained junior and mid-level military and civilian intelligence officers on matters of Latin American politics, economics, history and strategic affairs. As part of his work, Dr. Buchanan took part in unconventional warfare operations in Central America and engaged with the US intelligence community on specific issues involving US interests in Latin America.

For the next decade Dr. Buchanan alternated US government service with academic appointments. He held visiting positions at the US State Department and Department of Defense, and served as a consultant to the CIA, Agency for International Development, US Southern Command, US Special Operations Command, US Air Force Special Operations Command, US 12th Air Force, US Navy Special Warfare School, US Army School of the Americas and the National Defense University. In 1983-85 he was the Regional Policy Analyst for the Interamerican Region and Cuba Task Force co-leader in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense.

In these capacities he handled sensitive intelligence (holding a Top Secret/SCI clearance from 1993-97) and advised senior political, policy and private sector leaders on issues of Latin American import. This included travel to and liaison with Latin American diplomatic and security officials.

Along with smaller awards, Dr. Buchanan has been the recipient of Fulbright, Heinz, Tinker, Council on Foreign Relations and Association of Asia Pacific University research fellowships. He has held visiting scholar positions at the Center for the Study of State and Society (CEDES) in Argentina, Center for the Study of Industrial Societies at the University of Chicago, Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State, University Research Institute of Rio de Janeiro (IUPERJ) in Brazil, School of Public Administration at the University of Chile, Institute for Strategic and International Studies (IEEI) in Portugal, North-South Center at the University of Miami and Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, San Diego.

He has taught at the US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey Institute of International Studies, University of Arizona, New College of Florida, the University of Auckland and National University of Singapore.  He has guest lectured at the University of California Berkeley, University of Chile, City University of Santiago, University of Coimbra (Portugal), US National Defense University and the Australian Defense College.

He has written 3 books, over sixty scholarly articles, reviews and monographs and more than 100 editorial essays on matters of comparative politics and international relations. He is a regular media commentator on international affairs.

Dr. Buchanan immigrated to New Zealand in 1997 and for the next ten years alternated academic service with media, public and private sector consulting. This included lecturing at the RNZAF Command and General Staff College, the RNZN Command and General Staff College and New Zealand Treasury. After nearly four years teaching at the National University of Singapore he returned to New Zealand in 2011 and started his own geopolitical risk and strategic analysis consultancy.

Dr. Buchanan specializes in international and comparative politics, with sub-specialties in unconventional warfare, intelligence analysis, democratization, regime change, comparative labor politics, comparative foreign policy, political and market risk analysis and strategic thought.



TUESDAY, 31 MAY 2016

8.30 am to 12.30 pm

Chair for the Forum: Sir Anand Satyanand
Former Governor General of New Zealand
and Member of the Rotary Club of Wellington. 


8:45am to 8.55am

Sir Anand Satyanand
Welcome, opening comments


8.55am to 9.00am

Kerry Prendergast
Welcome from the President
of the Rotary Club of Wellington


9.00am to 9.20am

Intelligence and Security
in a Free Society
Sir Michael Cullen, Co-author
of 'Intelligence and Security
in a Free Society'


9.20am to 9.30am

Russell Stanners, CEO, 
Sponsor of the Forum. BIO >


9.30am to 9.45am

Hon Chris Finlayson, Minister
responsible for the


9.45am to 10.00am

Discussion time and
questions with
the 3 previous speakers


 10.00am to 10.25am

Morning tea 


10.25am to 10.35am

Are Security-Liberty
Tradeoffs Necessary?
Professor Robert Ayson,
Professor of Strategic Studies,
Victoria University. BIO >


10.35 am  to 10.45am 

The Privacy Security

Peter Devoy,
Deputy Manager Border
Operations, Immigration NZ. 


 10.45 am  to 10.55am

Bulk Collection, Mass
Surveillance, Targeted
and the
issue of Consent

Dr Paul Buchanan
36th Parallel Assessments Ltd,
security commentator. BIO >


10.55am to 11.05am

Decolonizing data: The case
for Māori data sovereignty
Karen Coutts


11.05am to 11.20am

Discussion time and
questions with
the 4 previous speakers


11.20 am to 11.30am

Digital age privacy and security
go hand-in-hand
Professor Miriam Lips, 
Chair in Digital Government,
Victoria. BIO >


11.30 am to 11.40am

Why privacy isn't enough
Thomas Beagle,
National President, NZ Council
for Civil Liberties. BIO >


 11.40am to 11.50am

Security & social cohesion:
the value of belonging

Anjum Rahman,
Spokesperson, Islamic
Women’s Council. BIO >


11.50am to 12.00pm

Privacy vs Security
- The False Dichotomy
John Edwards,
Privacy Commissioner.


12.00pm to 12.15pm

Discussion time and
questions with
the 4 previous speakers


12.15pm to 12.30pm

Summing up and close
Sir Anand Satyanand



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