Staff – The Centre for Independent Studies


  • Jane Black
    Jane Black

    General Manager

    Jane is the General Manager at the CIS. She has a Bachelor of Applied Economic Geography from the University of NSW and before joining CIS in June 2017, has had a varied management career with experience in retailing and consumer products.


  • Tom Switzer
    Tom Switzer

    Executive Director

    Tom Switzer is the Executive Director at the Centre for Independent Studies. He is a former senior fellow at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre (2009-17), a former editor of the Spectator Australia (2009-14), senior federal Liberal leader adviser/speech writer (2008), opinion editor of The Australian, (2001-08), editorial writer at the Australian Financial Review (1998-01) and assistant editor at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC (1995-98). He has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, The Spectator, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, The American Interest and The American Conservative. He has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Sky News, SBS, Seven, Nine, Ten and ABC radio and television. He hosts Between the Lines on the ABC's Radio National.


  • Deborah Henderson
    Deborah Henderson

    Director of Development

    Deborah graduated from UTS with a degree in Communication Studies majoring in Australian Politics and has more than two decades of media experience with a background as a BBC journalist, media and development consultant. Deborah donates her time to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Leukaemia Foundation and Lymphoma Australia.


  • Sophie Causer
    Sophie Causer

    Development and Membership Manager

    Sophie is the Development and Membership Manager at CIS. With a Bachelor in International and Global Studies, and a Master in International Law, she has several years of broad experience in volunteer programs, charity projects, pharmacy and retail.


  • Max Hawke-Weaver
    Max Hawke-Weaver

    Event Director

    Responsible for the delivery of the Centres’ event program, Max is on a mission to create unique events that position CIS at the forefront of public debate. Max has over 12 years of industry experience in events, marketing and major sporting events, having split his career between the UK and Australia Max has worked with small charities, major sporting competitions and everything in-between.


  • Nikko Malyon
    Nikko Malyon

    Event Officer

    Nikko is the Event Officer at CIS. Coming from a background in live entertainment events he has several years experience coordinating and managing live comedy, music, trivia shows as well as corporate and fundraising events. He graduated from Notre Dame Sydney with BA Comms and Grad Dip. in Journalism from UTS.


  • Karla Pincott
    Karla Pincott

    Communications Director

    Karla has a Bachelor of Visual Arts, a Graduate Diploma of Public Policy and more than 20 years of experience in media and communications. Her journalism career includes eight years as a print section editor and six years as a national website editor for News Corp, several roles in media and publications at James Cook University, plus arts commentary and review for a range of specialist publications.


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  • Ryan Acosta
    Ryan Acosta

    Design and Production Manager

    Ryan is the in-house graphic designer. He manages the production of the centres publications and design graphics for all events, marketing material and website.


  • Sue Windybank
    Sue Windybank

    Commissioning Editor

    Sue Windybank is a Commissioning Editor and manages the contribution of external authors to the Centre's main research programs, with a particular focus on China. Prior to this, she was Editor of the Centre's quarterly journal, POLICY, from 2000-2007 and 2017- 2018. With a masters degree in international studies, Sue became director of the Centre’s inaugural foreign policy research program in 2001. Her first major paper – the 2003 Issue Analysis Papua New Guinea on the Brink (co-authored with the late Mike Manning) – is still sometimes cited today. Sue also taught for several years at Sydney University on geopolitics and current global issues as well as giving guest lectures on Russian literature and geopolitics and state failure in the Southwest Pacific.


  • Cathleen Ly
    Cathleen Ly

    Account Manager

    Cathleen has a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Certified Practising Accountant. Cathleen has extensive experience as an Account Manager having worked for many years for Optus and then a medical centre.


  • Sheena Gulati
    Sheena Gulati

    Accounts Officer

    Sheena has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and is a part qualified Chartered Accountant. She has extensive experience in accounting, finance and worked for many years in companies like Hewlett Packard and American Express.


  • Kerri Evans
    Kerri Evans

    Office Administration

    A teacher by training, Kerri has gained great experience in administration having worked for many years as the Education and Community Relations Co-ordinator for the Sydney Attractions Group.