Dan McDaniel DSC AM DSM


Dan McDaniel headshot
Dan is a highly experienced former military leader who has had senior roles in the Australian and US Defence systems, including leading Australia’s special forces.
He collaborates with exceptional people to help solve their organisations’ greatest challenges. Dan has worked extensively in the ‘business of Defence’. He is skilled at strategy and leadership development, change management and critical analysis of complex programs. When in Defence he was passionate about doing great things for Australia, its partners and interests. He brings that same drive to Nous.

Influential work

  • Led the operating model design and establishment of the Defence Contestability Division, off the back of the Defence First Principles Review
  • Advised Defence leadership on the successful $4 billion armoured vehicle acquisition proposal, including analysing strategic logic, risks, affordability, industry deliverability and value for money
  • Led analysis of cost savings options for the $15 billion joint strike fighter program, realising a saving of about $200 million in 2017/18
  • Reviewed Defence strategy to broaden and deepen engagement with regional partners across the Indo-Pacific, with all recommendations accepted for action
  • Authored revised Defence targeting doctrine that introduced the concept of a single, integrated, all-domain, inter-agency approach that consistently incorporates space and cyber capabilities, electronic warfare and information superiority
  • Led, in close consultation with the US Department of State, US Army engagement with seven regional nations, including India, resulting in increases in exchanges, exercises and equipment sales and more sophisticated bilateral training.

Outside of Nous

Dan was an officer in the Australian Army for 34 years, half of which he spent serving in special forces. In his last military role, Dan was seconded to the United States Army as the Deputy Commander of their Pacific Army, an organisation of more than 100,000 people spread across seven time zones.

During his military service, Dan was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Cross for leadership in war, was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to special forces and the Australian Defence Force, and was awarded the United States Legion of Merit for services to the United States Army.

In his spare time...

Dan enjoys family adventures, surfing, skiing, general health and fitness, and leadership development. He is also a keen supporter of Collingwood, the most exciting team in the AFL!