Professor Thakur is a Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University, as well as a Adjunct Professor in the Institute of Ethics, Governance and Law at Griffith University.

He was a former Rector of UN University and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1998 - 2007. He has also been an advisor to the Australian and New Zealand governments on arms control, disarmament and international security issues. 

He is widely published, with over 40 books and 400 chapters and journal articles to his name, and he is one of the principle authors of the ICISS report 'The Responsibility to Protect' (See Resources page).