Claude Rakisits was born in the Belgian Congo and lived in Brussels for the first eight years of his life. For the next five years, he lived in Switzerland, Ireland, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. In 1976 he went to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver where he did his B.A. (Honours) in international relations. In July 1982, he arrived in Brisbane to do a PhD at the University of Queensland.
He worked for 20 years in the Australian public service, principally in foreign affairs, defence and intelligence before returning to academia in 2006. He has been the academic adviser at Australia's War College in Canberra and when in Washington DC with his wife (an Australian diplomat), he taught at Georgetown University and was a senior visiting fellow at the Atlantic Council. He is a visiting fellow at the VUB's Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy.
He has recently finished writing a fictionalised autobiography. He also writes short stories. He's working on a novella set in Australia and Canada.