After completing his first degree in political science in the University of Melbourne, John Power undertook graduate studies at Harvard University. He then took up teaching positions at the University of Sydney and the Canberra College of Advanced Education, before returning to the University of Melbourne in 1977. Upon his transfer to The Australian National University in 1993 to set up the Australian National Internships Program, he was made a Professor Emeritus of his first University.
He has published widely on local, state and commonwealth executive and legislative branches. His current central concern is to do with the governance roles that heads of state could perform in an Australian republic.