Women in the Alliance

Women in the Alliance brings together a diverse group of talented female professionals for exclusive opportunities designed to advance and accelerate their careers, amplify their expertise and expand their professional network.


The agenda of the Australia – US alliance is only growing in scale and ambition, with cooperation deepening in areas including trade and investment, diplomacy and development, defence, space and critical technologies, and climate resilience. The need for a large, diverse and accomplished cohort of experts shaping alliance cooperation is now greater than ever.

Women in the Alliance will bring a more diverse group of voices into the alliance agenda by facilitating cross-border and cross-sectoral dialogue, upskilling the next cohort of leaders and highlighting a diversity of experts in both countries.


Women in the Alliance focuses on work by women, rather than work about women. By investing in and upskilling the next cohort of leaders on alliance issues, the initiative will ensure diversity is an inherent characteristic of groups working on the Australian and US relationship into the future.


The initiative will bring together a diverse group of talented female professionals for exclusive opportunities designed to advance and accelerate their careers, amplify their expertise and expand their professional network.

The initiative revolves around four pillars:

  1. Women in the Alliance Network: A select group of early-career female professionals working in industries relevant to the Australia-US alliance will meet quarterly for closed-door roundtables with experts, professional development opportunities and issues-based workshops.
  2. Visiting Experts: American thought leaders will be invited to Australia to meet with young professionals, researchers and Australian officials to share their insights on our cooperation and grow their profile.
  3. Public Events: US and Australian experts will hold open-door events related to challenges and opportunities for alliance cooperation, connecting accomplished female experts with larger audiences.
  4. Commissioned research: Paid opportunities will be offered to female researchers to write and publish policy-oriented publications on pertinent alliance issues through the United States Studies Centre.

Women in the Alliance Network: Expressions of Interest

The United States Studies Centre (USSC) at the University of Sydney is seeking expressions of interest to participate in its inaugural Women in the Alliance network. The network will bring together a highly accomplished group of female professionals working across industries related to the Australia-US relationship. These individuals will receive exclusive opportunities designed to advance and accelerate their careers, amplify their expertise and expand their professional network.

The network will meet quarterly for closed-door roundtables in Sydney with distinguished US and Australian experts, professional development and issues-based workshops. Discussion themes and industries will span the remit of the bilateral relationship including defence cooperation and Indo-Pacific strategy; investment and trade; technology, innovation and intelligence; climate change, the energy transition and our role in our region.

Throughout their year term, network members will be offered functional professional development in skills including leadership development, presenting with confidence; policy design and creativity; and effective stakeholder engagement. In addition, members of this network will receive invitations to attend exclusive USSC events and pitch research to further their exposure to high-calibre professionals.

Through their participation, members of the Women in the Alliance network will be equipped to contribute to national and bilateral leadership dialogue about the challenges and opportunities shaping the Australia – US relationship and our region. The USSC is pleased to support travel and accommodation costs for successful applicants who live interstate to attend quarterly events.

The inaugural workshop is scheduled for November 1, 2023, and will feature roundtables with Michèle Flournoy former Under Secretary of Defence for Policy, Olivia Nuzzi Washington Correspondent for New York Magazine, and Peter Dean Director of USSC’s Foreign Policy and Defence Program and Co-Lead of the 2023 Defence Strategic Review.

Michele Flournoy
Michele Flournoy Getty

Eligibility criteria

  • Australian resident.
  • 1-7 years of experience in any sector related to Australia-US relations.
  • Demonstrated professional and academic excellence.
  • Identifies as a woman, non-binary or gender diverse.


Please submit to ussc.fpd@sydney.edu.au:

  1. Expression of interest, which includes your view of the greatest opportunity or challenge for the Australia-US relationship (up to 1 page).
  2. CV or resumé (up to 2 pages).
  3. Contact details for one (1) referee.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until 30 September, 11.59pm.

Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Women in the Alliance team

Women in the Alliance launch – 30 August 2023

The initiative officially launched on 30 August at the Mint in Sydney. ANU Chancellor The Hon Julie Bishop and Consul-General of the United States Christine Elder will deliver keynote addresses to open this event. The evening will also include a distinguished panel discussion, featuring Aurora Education Foundation CEO and American Australian Association Ltd in Australia Chair Leila Smith, Representative for Lindsay Melissa McIntosh MP and ABC journalist and broadcaster Geraldine Doogue on “making the alliance a ‘whole of nation’ effort” and audience Q&A.