The U.S. Embassy in Canberra, the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney (USSC), and the Perth USAsia Centre at the University of Western Australia (USAC) today announced the establishment of the “Alliance 21 Fellowship.” This new exchange will build on the Australia–U.S. Ministerial (AUSMIN) Consultations earlier this month in Sydney, where a joint communiqué reaffirmed the importance of people-to-people ties in the Australia-U.S. relationship.

With the support of the U.S. Department of State, USSC, and USAC, this program will fund the exchange of four to six senior scholars and policy analysts between Australia and the United States from 2015 to 2017. During three- to ten-month fellowships, Alliance 21 Fellows will conduct policy-oriented research on the strategic opportunities and challenges facing the Australia-U.S. relationship in the Asia Pacific in the coming decade. Fellows will engage with students, scholars, policymakers, the media and the broader public over the course of their tenures.

This Fellowship will contribute directly to the USSC’s Alliance 21 initiative, a research and public outreach program designed to examine the shared interests and mutual benefits of the Australia-U.S. treaty alliance and bilateral relationship as a whole.

Supported by the Government of Australia as well as corporate sponsors Dow, Chevron, News Corp, GE, Visy, Morgan Stanley, ConocoPhillips, and Raytheon, and led by the USSC, Alliance 21 has brought together hundreds of American and Australian experts through dozens of events and other collaborative activities on both sides of the Pacific.

“In both Australia and the United States, decision makers often rely upon the insights of scholars and seasoned practitioners,” said U.S. Ambassador to Australia John Berry. “This Fellowship will deepen and enrich discussion in policy making as well as our nations’ understanding of the many facets that make our relationship so vibrant and strong.”

USSC CEO Professor Bates Gill added, “Establishing this Fellowship marks another great step forward for the Alliance 21 Program and its work in highlighting the remarkable depth and breadth of the Australia-U.S. relationship.”

“We look forward to working closely with the USSC to support timely and relevant scholarship on Australia-U.S. cooperation in the Asia Pacific,” said Gordon Flake, CEO of the USAC. “Alliance 21 Fellows will benefit from perspectives from Perth as well as Sydney and Canberra.”

The USSC was founded in 2006 with an endowment from the Government of Australia and support from the American Australian Association (AAA), the state government of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. The USAC, a sister institution of the USSC, was founded in 2012 with support from the AAA, Government of Australia, the state government of Western Australia and the University of Western Australia.