The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney is pleased to announce the appointment of James Brown as Director of the Alliance 21 project examining the Australia-US alliance.

James Brown is a distinguished security analyst, author and former serving Australian Army Officer and will join the Centre from the Lowy Institute for International Policy where he has been Military Fellow since 2010.

“We are delighted to have James join the Centre and take on this important role as we commence the next phase of Alliance 21,” says chief executive officer of the US Studies Centre, Professor Bates Gill.

“His significant experience with the Australian Defence Force and his position as one of the leading security analysts in Australia today provide an invaluable foundation for his leadership of this ambitious project.”

Brown says he is excited to be leading the Alliance 21 project at a critical time in the Australia-US relationship. “We'll harness the best minds in the US and Australia to explore how the relationship will and should evolve, developing new insights for the public and new ideas for policymakers in Washington and Canberra."

As one of first tasks in the new role, Brown will help lead the second Alliance 21 Washington DC conference, Looking Ahead: Next Steps for the Deepening Australia-US Alliance in the Asia Pacific, which is being held in cooperation with the Brookings Institution on 21 January 2015.

Brown succeeds Alliance 21 co-directors, the Honourable Robert Hill AC and Professor Geoffrey Garrett. Under their leadership, the first phase of Alliance 21 saw the release of a major report with recommendations for the future of the Australia-US partnership with regard to trade, defence, energy security, natural resources and regional diplomacy.

Robert Hill will remain closely engaged with the project as senior adviser to Alliance 21.

“The Centre, and everyone associated with Alliance 21, thank Robert Hill and Geoffrey Garrett for their immense contribution to the development and ongoing success of the project,” says Professor Gill.

James Brown will commence his new role on 6 January 2015. Follow him on Twitter: @captainbrown