*Update 30 March 2017*
Understanding the United States involves analysis of not just its politics and its economy, but its culture and society. The Centre does this through employing a range of experts, including academics specialising in American cinema and literature, as well as US foreign policy, government and history.
Through their research and award-winning teaching, the Centre’s academic staff are pivotal to its mission of informing and educating Australians about the United States. The overwhelmingly positive response from students and academic peers to this work speaks for itself.
28 March 2017
The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney appointed James Brown as Director of the Alliance 21 program in 2014. His appointment was overseen by the former CEO of the Centre, Dr Bates Gill, and the previous Director of the Alliance 21 program, the Hon. Robert Hill.
James was appointed on the basis of his eminent qualifications as a defence policy researcher with the Lowy Institute for International Policy (2010-2014), distinguished service in the Australian Defence Force, his contribution to public debate through his writings (Anzac’s Long Shadow) and his strong media presence.
The Centre was fully aware of James’ family connections to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull who, at the time, was Minister for Communications, and Lucy Turnbull AO (USSC Board member 2007-2015). This played no role in his appointment. James was previously approached to join the Centre in 2010 and in 2012, but had declined the invitations.
The Centre encourages robust discussion and debate between staff on its broad areas of research; there is no Centre-wide position. Authors publish papers under their own name and the Centre commissions research both internally and externally. Protocols are in place to ensure the independence and high quality of research output, including external peer review. The Centre’s vitality is evidenced in a healthy difference of opinion between researchers, academics and authors.
Following the election of US President Donald Trump, the need for analysis and debate about the United States and the US-Australia relationship has never been greater. Under James' leadership, the Centre's research team has produced six valuable publications following the 2016 US presidential election, guiding policymakers and the public through an unprecedented time in US history. The Centre fully supports James in his role as leader of the Centre's research on foreign policy, defence and strategy.
Beyond the tuition revenue received from its teaching program, the Centre's financial support comes from an array of sources, including corporations, individuals and governments from both sides of politics. This diverse mix of financial support is key to the Centre's independence, enabling high quality teaching, research, and outreach.
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