The US Studies Centre, the US Embassy in Canberra and the Perth USAsia Centre at the University of Western Australia have established the Alliance 21 Fellowship. 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-US 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 US Studies Centre's Alliance 21 initiative, a research and public outreach program designed to examine the shared interests and mutual benefits of the Australia-US treaty alliance and bilateral relationship as a whole.
Supported by the Australian Government, as well as corporate sponsors Boral, Dow, News Corp Australia, and Northrop Grumman Australia, and led by the US Studies Centre, 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.
Richard Fontaine was the inaugural Alliance 21 Fellow. From July to August 2016, he spent time at the Perth USAsia Centre at the University of Western Australia and at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.
During this time, Fontaine undertook a comprehensive schedule of engagements to help him form a more nuanced perspective of Australia’s relationship with the United States. From meeting senior strategic thinkers, including former ministers of defence Stephen Smith and Robert Hill AC, as well as influential public intellectuals Hugh White and Rory Medcalf, Fontaine also engaged with the general public through events and media.
Fontaine met with the next generation of US-Australian alliance managers at guest lectures for both undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Sydney.
Fontaine completed his fellowship with the release of the report Against complacency: Risks and opportunities for the Australia-US alliance in which he urges leaders on both sides of the Pacific to address the looming risks to the Australia-US alliance and seize new opportunities to develop the relationship.