Alliance 21 Fellowship

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.


Bryden Spurling, Acting Assistant Secretary for Strategic Policy in the Australian Department of Defence

Bryden Spurling

Bryden Spurling is the 2019 Alliance 21 Fellow at the United States Studies Centre. During his Fellowship, Bryden will be based in Washington DC to research opportunities for Australia and the United States to work together to strengthen liberal democracy for a more competitive and disrupted world.

Bryden was most recently Acting Assistant Secretary for Strategic Policy in the Australian Department of Defence, having spent 10 years in defence strategy and policy. His experience includes developing Australia’s Defence White Paper and its classified equivalent, the Defence Planning Guidance.

Prior to this, Bryden worked across a range of roles in policy and politics, including as the science, higher education and foreign policy adviser to a Senator in Australia’s Parliament, and as a policy adviser to Australia’s Chief Scientist.

Madelyn Creedon, former Principal Deputy Administrator of the US National Nuclear Security Administration

Madelyn Creedon

Madelyn Creedon is the 2018 Alliance 21 Fellow at the United States Studies Centre. She has had a long and distinguished career in US government service, most recently as Principal Deputy Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) within the Department of Energy, a position she held from 2014 to 2017.

She also served in the Pentagon as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs from 2011 to 2014, overseeing policy development in the areas of missile defence, nuclear security, cybersecurity and space.

She served as counsel for the US Senate Committee on Armed Services for many years, beginning in 1990; assignments and focus areas included the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces as well as threat reduction and nuclear nonproliferation. During that time, she also served as Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs at the NNSA, Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy, and General Counsel for the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

Hilary McGeachy, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Hilary McGeachy

Hilary McGeachy is the 2018 Alliance 21 Fellow at the United States Studies Centre. During her fellowship, Hilary will be based in Washington DC where she will be examining the challenges facing policy makers in rapidly evolving area of digital trade.

A career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hilary has previously served as a trade negotiator for the Australian Government on e-commence and digital issues in range of fora, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, World Trade Organization and APEC.

Hilary's current assignment is at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi, where she is a member of the economic team. Hilary has previously served in the Australian Embassy in Berlin.

Ben Flatgard, Director for Cybersecurity Policy on the National Security Council during the Obama Administration (2009-2017)

Ben Flatgard
Ben Flatgard

Ben Flatgard, founder and principle of Cycise LLC, was the 2017 Alliance 21 Fellow. During his fellowship he was resident at both the USSC and the PerthUSAsia Centre at the University of Western Australia.

Ben served in the Obama administration from 2009-2017 as Director for Cybersecurity on the US National Security Council. He was responsible for leading policy cybersecurity development related to protection of critical infrastructure and emerging technologies. 

Before joining the National Security Council, Ben served as Senior Advisor for the Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Financial Institutions. In this role, he acted as chief of staff and senior policy adviser on matters related to financial technology, cybersecurity, financial regulatory reform, consumer protection, and community lending.

Anthony Wicht, co-author of Australia’s most recent space policy on satellite utilisation

Anthony Wicht
Anthony Wicht

Anthony Wicht was based in Washington DC during his fellowship. His research focused on the future of the space sector and implications for the Australia-US space relationship and his report Space for growth: Prospects for Australia-US civil space cooperation was published by the USSC in 2018.

Anthony is an engineer and lawyer with experience in complex aerospace systems and the policy and organisational frameworks that underpin them. He co-authored Australia’s most recent space policy, “Australia’s Satellite Utilisation Policy”, while in the Australian Government.

Anthony was also Australia’s representative to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space where he led an expert group preparing ‘rules of the road’ for conduct in space.

Richard Fontaine, President of the Center for a New American Security

Richard Fontaine
Richard Fontaine

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.