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