Alison Szalwinski
Senior Director of Political and Security Affairs

Strength to Strength

The Future of the U.S.-Australia Alliance

From fighting side-by-side in World War I to cooperating on cybersecurity today, the United States and Australia have been partners for more than a century. The U.S.-Australia alliance continues to play a decisive role in both countries’ strategies for economic prosperity and security in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. Yet the future of the alliance is sure to face unforeseen challenges and opportunities in a global environment marked by technological innovation, economic change, and nontraditional threats to international security. To further explore these opportunities and challenges with the leaders of the future, the National Bureau of Asian Research, in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, the Australian National University, and Flinders University, will convene workshops in Australia on the future of the U.S.-Australia alliance. Through a diverse selection of participants, these workshops will foster understanding and fashion forward-thinking strategies among Australia’s emerging leaders.

Program components

Interactive Dialogue – Two-day workshops will be conducted in Canberra and Adelaide to examine current and future opportunities and challenges to U.S.-Australia relations. The workshops will facilitate a trans-Pacific, cross-generational dialogue between the next generation of leaders in Australia and policy experts, government officials, and thought leaders from the United States. On the first day, participants will hear from senior U.S. and Australian government officials, engage in panel sessions with academic experts, and discuss the foundations of the alliance and potential challenges to shared U.S.-Australian interests. Canberra’s program will take place April 1–2, 2019. Adelaide’s program will take place April 4–5, 2019.

Scenario-Based Exercise – On the second day, the workshops will feature a scenario-based exercise that will prepare the next generation for leadership in the increasingly complex Indo-Pacific region. The scenario will focus on areas of cooperation between the United States and Australia and demonstrate how the two allies complement one another in addressing global challenges. Participants will split into groups to deliberate responses and policy options to a given alliance scenario. Groups will then have an opportunity to present their findings and propose action plans to the rest of the exercise participants.

Diverse Experts – The program will bring together experts from the United States and Australia with diverse backgrounds in government, policy, media, corporate, and nongovernment sectors to mentor the next generation. Invited experts will present and lead discussions on the alliance and the regional threat landscape. During the workshops, participants will have the opportunity to share their perspectives on the alliance and its emerging challenges with established leaders as well as to formulate and offer policy implications.

Program Eligibility

Qualified Applicants for the Future of the U.S.-Australia Alliance program will:

  • Have a demonstrated professional or academic interest in the future economic and security relationship between Australia, the United States, and other international partners.
  • Have an interest in enhancing their understanding of U.S.-Australia ties and honing their skills through engagement with experienced experts from the United States and Australia.
  • Have a bachelor’s degree and no more than six years of professional experience.
  • Be an Australian resident in/near Canberra or Adelaide.
  • Be able to fully commit to the entire duration of the two-day program in their selected city (Canberra on April 1–2 or Adelaide on April 4–5).

The application period is now closed. Please sign up for NBR’s mailing list to receive updates about future Australia programs.

Partner Organizations

U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australian National University, Flinders University

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