To improve understanding of all facets of the United States, then Prime Minister John Howard announced in 2006 the creation of a $25 million endowment to establish a United States Studies Centre. After a national competition administered by the American Australian Association headquartered in New York, the University of Sydney won the right to form the Centre in partnership with the AAA, with additional support from the NSW Government and the private sector.

The Centre constituted its Board of Directors chaired by Malcolm Binks, AO and held its first National Summit on the Bush Presidency in 2007. The Centre admitted its first postgraduate students in its MA and PhD degrees in US Studies in early 2008. The remainder of 2008 saw the appointment of the Centre's founding CEO, Professor Geoffrey Garrett, its Chair in US Politics, Professor Margaret Levi, as well as the completion of the Centre's historic headquarters on the University of Sydney campus. In 2009, the Centre appointed Professor James Fallows as Chair in US Media, offered its first undergraduate unit of study on US in the World, and formed a partnership with Harvard University jointly to host the Centre's second National Summit on Sustainable Globalisation.

In late 2012 Dr Bates Gill commenced as CEO of the US Studies Centre.



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