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 Government of Australia as well as corporate sponsors Dow, Chevron, News Corp, GE, Visy, Morgan Stanley, ConocoPhillips, and Raytheon, 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.


2016 Alliance 21 Fellow


Richard Fontaine

President of the Center for a New American Security

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.

  Alliance 21 report

Richard Fontaine in the media 

Joe Biden   Richard Fontaine   Republican Party

Alliance assumes greater significance as region more volatile

Richard Fontaine and USSC research director James Brown in The Australian.



Australia's ambivalence makes it vulnerable

Richard Fontaine in The Wall Street Journal Asia.



Senior Republicans reportedly planning Trump 'intervention'

Richard Fontaine speaks to Eleanor Hall on ABC Radio The World Today.


Richard Fontaine on Lateline   Richard Fontaine on Planet America   South China Sea

On the Republican National Convention

Richard Fontaine speaks to Lateline's Emma Alberici.



Planet America Live

Richard Fontaine joins the panel on the ABC's Planet America



South China Sea decision

Richard Fontaine and the Australian National University's Hugh White on ABC Radio's Between the Lines.


More media

Events featuring Richard Fontaine

ISIS   Richard Fontaine   Clinton v Trump

Defeating the Islamic State: A Bottom-Up Approach

Perth USAsia Centre at the University of Sydney

A public lecture featuring Richard Fontaine.


US foreign policy under the next presidency

National Security College, Australian National University

A public seminar with Richard Fontaine.



Where do we go from here? US foreign policy after the 2016 presidential election

United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney

Frank Jannuzi and Richard Fontaine in conversation with USSC research director James Brown.

About Richard Fontaine

Fontaine is the President of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He served as a Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow at CNAS from 2009-2012 and previously as foreign policy advisor to Senator John McCain for more than five years. He has also worked at the State Department, the National Security Council and on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Fontaine served as foreign policy advisor to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign and, following the election, as the minority deputy staff director on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Prior to this, he served as associate director for Near Eastern affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) from 2003-04. He also worked in the NSC’s Asian Affairs directorate, where he covered Southeast Asian issues.

During his time at the State Department, Fontaine worked in the office of former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and in the department’s South Asia bureau, working on issues related to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Fontaine began his foreign policy career as a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, focusing on the Middle East and South Asia. He also spent a year teaching English in Japan.

A native of New Orleans, Fontaine graduated summa cum laude with a BA in International Relations from Tulane University. He also holds a MA in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, and he attended Oxford University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been an adjunct professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He also served as the chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the United States.

Alliance 21 Fellowship Partners


  Department of State   Perth USAsia Centre   USSC

The Alliance 21 Program's research is made possible by the generous support
of the Australian Government and our corporate partners.

  Australian Government   Dow   Northrup Grumman
  News Corporation   Boral        

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See also:


James Brown

Australia in firing line if US and China go to war

Associate Professor James Brown says Australia faces some tough decisions if tensions escalate between the US and China.

Simon Jackman

About the US Studies Centre

Centre CEO Simon Jackman explains the Centres wide range of teaching, research, study abroad and outreach activities.

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