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Ashley Townshend

Ashley Townshend

Senior Fellow for Indo Pacific Security, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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Ashley Townshend is a senior fellow for Indo-Pacific security at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is also founding co-chair of the annual U.S.-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue and a nonresident senior fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. 

A leading Australian expert on Indo-Pacific strategic affairs, Townshend’s research focuses on the evolving regional order, alliances and partnerships, defense policy, deterrence and statecraft, and collective approaches to Indo-Pacific strategy. He has written extensively on U.S. strategy in Asia, regional strategic competition with China, the U.S.-Australia alliance, and Australian foreign and defense policy; and he is co-author of the monograph Averting Crisis: American Strategy, Military Spending and Collective Defence in the Indo-Pacific.  

Prior to joining Carnegie, Townshend was the inaugural director of the Foreign Policy and Defence Program at the United States Studies Centre, where he led a number of research and strategic policy initiatives in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence. He has also held research and teaching positions at the Lowy Institute, the Australian War College, the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at Australian National University.

Townshend’s analysis has been widely published, including in Foreign Policy, the GuardianNikkei Asia, CNN, Defense One, War on the Rocks, the Australian, and the Australian Financial Review. He has also written for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Brookings Institution, the Lowy Institute, and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, among others. Townshend is a frequent commentator in the international media and completed his studies at the University of Oxford, Sciences Po Paris, and the University of Sydney, where he was awarded the University Medal.