It is fitting to announce in ASPI’s 20th year of operation and the 70th Anniversary of the US-Australia Alliance that ASPI will establish and open for business, its inaugural international office in Washington DC.
Australia has a deep interest in shaping strategic policy thinking in Washington DC. How the United States of America engages with the Indo Pacific region, with China, with America’s regional friends, and with treaty allies matters profoundly to Australia and to global security.
ASPI will further strengthen our relationship by becoming a more active participant in the lively Washington DC think tank debate about defence and national security. A feature of the Washington think tank environment is that it houses individuals who have held and will go on to hold senior policy positions in Presidential administrations. The think tanks are often the source of new policy ideas and are designed to be able to experiment, develop and explain policy to promote innovation in Government.
The Washington DC office will operate as a branch and be an integral part of ASPI in Canberra; as such, the business model will mirror ASPI’s which has been successfully developed over twenty years. This has been built on empirically grounded original research, a capacity for policy innovation and an ability to shape real-world policy outcomes. It will operate under the existing ASPI Charter and governance framework, adopting in country compliance practices where applicable.
‘This initiative will provide strategic benefits for Australia and is especially relevant as we mark the 70th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Treaty this year. Expanding ASPI’s activities in the United States will help us deepen our engagement with the US think-tank community, and broaden the people-to-people links between our two nations.
The establishment of ASPI’s presence in Washington DC will also facilitate Australian perspectives on the Indo-Pacific region to inform policy debates in the United States.’
The Hon Peter Dutton, Minister of Defence, 17 June 2021
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute received a letter of Variation for the grant between the Commonwealth and ASPI dated 31 August 2018. The purpose of the variation is to provide operational support to establish an ASPI Office in Washington DC over two financial years: 2021-22 and 2022-2023. The total of the variation is $5 million, and the full amount was recognised in the 2020-21 financial year.
Full details about ASPI project funding sources are included in all of ASPI's publications and are also available here: https://www.aspi.org.au/about-aspi/funding