A vital presence in the US

Director of the ANU North American Liaison Office, Paul Harris, BA (Hons) ’98, M International Affairs ’07, discusses his significant new role.

The Australian Embassy in Washington DC sits less than a kilometre away from the White House.

It is a busy building, full of representatives of the various departments of the Australian Government, working to advance Australia’s interests in the world’s largest economy and with our most important policy and strategic partner. Since 2010 the embassy has also been home to the ANU North American Liaison Office (NALO).

The purpose of NALO is to enhance the international profile and standing of ANU, and support staff and students to engage more effectively with partners in North America.

Reflecting the University’s strategy and unique national role, the office is the only example of an Australian university having a presence within an embassy – and even though it is in Washington, not Canberra, NALO is a prime example of the ways in which the University is embedded with the Australian Government.

The United States is home to many of the world’s top universities, ranks first for global research performance and is an innovation powerhouse. We know that collaboration with leading North American researchers boosts the quality and impact of ANU research.

ANU has more than 2100 alumni in the US and Canada, many in senior positions in academia, industry and government. In July 2014 the University supported the establishment of an independent ANU Foundation USA to provide a focal point for engagement and philanthropy.