Bishop to help shape the future of diplomacy

15 September 2020

Chancellor of The Australian National University (ANU), the Hon Julie Bishop, has been named as one of four Fisher Family Fellows by Harvard University.

As a fellow, Ms Bishop joins three other senior international leaders as part of the prestigious Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard's John F Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The project is dedicated to promoting the study and understanding of diplomacy, negotiation and statecraft in international politics.

The other three fellows include Saeb Erakat, the Chief Palestinian Negotiator and Head of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); Federica Mogherini, former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission; and Peter Wittig, former Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States.

Ms Bishop will draw on her vast experience and outstanding record as Australia's first female Foreign Minister to help train the next generation of diplomatic leaders via virtual seminars, student mentoring and research.

Key topics to which Ms Bishop will lend her expertise include great and emerging power competition, challenges to the international rules-based order, foreign policy and security trends in the Indo-Pacific.

"We are proud to welcome these four respected global leaders to the Harvard Kennedy School for this academic year. They will strengthen our capacity to learn the lessons of effective diplomacy and statecraft," Faculty Chair Nicholas Burns said.

As Foreign Minister, Ms Bishop strengthened Australia's strategic and economic relationships and positioned Australia as the largest aid donor to the Indo-Pacific region. She also defined gender equality and women's empowerment as a core priority in Australia's foreign policy, and lead the international response to the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.

Under her leadership, the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper was developed, providing a comprehensive policy framework for the subsequent decade; and the New Colombo Plan was established, enabling Australian undergraduates to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific region. Within five years more than 40,000 students had participated in the Plan.

Ms Bishop's work on MH17 saw her awarded the Commander of the Order of Merit of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ms Bishop said she was honoured to be named a Fisher Family Fellow and looked forward to working with Harvard Kennedy School students to meet the diplomatic challenges of the 21st century.

"Now more than ever, the world needs to find diplomatic and robust international-led solutions to the many global challenges we face," Ms Bishop said.

"We need resilient international norms and global frameworks to build capacity and to maintain and strengthen stability, security and prosperity around the world.

"We need to ensure the next generation of leaders have the skills, expertise and ability to meet the many complex challenges we now face.

"It is a privilege to join this program and I look forward to working with my international colleagues and students to help shape the future of diplomacy."