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2020 Young Women to Watch in International Affairs

To celebrate International Women's Day, YAIA is delighted to announce our list of 'Young Women to Watch in International Affairs' for 2020.

The aim of the list is to shine a spotlight on young Australian women making a name for themselves in government, academia, think-tanks, the private sector and civil society across the broad horizon of international affairs - whether it be in foreign policy, national security, international aid and development, a particular bi-lateral relationship, cyber, defence, strategic issues or international trade. These often remain male-dominated spaces, and YAIA wants to recognise, celebrate and promote the next generation of women achieving success and making an impact in these areas.

After the success of the inaugural list in 2019, in 2020 we opened the list up to third-party and self nominations. After receiving hundreds of nominations, and going through a difficult and competitive shortlisting process, we are delighted to announce the finalists for this year's list of ‘Young Women to Watch in International Affairs.’

Milli Allan

Milli Allan is a policy officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's (DFAT's) human rights team, where she drives Australia's advocacy on human rights situations across the world. She was part of the team that coordinated Australia's engagement at the most recent session of the UN Human Rights Council, and lead Australia's review of the human rights records of 14 countries as part of the Human Rights Council's 'Universal Periodic Review' process in January 2020. She has particular policy responsibility for Africa, as well as Responsibility to Protect and good governance. In addition to her human rights work, Milli represents over 1200 staff on DFAT's Workplace Relations Committee, where she focuses on the ensuring the needs of diverse groups including women, carers, and staff members with disabilities are reflected in DFAT policies. She is also a member of DFAT's crisis team, which has recently led to her working on the Australian Government's response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, as well as the Australian bushfires. Prior to joining DFAT, Milli was a Lawyer at the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office, where she focused on human rights and public law. She has also worked at the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York and for US Congressman Alcee L. Hastings in Washington DC. Milli has a long history of volunteering and community service, including as Chair of the Law Institute of Victoria's Community Issues Committee; a volunteer Human Rights Lawyer at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre; a member of the Victorian Women Lawyers Women in Government Committee; a mentor to women law students; an intern at the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law; and a community legal centre volunteer. Milli has been the recipient of a number of prizes for her professional and voluntary work, including the 2018 Women Lawyers Association ACT and Gillian Beaumont Legal Award. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Politics) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from Monash University, which she completed on a Monash University Excellence and Equity Scholarship. She received several awards during her studies, including the DLA Piper Prize for Civil Procedure.

Clarice Campbell

Clarice is currently based in Jakarta where she works at the Victorian Government Trade and Investment (VGTI) Office, Southeast Asia. Her main role as Director of TAFE Victoria provides her with a platform to connect Victorian vocational institutions with government agencies, industry bodies and education providers who are seeking Australian-quality education in-country. Outside of TAFE, Clarice also works across several trade-focused portfolios where she one half of a team that focuses on provincial level partnerships with the State of Victoria. In her spare time she is the President of the Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA), a non-government, youth-led organisation which aims to better connect young Indonesians and Australia to each other and Australia-Indonesia related opportunities.

She is a graduate of a BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Indonesian Studies from Monash University, an alumnus of the Victorian Government Hamer Scholarship to the University of Indonesia and a delegate of the 36th Australia-Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) to Bengkulu, Sumatra where she worked on several community development projects with 35 other passionate young Australians and Indonesians. Clarice is passionate about investing her time to improve the Australia-Indonesia relationship across many levels and is certainly one of the youngest Australian public servants based in Indonesia.

Beba Cibralic

Beba is currently a PhD student in philosophy at Georgetown University, where she explores issues in international security and foreign policy through a normative lens. She is currently focused on speech in the digital space, and the question of what constitutes an attack. Beba is also exploring whether the existing paradigms (be they normative, legal or strategic) we use for assessing the permissibility of some kind of strike are adequate for regulating information campaigns. Beba is also a research assistant for Ben Buchanan, conducting research on artificial intelligence and national security. Arriving in Australia by way of Bosnia, Beba grew up with an appreciation for how politics and war shape people’s lives. At 16, she was an Australian recipient of the United World Colleges Scholarship and completed her last two years of high school in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Beba holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Philosophy and Political Science from Wellesley College (Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), and was a Visiting Student at the University of Oxford. She obtained her Master of Laws from Peking University, where she studied as a Yenching Scholar. During the 2018-2019 academic year, Beba participated in the Standard US-Russia Forum Fellow and completed a research project on cyber cooperation and international law. Beba has been a research intern at Justitia (Copenhagen), focusing on human rights, free speech and international law, and at the Lowy Institute (Sydney) in the East Asia division. Her master's thesis was on the moral and legal permissibility of targeted killing and her undergraduate honours thesis was on the limitations of Just War Theory.

Elena Collinson

Elena Collinson is currently a senior researcher at the Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney (UTS:ACRI). Prior to joining UTS:ACRI she was a staffer for an Australian foreign minister. She has also been a policy researcher for an NSW state minister and a project officer with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. Elena has written widely on the Australia-China bilateral relationship and on Philippine history and foreign policy. Her work has been published in media outlets and policy forums such as the Sydney Morning Herald, the South China Morning Post, The Diplomat, the Australian Institute of International Affairs’ Australian Outlook, the University of Nottingham’s Asia Dialogue, the Lowy Institute’s Interpreter, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Asia Unbound and Network 10’s 10 Daily. She has contributed chapters to edited volumes on foreign affairs, including on Australia and the Belt and Road Initiative, the underlying drivers of Australia’s shifting China narrative and the Philippines’ refugee resettlement policy in WWII. She also helped lead the production of the NAB/UTS:ACRI China-Australia Business Engagement Index, a first of its kind report comparing attitudes of Chinese and Australian business leaders. She has provided expert comment to news organisations such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, the South China Morning Post and El Mundo. She also hosts and manages a podcast dedicated to detailed discussion, by diverse voices, of salient issues in the Australia-China relationship. Elena speaks Tagalog and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of International Studies from the University of Sydney.

Lyndsay Freeman

Lyndsay Freeman is the Chief of Army Scholar for 2020, specialising in Women, Peace and Security – an agenda which ensures that a gender perspective, women's participation, protection and rights are viewed as key elements in all dialogue and policy-making, leading to more equitable and sustainable peace deals.

With aspirations to use her 15+ years of military experience and knowledge of international affairs to make a difference to the lives of women globally, Lyndsay is currently completing a Master of International Development Practice (with a conflict and gender focus) at Monash University.

Lyndsay is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy, where she gained a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Indonesian language from the University of New South Wales. She graduated from the Royal Military College – Duntroon as a Transport Officer where she has gained diverse experience and achievements in logistics, project management, leadership, and human resources, both domestically and on operations.

A keen leader and mentor, Lyndsay is currently participating in the Australian American Leadership Dialogue's prestigious 2-year program for young leaders. Lyndsay is passionate about the Australian Defence Force's fundamental role in peacebuilding and women's empowerment across the globe, as well as women's involvement in Future Operations planning.

As a busy mother of two young children, Lyndsay is an advocate for flexible work arrangements and supporting women's meaningful participation in the workforce. She continues to deliver talks at women's leadership summits on work/life balance and the role of feminism in shaping the workplaces of the future.

Madeleine Gleeson

Madeline Gleeson is a lawyer and Senior Research Associate at the Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney. Madeline specialises in international human rights and refugee law, with a focus on the law of State responsibility, extraterritorial human rights obligations, offshore processing on Nauru and Manus Island, and refugee protection in the Asia-Pacific region. She has extensive experience working with forcibly displaced people around the world. She has conducted research on asylum seekers and refugees, statelessness, human trafficking, labour migration and 'land grabbing' with the Jesuit Refugee Service in Cambodia, and worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) in Geneva, Switzerland. She also has human rights experience in South Africa and Indonesia, and previously practiced as a solicitor in Australia. She holds a Master in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland; a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of International Studies from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia; and a Diploma in Political Studies (Certificat d’Etudes Politiques) from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques d’Aix-en-Provence, France. She is admitted as a practitioner of the High Court of Australia and the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Madeline convenes the national Legal Centres Teleconference for refugee and migration law matters, and the Asia-Pacific Research Group within the Kaldor Centre’s Emerging Scholars Network. Her first book, Offshore: Behind the Wire in Manus and Nauru, won the 2017 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, was shortlisted for the 2016 Queensland Literary Awards (The University of Queensland Non-fiction Book Award), the 2017 Australian Book Industry Awards (Small publishers’ adult book of the year), the 2017 NSW Premier’s Award (Multicultural NSW Award), and the 2017 Colin Roderick Award, and was longlisted for the 2016 Walkley Book Award and 2017 Stella Prize.

Netta Goussac

Netta Goussac is an international lawyer with over a decade of experience in diplomacy and disarmament. She has built a reputation as a trusted legal adviser with expertise in the frameworks regulating the development, acquisition and transfer of conventional weapons. Netta has worked with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Australian Government’s Office of International Law. Netta’s recent work has focused on the legal and humanitarian implications of new technologies of warfare, such as autonomous weapons: weapons that can select and attack targets without human intervention. Since 2017, these weapons have been the subject of discussions among a UN Group of Governmental Experts, in which Netta has participated. But while “new tech” weapons capture our imagination, the widespread and poorly regulated availability of “low tech” weapons continues to pose serious risks to civilians in war. From 2010 to 2013, Netta participated in the negotiation and adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, the first legally-binding instrument to set common standards for the international weapons trade. She has subsequently worked around the world to promote universal adherence to its standards, including by working with arms export officials on their risk-assessment processes. A focus of Netta’s practice is supporting governments to give effect to international law rules in domestic legislation, policies, doctrine and training. Such national implementation measures are critical for making sure that countries meet and enforce commitments they make at the international level. Netta has provided technical, advisory and capacity-building assistance to governments and organisations in the Pacific, in Asia and in Europe. Passionate about communicating the law, Netta has also worked as an adjunct lecturer on international humanitarian law and international human rights law at the Australian National University’s Masters of Law program.

Georgie Harrowell

Georgie Harrowell is Investment Director at Austrade in Washington DC. She connects Australian businesses with US opportunities and facilitates foreign direct investment with a focus on energy, smart cities and The World Bank. Prior to joining Austrade, she worked as Commercial Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service in Sydney where she led efforts to promote Australian investment into the United States. She organised and led multiple Australian delegations to the United States, including the SelectUSA Investment Summit, where she facilitated meetings with White House Officials and US Economic Development organisations. Prior, she worked at the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia where she was the primary point of contact for trade matters for members. Her gap year to Wellington College in the United Kingdom inspired her to pursue a career internationally.

Georgie holds a Masters of US Studies from the United States Studies Centre, where she was the recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Scholarship. She also holds a Bachelor of International and Global Studies from The University of Sydney and participated in an exchange semester at the University of Bergen in Norway. She enjoys running and is a member of the 14th Street Pacers running group in Washington DC. She was the founding Sydney Branch Director for Young Australians in International Affairs and is committed to helping the next generation find a fulfilling path in International Affairs.

Josie Hornung

Josie Hornung is a PhD candidate in International Relations at the University of Queensland, Australia. She was awarded the 2019 AEUIFAI Postgraduate Research Fellowship to study at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy where she is currently based. She recently completed a visiting PhD student fellowship at the University of Oxford and a research internship at the Australian Civil Military Centre, which is part of the Department of Defence Australia.

She is broadly interested in mass atrocity prevention, and her research looks at the decision-making process that has historically led to action or inaction in the face of imminent mass atrocities (such as genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing). Her research project is supervised by Professor Chris-Reus-Smit and Professor Alex Bellamy. Josie has had work published with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and is currently working as a Research Assistant for Dr Emma Hutchinson. She hopes to continue her research into mass atrocity prevention, and human security generally, through a career in academia.

Yun Jiang

Yun Jiang is the Co-Editor of China Neican, an independent policy-focused China analysis newsletter. She produces weekly analysis on China-related issues and has been quoted in several major national and international press.

Yun is also a senior research officer at the Australian National University, working on geoeconomics. In this role, she brings together academics, government officials, and businesses to advance the understanding and discussion of geoeconomics, including issues such as education, technology, research, cyber, and investment. She has held workshops and seminars on these topics.

Prior to joining the ANU, she was a policy adviser in the Australian Government, having worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and the Department of Defence. Her extensive policy experience covers international economy, trade, multilateral institutions, foreign investment, Commonwealth-state relations, economic diplomacy, and military diplomacy. During her time in government, she led a project on integrating economics and national security, and made significant contributions to improving China literacy in the public service.

Yun speaks English and Mandarin fluently. She has a Master of Public Policy and a Master of Diplomacy from the ANU.

Su Yin Lew

As a Masters of International Relations student, Su-Yin Lew is an international security and arms control wonk with a penchant for gender equality. She is currently working with UN Women's Strategic Partnerships division in New York and is due to begin interning with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in April.

In 2019, she was a disarmament intern with the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva through the Department of Foreign Affairs. She later travelled to Japan as one of fourteen young people chosen for the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons' inaugural Youth Academy on the topic of nuclear weapons and global security. She has since been active in sharing the importance of disarmament efforts publicly, passionate about distilling complex security issues into everyday language and publicly speaking on nuclear weapons-related issues. From July, she wrote on topics such as hypersonic warfare, space security and gendered perspectives as International Security Fellow for Young Australians in International Affairs, with her work published on Insights, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's The Strategist and The National Interest in the US. Whilst studying, she has juggled multiple jobs including management and financial consultancy focussed on social enterprises and as an academic tutor at The University of Melbourne. Su-Yin will be completing the final semester of her degree with the War Studies Department at King's College London from September.

She is proud Asian-Australian of Chinese-Malaysian descent, a Wyvern of Queen's College and an advocate for feminist foreign policy. Given the disproportionate representation of women in the international field, she looks forward to continuing working on disarmament and strategic issues into the future as part of a new generation of foreign policy practitioners.

Anna Mallard

Anna Mallard has over eight years of work experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors, predominately focused on the environment and climate adaptation. Currently, Anna is a Senior Climate and Environment Policy Officer at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She leads on Australia’s engagement with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organisations and the private sector, helping to address pressing environmental issues including climate change. At the 57th GEF Council Meeting, Anna negotiated on behalf of the constituency of Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea on the GEF’s relations with international environmental conventions.

She is the Chief Advisor to Australia’s GEF Council Member, Senior Advisor to Australia’s Board Member of the Green Climate Fund and has also advised Australia’s representative to the Global Green Growth Institute. Further to this, in 2017, Anna was negotiator at the United Nations Climate Conference in Germany (COP23) representing Australia in the Capacity Building and Action for Climate Empowerment negotiating rooms. She contributed to the development of the department’s international Climate Change Action Strategy, wrote toolkits and provided practical advice to staff integrating climate action across Australia’s aid program.

Anna has also worked in sustainable development at the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), managed the Australian NGO Cooperation Program at Oxfam Australia, valued at over $10 million, and coordinated visits of Australia’s Ambassadors and High Commissioners to Victoria. In addition, Anna was recently seconded to the National Bushfire Recovery Agency as the Liaison Officer for Victoria.

Billi McCarthy-Price

Originally from picturesque Esperance, Western Australia, Billi McCarthy-Price is the Chief Executive Officer of youth-led not-for-profit Global Voices. Billi is responsible for the successful coordination and delivery of the Global Voices Scholarship Program. The Program provides around 40 young Australians with the opportunity to participate in one of eight international fora each year, as well as develop their policy-writing, research and analysis, cultural awareness, networking, and diplomacy skills.

As part of this, Billi participated in the 2019 GLOBSEC Bratislava Young Leaders Program (GYLF), and led delegations to the 63rd United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York City, the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, and the IISS Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. She is passionate about creating opportunities for young Australians to develop practical skills to meaningfully engage in both domestic and international policymaking. Billi completed combined Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees with distinction at the University of Western Australia and Sciences Po Grenoble. Upon graduation, Billi completed the Department of Defence Graduate Development Program and worked within Military Strategy Branch, where she helped facilitate domestic and international strategic wargames and tabletop exercises.

While at Defence, Billi co-founded womenCANplay, a not-for-profit created to provide more opportunities for women to get involved in sport and activity in Canberra. She received an Edna Ryan award for her contribution to improving outcomes for women in her community. Billi relocated to Melbourne, where she worked at Victoria Police and helped to deliver projects and activities as part of the implementation of the 2016 Mental Health Review. In 2018, Billi took a position in youth mental health organisation Orygen’s Policy Think Tank, where she developed content for policy papers, drafted government submissions and advice, and advocated for quality youth-specific mental health care for young people across Australia.

Eva McKinley

For the last 15 years Eva has worked in campaigning for social change. She has worked across areas like development, environment and building resilience in young people, with organisations like the Oaktree Foundation and running her own initiatives like Global Partners for Change. In 2015 Eva started The Last Straw, a campaign to reduce the use of plastic straws in venues around Australia. The campaign was highly successful and saw 1000 member venues sign on to become straw responsible, in partnership with sister campaign The Last Straw on the Great Barrier Reef, including the iconic Sydney Opera House. A series of Last Straw groups start up internationally, and in 2018 alone the campaign stopped 13 million plastic straws from entering the waste system. For her work, Eva has been recognised as one of the 2018 100 Women of Influence, a Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia fellow for 2019 and by the Foundation for Young Australians with their Game Changer award. Eva is currently the global Communications Manager for ygap, an organisation that works across five countries using social enterprise as a tool for positive community impact. In 2019 Eva graduated Deakin University with a Bachelor of International Studies and First-Class Honours in Middle East Studies, earning the highest thesis score for her cohort. Eva was awarded a General Sir John Monash Scholarship and a Rotary Peace Fellowship to study a Masters of International Relations and Security Studies at Bradford University in 2020.

Rachel Mourad

Ms. Rachel Mourad is an expert with the United Nations (UN) Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), where she focuses on issues relating to border security and law enforcement within the context of the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon. Prior to joining CTED, Ms. Mourad was a consultant for the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force. During her time with the UN, Ms. Mourad has conducted both assessment and capacity-building missions in 18 Member States around the world, including Iraq and Sudan. In addition, she co-authored the UN Security Council report “Gaps in the use of advance passenger information and recommendations for expanding its use to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters”. Through her work, Ms. Mourad has partnered with the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIL (Da'esh), Al-Qaida and the Taliban, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Organization for Migration, the International Civil Aviation Organization, INTERPOL and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Prior to joining the UN, Ms. Mourad led a capability acquisition team at the Australian Department of Defence and practiced as a lawyer with the international law firm DLA Piper, where she specialised in multi-billion dollar strategic acquisition projects. Ms. Mourad holds a Master of Laws from the University of California, Berkeley, and is admitted as a lawyer to both the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and the New York State Bar. She formerly trained as a military pilot and is published in peer-review journals in the fields of counter-terrorism strategy and air-power theory. Ms. Mourad is fluent in French and Mandarin and is a member of the McKinsey Executive Panel.

Clare Murphy

Clare is a national security and foreign policy professional with expertise in counter-terrorism, countering violent extremism, international relations, community resilience and emergency management. Clare is experienced in engaging the private and public sectors to analyse and develop solutions to national security issues. Clare currently works in McGrathNicol's Forensic advisory practice specialising in international projects.

As a researcher with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Clare worked across ASPI's Strategic Policing and Law Enforcement team and Counter-Terrorism Policy Centre while being a founding member of ASPI's Women in Defence and Security Network. Clare's analysis has featured widely in Australian print media and radio.

Clare's professional highlights include developing and managing Countering Violent Extremism intervention programs, and analysing Victorian Government Expert Panel on Terrorism and Violent Extremism Prevention and Response Powers recommendations as an adviser with the Victorian state government; and co-authoring Austrade's Critical Minerals Supply Chain in the United States report on their strategic significance and global supply chain as an adviser with Austrade.

Clare is committed to promoting women's contributions through her roles with the Australia-China Young Professionals Initiative, Melbourne Drink and Think (ensuring that half of speakers are women) and the Celtic Club Melbourne. Clare produces The Celtic Club Melbourne Podcast highlighting the achievements of Melbourne's Irish community (particularly women and young members) and was selected by the Irish Ambassador to Australia to speak on the young Irish diaspora at the 2019 Link+ conference, run by the Irish Minister for Diaspora as part of the Irish government's Global Ireland strategy.

Jennifer Trigdell

Jennifer is a public international law and human rights lawyer. Currently, she works for a world-renowned boutique law firm, where she advises sovereign States and investors before international courts and tribunals and in non-contentious matters. Previously, Jennifer has advised judges on the International Criminal Court, Inter-American Court of Human Rights and High Court of Hong Kong (including on the first case of human trafficking under the Bill of Rights Ordinance). She was the Research Associate to the Director of the University of Cambridge’s Lauterpacht Centre for International Law. Overall, Jennifer believes that access to justice is the right of the many, rather than the privilege of the few. She is particularly interested in international environmental law, technology governance and human rights in the Asia-Pacific region. At the Philippines Commission on Human Rights, she initiated the first national report into extra-judicial killings being committed in the “War on Drugs.” In addition to volunteering with human rights NGOs across the region, including in Cambodia, Hong Kong and Australia, she has raised contemporary human rights issues through her publications and co-hosting “Declarations: The Human Rights Podcast”. In 2019, Jennifer co-founded #NoTechForTyrants, an organisation which shines a light on technology companies’ ethical and human rights obligations. Presently, Jennifer is the youngest person to serve on the International Law Association (Management Committee) in the organisation’s celebrated 147-year history. She liaises closely with the Chair Lord Mance and fellow Officers to manage operations for over 4,500 members across 63 regional branches. Jennifer holds a BA (Politics and International Relations)/LLB (Hons) from Macquarie University, where she was a New Colombo Plan Scholar, and LLM (International Law) from University of Cambridge, for which she received the Davis McCaughey (Cambridge Australia Trust) Scholarship. She speaks Swedish and elementary Mandarin, and has performed stand-up comedy for Footlights.

Sophie Wilson

Sophie is Digital Media Specialist for the United States Consulate General Sydney, managing the Consulate’s digital communications. Sophie has managed U.S. Embassy Australia digital comms for three Vice Presidential visits to Australia (2016, 2017 and 2018), Australia-U.S. Ministerial (AUSMIN) Consultations in 2017 and 2019, a major public speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the U.S. and Australia’s largest bilateral military training exercise — Talisman Saber, ensuring the U.S. Consulate and Embassy’s messaging is seen by a domestic audience of millions. As part of the Public Diplomacy team she also curates public outreach programs with a view to engage, or re-engage, next-gen Australians with the U.S.-Australia bilateral relationship. She is also a proud Young Australians in International Affairs alum, serving as U.S. Fellow in 2015, and has written for the U.S. Studies Centre blog, the American Review, and the Amerigo student magazine on foreign affairs and domestic U.S. politics. Sophie completed a Master of United States Studies at the U.S. Studies Centre where she researched Department of State hip-hop diplomacy programs in the Middle East under the Obama administration, and the role of music in mobilising social movements. Sophie also holds an undergraduate degree in Government and International Relations and American Studies from the University of Sydney, and an offer to study a MSc Politics and Communication at the London School of Economics in 2020. Sophie is passionate about the role of communication in foreign affairs, be it through art, culture or social media - believing diplomacy and soft power are now more vital than ever.

Hayley Winchcombe

Hayley is the CEO & Chair of the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Youth Partnership (AASYP), an initiative started by New Colombo Plan scholars and alumni as a platform that builds knowledge, inspires engagement and creates connections between young people across ASEAN and Australia.

In 2019, AASYP launched the ASEAN Australia Young Leaders Forum (AAYLF) as the first online-offline programme to connect influential young leaders from across the relationship to tackle the most pressing regional issues of today. Hayley's academic interests examine the migration-development nexus, with her Honours thesis critiquing the governance of migrant domestic workers in Southeast Asia through the Bachelor of Philosophy (Hons) degree at the University of Western Australia.

As the inaugural New Colombo Plan ASEAN Fellow, she studied public policy and global affairs at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She has published articles on various social and economic topics in the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute ASEANFocus magazine, advocated for increased trade and investment partnerships with AustCham ASEAN and implemented a youth empowerment project for 100 young leaders with the ASEAN Foundation.

Dr. Mimi Zou

Dr Mimi Zou holds the first academic appointment in Chinese law at the University of Oxford, where she has the role of developing the subject as a new field of study and research, exploring how best to understand Chinese law and the links between law, economy, politics, and society, both within China and as it affects transnational relations. She is the Fangda Career Development Fellow in Chinese Commercial Law at St Hugh's College and Faculty of Law and also the Director of Studies in Law at Regent's Park College, Oxford and co-founder of the Oxford Deep Tech Dispute Resolution Lab. Dr Zou is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Expert Network in the areas of China, Justice, and Blockchain. She is also a member of the World Bank's Access to Justice and Technology Taskforce. Mimi's research has won international awards and been covered by international media outlets including The New York Times, BBC, The Guardian, Reuters, China Daily, and South China Morning Post. She is an advisor to the Great Britain China Centre, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Asia Society Policy Institute Belt & Road Taskforce, Chatham House, and the Asia-Pacific Legal Innovation and Technology Association. Dr Zou obtained her Doctor of Philosophy in Law and Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction) degrees from Oxford (St John's College and Christ Church) on a Commonwealth Scholarship and a James Fairfax Oxford Australia Scholarship. She was the President of the Oxford University Australian & New Zealand Society while she studied at Oxford. She also graduated with first-class honours degrees in Law, Economics, and Social Sciences (University Medal) from the University of Sydney. She is a qualified lawyer in England and Wales and New South Wales, Australia and has worked in academia, international organisations, government departments, global law firms and financial institutions in Asia, Europe and North America for over 15 years. In 2016, the Asia Society named Mimi as an ‘Asia 21 Young Leader', which recognizes the accomplishments of rising change-makers in the region. She was a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year Awards, the UK Asian Women of Achievement Awards, and the inaugural 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australians Awards.


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