Aug 7, 2021 • 37M

Think Tank Diplomacy with Melissa Conley Tyler

Do think tanks do diplomacy? Can they be profitable? How does policy mentorship work? What restricts tankers communications? Academia vs think tanks? Do tanks risk becoming lobbies? All these and more

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In this conversation, I discuss the nature of think tanks and their function as diplomatic actors in the international system with Melissa Conley Tyler. We discuss the diplomatic functions think tanks perform, Australia’s policy scene and how the country’s think tanks can bolster its international influence, the profitability of think tanks, why think tankers are cautious communicators, the challenge of transparency around funding, reputation as the ‘currency of think tanks’, the differences between life in academia and think tanks, how young professionals can access tanks, the importance of mentorship in policy careers, and many more topics.


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Melissa Conley Tyler is an experienced Executive Director who has worked in International Relations, Think Tanks and NGOs for decades. Formerly the Director of the Australian Insititute of International Affairs before becoming a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Melissa was recently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research in Taiwan and is now Program Lead, Asia-Pacific Development, Diplomacy and Defence Dialogue. She is also co-author of the book, “Think Tank Diplomacy”. You can connect with Melissa on LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter at the handle @MConleytyler.


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