Published daily by the Lowy Institute

Melissa Conley Tyler

Melissa Conley Tyler is Director of Diplomacy at Asialink at the University of Melbourne. She was previously National Executive Director of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. She is a lawyer and specialist in conflict resolution, including negotiation, mediation and peace education. She was previously Program Manager of the International Conflict Resolution Centre at the University of Melbourne and Senior Fellow of Melbourne Law School. She has an international profile in conflict resolution including membership of the Editorial Board of the Conflict Resolution Quarterly.

In 2008 Ms Conley Tyler was selected as one of the nation’s 1,000 “best and brightest” to participate in the Australia 2020 Summit convened by the Prime Minister to discuss future challenges facing Australia. Later in 2008 she was selected by the Fletcher Alumni Association of Washington D.C. to receive its Young Alumni Award for most outstanding graduate of the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy under 40.

During nine years with the AIIA, she has edited more than 45 publications, organised more than 70 policy events, overseen dramatic growth in youth engagement and built stronger relations with other institutes of international affairs worldwide. Her recent research focuses on Australian foreign policy making, Australia’s term on the UN Security Council and Australia as a middle power.

With more than 15 years’ experience working in community organisations in Australia, South Africa and the U.S.A., Ms Conley Tyler has a strong interest in non-profit management. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Charities Aid Foundation Australia, one of Australia’s largest grant-givers, and the Committee of Management of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture.

She is listed in Routledge’s Who’s Who in International Affairs and International Who’s Who of Women.

Articles by Melissa Conley Tyler (22)

  • Diagnosing Asia's Australian problem

    For decades, there has been a familiar refrain: Australia has an Asia problem. We don’t engage enough with Asia, or understand its languages or diverse cultures. From Ross Garnaut in the 1980s to the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper, the narrative has been that if only Australia could focus on Asia, all would be well.
  • The role of think tanks in a fragmenting global system

    Last month I spent time in a tank thinking about think tanks. Admittedly it was a very architecturally interesting tank at The Graduate Institute Geneva, which this year hosted the Global Think Tank Summit with the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania. It was a tank with some very big fish (Brookings, CSIS, Chatham House) as well as some that had hatched more recently.
  • Can Australia remain a top 20 nation?

    A few times over the past year, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop has referred to Australia as a 'top 20 nation' or a 'top 20 country'. She prefers this to the standard description of Australia as a middle power, a term she has mostly avoided. As she responded to the Sydney Morning Herald's Peter Hartcher: 'Middle of what?
  • Can women lead? Australians think so

    Comments by Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard this week have invigorated the debate on women and leadership. Clinton's recently released book Hard Choices made news in Australia for the condemnation of the 'outrageous sexism' experienced by Gillard. In response, the former Australian prime minister identified continuing negative attitudes towards women as leaders: 'For men, that conversation starts with what kind of leader will he be, you know, strong, weak, compassionate, strident.
  • The monarchy and Australia's image abroad

    As you return to work after the Queen's Birthday long weekend, take a moment to reflect on how this holiday looks to the rest of the world. What message does Australia’s continuing attachment to the monarchy send to bemused tourists, international students and overseas business partners? Australian republicanism has never really gone away. Despite the setback of the 1999 referendum, there remain hardy souls who continue to campaign for an Australian head of state.
  • Women in international relations: New Voices breaks new ground

    Speaking to other women in international affairs, you realise we've all had those moments: when we were the only woman on a panel or, worse, the only female speaker at an entire conference (Pacific specialist Jenny Hayward-Jones knows it well); or where the number of women at a workshop is so low that one almost feels inauthentic in making a contribution.
  • National Commission of Audit: When you've cut DFAT to the bone…

    Every sector is speculating on how it will be hit by next week's federal Budget following the National Commission of Audit's recommendations on cost cutting. As Alex Oliver outlines, even the cash strapped Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade may not be immune. Given its razor gang mandate, it's no shock that the Commission didn't recommend increased funding for DFAT.
  • Julie Bishop's first six months (and first 43 speeches)

    Last week marked Julie Bishop's first six months as foreign minister. When she was sworn in as Australia's 38th minister for foreign affairs on 18 September 2013, she could have not been better prepared for the job. As shadow minister from 2009 to 2013 she had developed both her knowledge and her networks around the world. And Kevin Rudd gave her a great start.