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Appointment of Policy Fellows

The Sydney Policy Lab welcomes two new appointments to the team as it renews its program of research and engagement in 2022.

Renowned former BBC correspondent Nick Bryant, and economic researcher Claire Connelly, will be joining the Lab to pursue research investigating the future of democracy, economic inequality and an agenda for post-pandemic rebuilding in Australia. 

“We are excited to welcome Nick and Claire to the Sydney Policy Lab. They are insightful and energetic thinkers who will enjoy a natural home with us. Through their Fellowships, they will help shape public debate on some of the biggest issues facing Australia right now,” said Professor Tim Soutphommasane, the Lab’s Acting Director. 

Bryant, who will join the Lab as Senior Policy Fellow, recently returned to Australia after serving as the BBC’s New York correspondent. Over a celebrated three-decade career in journalism, Bryant has also reported from Washington DC, South Asia and Sydney, forging a reputation as one of the world’s most trusted senior correspondents. A graduate in history from the University of Cambridge, with a doctorate in American politics at the University of Oxford, Bryant is the author of four books, including his recently published When America Stopped Being Great: A History of the Present.

"I have spent so much of my journalistic career covering the implications of policy as a spectator, so I am thrilled to be working on the formulation of policy as more of a participant. The defence and rejuvenation of democracy is dear to my heart, and not just an urgent issue globally but here in Australia as well. As the nation tries to move beyond Covid, and the portcullis of Fortress Australia has been lifted, it's also clear that a good deal of nation-rebuilding has to be done at home, along with some repair work on the country's reputation abroad. As a longtime lover of this country, and someone who now calls Australia my adopted home, I can't wait to get involved," said Nick Bryant. 

Connelly, who will join the Lab as Policy Fellow, is an economic researcher and freelance journalist. Her recent experience includes conducting research at Rebuilding Macroeconomics, hosted by the Institute for Global Prosperity at University College London (UCL), and the Institute of New Economic Thinking, Oxford. Her writing and commentary has appeared in outlets including the Saturday Paper, Australian Financial Review, the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Vice, Business Spectator and The Australian. She holds a degree in politics and international relations from UNSW and in journalism from UTS.

“I am pleased to be working with the team at the Sydney Policy Lab to help answer some of the country’s most pressing policy questions. The appointment offers a unique opportunity to help produce tangible proposals for reshaping the political landscape in ways that produce more equitable, inclusive, and democratic societies that foster greater participation and sense of belonging,” said Claire Connelly. 

Both Bryant and Connelly will be Fellows at the Sydney Policy Lab for six months.