© 2014, © 2014 Australian Institute of International Affairs. After 20 years, the Australian American Leadership Dialogue has acquired enviable access to political leaders in the foreign policy establishments of both countries. The influence of the Dialogue is at earlier consensus-building stages of decision making. Its importance has been in ‘relationship maintenance’ of the bilateral alliance which it has pursued through processes of informal diplomacy. The Dialogue now faces its own challenges of organisational renewal and relevance in the wider ‘interpretative community’ of Australian think tanks, university policy institutes and opinion-formers.