United States Ambassador to Australia

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Ambassador of the United States to Australia
Department of state.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Berry official portrait.jpg
Incumbent
John Berry

since August 1, 2013
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder Clarence E. Gauss
Formation 1940
Website U.S. Embassy - Canberra

The position of United States Ambassador to Australia has existed since 1940. U.S.-Australian relations have been close throughout the history of Australia. Before World War II Australia was closely aligned with the United Kingdom, but it has strengthened its relationship with the United States since 1942, as Britain's influence in Asia has declined and the United States' influence has increased. At the governmental level, United States-Australia relationships are formalised by the ANZUS treaty and Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement.

The Embassy in Canberra has always been regarded as a desirable posting and hence has become a patronage position. U.S. Ambassadors to Australia have traditionally been friends, political allies or former business associates of the President of the day. Some have been major donors to the President's election campaign or political party. Few have been career diplomats (Marshall Green was a conspicuous exception). The two Ambassadors during the Bush Administration, for example, were Tom Schieffer, a former business associate of President Bush, and Robert McCallum, Jr., a Bush college friend. The actor Fess Parker was offered the post in 1985 by Ronald Reagan, after representing Reagan at an event in Australia. Parker considered it, but turned it down.[1]

This arrangement has suited Australian governments, which welcome the ability of such Ambassadors to gain direct access to the President, bypassing the State Department.

United States Ambassadors to Australia[edit]

Source: U.S. State Department

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