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Dave Sharma

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His Excellency
Dave Sharma
Official photograph of middle aged man with combed-back short black hair and no other facial hair, wearing a suit, smiling into the camera.
Ambassador of Australia to Israel
Assumed office
8 August 2013
Prime Minister
Preceded by Andrea Faulkner
Personal details
Born 1976 (age 41–42)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Nationality Australian
Spouse(s) Rachel Lord
Children Three
Alma mater
Occupation Australian Ambassador
Profession Diplomat

Devanand "Dave" Sharma (born 1975) is an Australian diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He concluded his most recent post as Ambassador of Australia to Israel in mid-June 2017, replaced by Chris Cannan on 19 June 2017.[1][2]

He has held a number of senior positions in the Australian Government, including from 2010 to 2012 as the head of the International Division in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.[3] Since June 2013 he has been serving as the Australian Ambassador to Israel.[1] His appointment, at the age of 37, made him the youngest person to be appointed as an Australian Ambassador[4] and the second Australian Ambassador of Indian heritage.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Sharma is of Indian heritage and was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1975.[5] His family moved to Turramurra, New South Wales, in 1979. Reflecting on his initial years in Australia Sharma told the Australian Indian Herald in May 2013, "we were the only Sharma's [sic] in the whole of white pages of Sydney"[5]

Sharma attended secondary school at Turramurra High School in Sydney. He graduated in 1993 topping the state in the Higher School Certificate, with the highest possible Tertiary Entrance Rank of 100.[6]

Sharma studied a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts[1] at Cambridge University between 1994 and 1997, he initially studied natural sciences but transferred to law in 1995 (his second year) and graduated in law with first class honours.[4][7][8][9] He then returned to Sydney and studied medicine at Sydney Medical School.[7] Following a year of studying medicine, he began working as a civil servant for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and completed a Masters in International Relations through Deakin University.[4][5] He is fluent in English, and speaks some Hebrew, Spanish and Tok Pisin.[7]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Sharma began working for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1999[7] and had held posts both in Australia and abroad. From 2004 to 2006 he served in parliament as the legal adviser to Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and was then appointed to the Australian Embassy in Washington from 2006 until 2009.[1][3]

Sharma has held appointments at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby and as a senior civilian adviser with the Peace Monitoring Group on Bougainville in Papua New Guinea.[1]

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet[edit]

From 2010 to 2012 Sharma was the head of the International Division in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He advised the Prime Minister Julia Gillard during G-20 summits (including as the Prime Minister's sous-sherpa) and East Asia summits and was involved in international diplomatic events which occurred in Australia including the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2011 and during US President Barack Obama's visit to Australia in November 2011.[3]

Africa Branch[edit]

Sharma served as the Assistant Secretary, responsible[10] for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Africa Branch between 2012 and 2013.[1] In November 2012, Sharma led a visit to Abuja, Nigeria and participated in talks with the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Security Adviser as well as with officials from the Economic Community of West African States.[11]

Ambassador to Israel[edit]

Sharma was appointed the Ambassador to Israel by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bob Carr, on 16 May 2013[12][13] replacing Andrea Faulkner.[14] Sharma presented his credentials to Israeli President Shimon Peres on 8 August 2013.[15]

His appointment as an ambassador at the age of 37 made him the youngest person to be appointed as an Australian Ambassador.[4][6] He is the second Australian Ambassador of Indian heritage, the first being Peter Varghese.[4][5]

Sharma, and his wife Rachel, visited casualties of the Syrian civil war in the Ziv Medical Center in Zefat, Israel. This visit made him the first international representative to visit casualties of the war.[16]

In April 2017, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, announced that Chris Cannan would succeed Sharma as Ambassador to Israel in mid-2017. Cannan began his appointment as Ambassador on 19 June 2017.[17][2]

Digital Diplomacy[edit]

Sharma has written and spoken extensively on the challenges and opportunities of conducting diplomacy in the digital age.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Sharma is married to Rachel Lord, a trained lawyer and diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. In 2014 she was the president of the Diplomatic Spouses Club in Israel.[19] Sharma and Lord have three daughters aged 11 to 5.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Ambassador to Israel". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australian Government. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b @@AusAmbIsrael (19 June 2017). "Our new ambassador, Chris Cannan, has hit the ground running" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Dave Sharma: Australian Ambassador to Israel" (CV). Tel Aviv, Israel: Australian Embassy in Israel. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. June 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2012.  Direct download (Word 2003)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Indian-origin Australian appointed envoy to Israel". The Times of India. India: India Times. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Australia's youngest Ambassador is of Indian Heritage". Indian Herald. Australia. 29 May 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Murray, Oliver (23 May 2013). "Building ties and sharing knowledge Dave Sharma Australia's new ambassador to Israel". North Shore Times. North Shore Region, New South Wales: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d Bhandari, Neena (3 June 2015). "The 'novelty' of being an Australian diplomat of Indian heritage". The Indian Diaspora. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Our man in Tel Aviv". J-Wire. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Meet our man in Tel Aviv – progress report". J-Wire. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Marles, Richard (30 October 2012). "Statements on Indulgence: Australia's Seat on the United Nations Security Council". Hansard. Canberra: Parliament of Australia. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Senior officials visit Abuja" (PDF). Aussie News (5). Abuja: Australian High Commission in Nigeria. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. February 2013. p. 7. Retrieved 12 December 2015. 
  12. ^ Carr, Bob (16 May 2013). "Ambassador to Israel" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 11 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Herb, Keinon (16 May 2013). "Diplomat Dave Sharma named as new Aussie envoy". The Jerusalem Post. Jerusalem, Israel: Palestine Post Ltd. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Australia appoints new ambassador to Israel". J-Wire. 16 May 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "Getting to know you.." J-Wire. 9 August 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Australian ambassador visits Syrian patients in Israeli hospital". J-Wire. 29 August 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Ambassador to Israel" (Press release). Australian Government. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 25 June 2017. 
  18. ^ https://ausambisrael.com
  19. ^ Cashman, Greer Fay (12 July 2014). "Diplomatic spouses – more than coffee and cake". The Jerusalem Post. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Andrea Faulkner
Australian Ambassador to Israel
2013 – 2017
Succeeded by
Chris Cannan