Greg Moriarty

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Greg Moriarty
Greg Moriarty, Secretary of the Department of Defence, Australia.jpg
Secretary of the Department of Defence
Assumed office
4 September 2017
Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister's Office
In office
April 2017 – 4 September 2017
Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator
In office
May 2015 – September 2016
Personal details
Born (1964-04-04) 4 April 1964 (age 55)
Brisbane, Queensland
Alma materUniversity of Western Australia (BA (Hons))
Australian National University (MA)[1]
OccupationPublic servant

Gregory Laurence Moriarty (born 4 April 1964) is a senior Australian public servant and diplomat, and the current Secretary of the Department of Defence since 4 September 2017. He was previously the Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull.[2] Moriarty has been Australian Ambassador to Iran from 2005 to 2008, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia from 2010 to 2014, the inaugural Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator from 2015 to 2016, and the International and National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister.

Early life and education[edit]

Gregory Laurence Moriarty was born in Brisbane, Queensland, on 4 April 1964. He has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Australia and a Master of Arts in Strategic and Defence Studies from the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University.[3]



Moriarty joined the Department of Defence in 1986 and worked in Defence until 1995, primarily in the Defence Intelligence Organisation as a regional analyst. An officer in the Australian Army Reserve, Moriarty was attached to the Headquarters of the United States Central Command in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Moriarty has returned to the Department of Defence in 2017 as the Secretary of the Department of Defence.

Foreign Affairs[edit]

Prior to taking up his first ambassadorial role as Australian Ambassador to Iran in March 2005, Moriarty worked in various positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including in the Papua New Guinea Section and with postings at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, as Assistant Secretary of the Maritime South East Asia Branch, and Deputy Leader and Senior Negotiator of the Peace Monitoring Group on Bougainville in 1998.[4]

As Ambassador to Iran, he resided in Tehran from 2005 to 2008.[5] While in the role, Moriarty travelled to Washington to brief then US President George Bush on Iranian politics, becoming one of a small number of Australian diplomats ever to have briefed an American president.[6]

Moriarty was the Assistant Secretary for the Parliamentary and Media Branch between 2008 and 2009 and then the First Assistant Secretary for the Consular, Public Diplomacy and Parliamentary Affairs Division from 2009 to 2010 of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

His nomination by the Australian Government as Australian Ambassador to Indonesia was announced in July 2010.[7] He arrived in Indonesia in late October, immediately prior to the Mount Merapi eruptions and the 2010 Sumatra earthquake and tsunami.[8]

Whilst Moriaty was Ambassador to Indonesia, the Australian Government escalated its border protection policy. The Indonesian Government opposed Australia's boat turnback policy.[9] During the appointment, Moriarty recommended that Australians take the time to learn more about Indonesia to set the two nations up for a great strategic partnership that would help Australian businesses to prosper.[10][11]

From 2014 to 2015, Moriarty was a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Counterterrorism Coordinator[edit]

In May 2015, the Australian Government announced Moriarty's appointment as the inaugural Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordination within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.[12] In the role, Moriarty did not have authority to direct the operations of any particular agency, instead being granted authority "across agencies" to enhance cooperation between Australian intelligence and security agencies.[13][14] His role was intended to focus primarily on preventing domestic terror threats.[15] Soon after he began in the role, Moriarty told media that he was "stunned" by the depth and extent of the problem.[16] After the terrorist attacks in Nice, Moriarty was authorised to examine the full range of people of interest who security agencies are investigating for counter-terrorism purposes, to identify vulnerable persons with mental health concerns or patterns of criminal behavior, and examine measures needed to prevent the radicalisation of such people.[17]

Prime Minister's Office[edit]

In September 2016, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appointed Moriarty his International and National Security Adviser. He was then appointed the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff in April 2017.[18]


  1. ^ "Moriarty nominated as Indonesian Ambassador". UWA News. University of Western Australia. 4 August 2010.
  2. ^ Turnbull, Malcolm (28 July 2017). "Secretary of the Department of Defence". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Moriaty, Gregory Laurence". Who's Who in Australia online. ConnectWeb. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  4. ^ Downer, Alexander (4 March 2005). "Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Iran" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014.
  5. ^ Smith, Stephen (30 June 2008). "Diplomatic Appointment – Ambassador to Iran" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  6. ^ Sheridan, Greg (12 July 2010). "Greg Moriarty the best man possible for Indonesia envoy". The Australian. News Corp.
  7. ^ Smith, Stephen (11 July 2010). "Diplomatic Appointment – Ambassador to Indonesia" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 1 April 2015.
  8. ^ Sertori, Trisha (25 January 2011). "Greg Moriarty: Time to bind ties more deeply". The Jakarta Post.
  9. ^ Wroe, David; Flitton, Daniel (14 February 2014). "Indonesia calls in Australian ambassador Greg Moriarty to protest against 'unacceptable' escalation of boat policy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 8 June 2014.
  10. ^ Berrill, Jaime (17 May 2012). "Ambassador Greg Moriarty launches Asialink's State of the Nation series". University of Melbourne. Archived from the original on 7 January 2016.
  11. ^ Cai, Peter (18 May 2012). "Warning on Indonesia's rising economic nationalism". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016.
  12. ^ Grattan, Michelle (24 May 2015). "Former diplomat to co-ordinate counter terrorism". The Conversation. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016.
  13. ^ Bennett, James (25 May 2015). "Former ambassador to Indonesia Greg Moriarty named as new anti-terror coordinator". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 27 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Australia appoints Greg Moriarty as anti-terrorism chief". The Strait Times. Singapore Press Holdings. 25 May 2015. Archived from the original on 7 December 2015.
  15. ^ Coorey, Phillip (25 May 2015). "Tony Abbott appoints Greg Moriarty terror tsar". Australian Financial Review. Fairfax Media.
  16. ^ Benson, Simon (10 June 2015). "Terrorism threat could shadow Australia for decades, country's first national security chief says". The Daily Telegraph. News Corp.
  17. ^ Nicholson, Brendan (22 July 2016). "Counter-terrorism tsar Greg Moriarty to look for 'lone wolves': PM". The Australian. News Corp.
  18. ^ Sheridan, Greg (1 September 2016). "Greg Moriarty's role with Turnbull 'will be widely welcomed'". The Australian. News Corp. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
Government offices
Preceded by
Dennis Richardson
Secretary of the Department of Defence
New office Commonwealth Counter-Terrorism Coordinator
Succeeded by
Tony Sheehan
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jeremy Newman
Australian Ambassador to Iran
Succeeded by
Marc Innes-Brown
Preceded by
Bill Farmer
Australian Ambassador to Indonesia
Succeeded by
Paul Grigson