Peter Varghese

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Peter Varghese
AO
Peter Varghese (1).jpg
Varghese, pictured in 2009.
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
In office
3 December 2012 (2012-12-03) – 20 July 2016 (2016-07-20)
Preceded by Dennis Richardson
Succeeded by Frances Adamson
Personal details
Born Peter Joseph Noozhumurry Varghese
1956
Kenya
Nationality  Australian
Alma mater University of Queensland
Occupation Diplomat; Public servant

Peter Joseph Noozhumurry Varghese AO (born 1956 in Kenya) is an Australian diplomat and public servant. He was the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 3 December 2012 to 22 July 2016.[1][2][3] He announced in November 2015 that he would leave the position in July 2016 to become the chancellor of the University of Queensland.

Life and career[edit]

Varghese was born in Kenya to Nasrani parents from Kerala, India. He emigrated to Australia as a child in 1964. He studied history and graduated from the University of Queensland.[4] with a university medal.[2]

From 2004 to 2009, he was Director-General of the Office of National Assessments,[5] an Australian government intelligence agency which reports directly to the Prime Minister.[6] Prior to this he was the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, then Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.[7] Immediately prior to his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Varghese served as Australia's High Commissioner to India, with concurrent accreditation to Bhutan, between August 2009[4] and October 2012. Varghese has also served overseas in Tokyo (1994), Washington (1986–88) and Vienna (1980–83).[2]

When the Abbott Government took office in September 2013, Varghese had to oversee the integration of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with Australian Agency for International Development.[8][9] It was announced on 24 November 2015 that he would be stepping down from the position in July 2016 to take on an appointment as chancellor of the University of Queensland.[10][11][12]

Honours[edit]

In 2010, Varghese was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public administration, particularly in leading reform in the Australian intelligence community and as an adviser in the areas of foreign policy and international security.[13]

Varghese was conferred with a Doctor of Letters honoris causa by the University of Queensland in July 2013 in recognition of his distinguished service to diplomacy and Australian Public Service.[2]

Personal[edit]

Varghese is married and has an adult son.[4]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gillard, Julia (17 September 2012). "Diplomatic Appointment and Appointment of Secretaries of the Department of Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Biographical Details – Mr Peter N Varghese: Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "Organisational Structure" (PDF). Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Smith, Stephen (8 June 2009). "Diplomatic Appointment – High Commissioner to India". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Rudd, Kevin (14 April 2009). "Director-General of the Office of National Assessments". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Ramsay, Alan (19 February 2005). "All for the sum total of nothing". The Sydney Morning Herald. 
  7. ^ "ONA Director-General Appointment Announcement of Peter Varghese" (Press release). Prime Minister of Australia. 18 December 2003. Archived from the original on 3 October 2006. 
  8. ^ Massola, James; Mannheim, Markus (31 May 2014). "Abbott prepares for major shake-up of public service". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade chief Peter Varghese is said to have disappointed some in the cabinet with his management of the integration of AusAid and DFAT. One Coalition insider said he needed to focus on running his department and not being the junior foreign minister. 
  9. ^ Grattan, Michelle (3 November 2013). "DFAT secretary's tough message about AusAID integration". The Conversation. The Conversation Trust (UK). Archived from the original on 5 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Doran, Matthew (24 November 2015). "Peter Varghese, secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to step down". Australian Broadcasting Commission. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Belot, Henry (24 November 2015). "PM and C secretary Michael Thawley resigns in public service shake up". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. 
  12. ^ "Diplomat appointed new UQ chancellor". Sky News. Australian News Channel Pty Ltd. AAP. 24 November 2015. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. 
  13. ^ "VARGHESE, Peter J N". It's an honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 

References and further reading[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John McCarthy
Australian High Commissioner to India
2009–2012
Succeeded by
Patrick Suckling
Preceded by
Bob Cotton
Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia
2000–2003
Succeeded by
James Wise
Government offices
Preceded by
Kim Jones
Director-General of the Office of National Assessments
2004–2009
Succeeded by
Allan Gyngell
Preceded by
Dennis Richardson
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
2012 – present
Succeeded by
Frances Adamson