Ric Wells

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Ric Wells
Official photograph of middle aged man with grey hair and no other facial hair, wearing a suit, smiling into the camera.
Australian Ambassador to France
In office
Preceded byDavid Ritchie
Succeeded byStephen Brady
Personal details
Born (1955-10-20) 20 October 1955 (age 66)
Sydney, Australia
Spouse(s)Erica Wells
EducationNewington College
University of Sydney (BA)
OccupationSenior career officer with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ric Lawson Wells (born 20 October 1955) was an Australian diplomat and senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He was a Deputy Secretary of DFAT and, before that, Australia’s Ambassador to France from 2011 until 2014.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Wells was born in Sydney and attended Newington College (1968–1973).[2] In his first year at Newington he shared the B S Tame Prize as one of two duces of First Form and again was co-dux in 1971 when he shared the Stretton Waterhouse Memorial Prize in Fourth Form. At the end of 1972 he was Proxime accessit in the Fifth Form and was awarded one of three Wigram Allen Scholarships. 1973 was his last year at Newington and he shared the George Lane Prize as Proxime accesserunt and was also awarded the Richard Thompson Memorial Prize for Debating.[3] At the University of Sydney he graduated as a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in 1978.[4]


After commencing employment with DFAT Wells had postings to Cairo (1982-1985) and Jakarta (1987-1989). He was Assistant Secretary, Services and Intellectual Property Branch (1994-1995) and was Deputy Head of the Australian Mission to the World Trade Organization in Geneva (1995-1999).[5] Following that, Wells was an Assistant Secretary in the Trade Policy and Industrials Branch during 1999. From 2000 until 2002 he was an Assistant Secretary of the Asia, Americas and Trade Branch in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. During 2002 he headed the White Paper Task Force And in the following year was appointed the First Assistant Secretary of the South Pacific, Africa and Middle East Division.

Between 2005 and 2009, Wells was the Head of the China Free Trade Agreement Task Force, the Head of the Japan Free Trade Agreement Task Force and the Head of the Korea Free Trade Agreement Task Force.[6] In May 2007 Wells told Australian politicians that the agreement was progressing slowly because "the Chinese Government doesn't want an FTA".[7] The China–Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2015.

In the years before his appointment as Ambassador to France he was both the Deputy Secretary of the department of DFAT and Australia’s Ambassador to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group.[8][9]


  1. ^ Biography of Ric Wells Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  2. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) pp212
  3. ^ Newington College Register of Past Students 1863-1998 (Syd, 1999) Part 2 - The Lists
  4. ^ "Alumni Sidneienses". University of Sydney. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  5. ^ Crean, Simon; Smith, Stephen (13 July 2009). "Appointment of APEC Ambassador" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 13 September 2009.
  6. ^ "Australia-China FTA talks slow". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. AAP. 15 February 2007. Archived from the original on 13 May 2008.
  7. ^ Toy, Mary-Anne (23 June 2007). "Talk is free, but no China deal". The Age. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 28 June 2007.
  8. ^ Australian Embassy, France (2012), Mr Ric Wells (PDF), Australian Government, archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2012
  9. ^ Rudd, Kevin (23 May 2011). "Diplomatic Appointment – Ambassador to France" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
David Spencer
Australian Ambassador for APEC
Succeeded by
David Spencer
Preceded by
David Ritchie
Australian Ambassador to France
Succeeded by