List of ambassadors of the United States to Australia

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Ambassador of the United States to Australia
U.S. Department of State official seal.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
James Carouso (Chargé d’Affaires, a.i.)

since September 2016
NominatorThe President of the United States
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Inaugural holderClarence E. Gauss

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. The United States has not had an ambassador to Australia since September 2016.

United States Ambassadors to Australia[edit]

(Promised Designate Harry B. Harris Jr. has instead now been reassigned to South Korea) (

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