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Dennis Richardson (diplomat)

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Dennis Richardson (diplomat) wwwdefencegovauSecretaryMasterimages201210

Address by dennis richardson ao secretary department of defence

Dennis James Richardson, AO (born 14 May 1947) is a retired Australian public servant and diplomat. His last appointment was as Secretary of the Department of Defence (2012–17).


Background and career

Richardson attended the University of Sydney where he received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (1965–68). He started his Australian Public Service career in the Department of External Affairs in 1969.

In the Australian foreign service, Richardson was a Principal Adviser to the Prime Minister, John Howard, and Head of the Review of the Australian Intelligence Community. He held various roles in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, was a Deputy Secretary at the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1993–96), and Director-General of Security of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation from October 1996 to 2005.

He was Australian Ambassador to the United States of America (2005–2010) and Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2010–2012). While Australian Ambassador to the US, he visited all 50 states; instead of flying to all the states—except for Hawaii—he and his wife drove. In just about every place, he says they were made welcome by the American people.

Richardson was Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from January 2010 to October 2012.

In October 2012, Richardson was appointed Secretary of the Department of Defence. Richardson announced on 19 April 2017 that he would retire on 12 May 2017. Associate Secretary Brendan Sargeant was acting Secretary until the appointment of Greg Moriarty on the 4 September 2017.


In 2003, Richardson was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to the community in a range of public policy areas including foreign policy, immigration and security.


Richardson is married to Betty, and has two children: Mark; and Natalie.


Dennis Richardson (diplomat) Wikipedia

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