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Dennis Richardson
Richardson, when Australian Ambassador to the United States
Secretary of the Department of Defence

In office
18 October 2012 (2012-10-18) – 12 May 2017 (2017-05-12)
Preceded by Duncan Lewis
Succeeded by Greg Moriarty
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

In office
January 2010 – 18 October 2012
Preceded by Michael L'Estrange
Succeeded by Peter Varghese
Australian Ambassador to the United States

In office
Preceded by Michael Thawley
Succeeded by Kim Beazley
10th Director-General of Security

In office
11 October 1996 – 27 May 2005
Prime Minister John Howard
Preceded by David Sadleir
Succeeded by Paul O'Sullivan
Personal details
Born Dennis James Richardson
14 May 1947(1947-05-14) (age 74)
Kempsey, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Spouse(s) Betty Richardson
Alma mater University of Sydney (BA [Hons])
Profession Diplomat
public servant

Dennis James Richardson, AO (born 14 May 1947)[1] is a retired Australian public servant and diplomat. His last appointment was as Secretary of the Department of Defence (2012–17).

Background and career[edit | edit source]

Richardson attended the University of Sydney where he received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (1965–68).[2] He started his Australian Public Service career in the Department of External Affairs in 1969.[3]

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).[4] 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.[5]

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 4 September 2017.[6][7]

On 6 November 2017, Richardson was appointed to the Board of Vault Systems.[8]

Honours[edit | edit source]

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.[9]

Personal[edit | edit source]

Richardson is married to Betty, and has two children: Mark; and Natalie.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Mr Dennis J Richardson AO – Ambassador to United States of America". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. http://www.dfat.gov.au/homs/us.html. Retrieved 13 June 2008. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Great APS Graduate Debate 2011". 2 August 2011. p. 7. Archived from the original on 5 February 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140205125616/http://virginiahaussegger.com.au/files/1311888332.pdf. 
  3. Flitton, Daniel (16 January 2010). "Bureaucratic heavyweights from Class of '69". Fairfax Media. p. 3. Archived from the original on 31 January 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20150131002351/http://newsstore.fairfax.com.au/apps/viewDocument.ac%3Bjsessionid%3DED71E2AC6C0C025604D994D517862650?sy=afr&pb=all_ffx&dt=selectRange&dr=1month&so=relevance&sf=text&sf=headline&rc=10&rm=200&sp=brs&cls=1032&clsPage=1&docID=AGE100116M06K230KT4O. 
  4. Kerr, Christian (13 August 2008). "Dennis Richardson to DFAT as Rudd purges public service posts". http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25924040-5013871,00.html. 
  5. "Aussie diplomat makes U.S. road trip". 1 July 2009. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jul/01/you-might-think-a-top-washington-diplomat-only-pic/. 
  6. Dennis Richardson AO, Department of Defence (Australia), accessed 2017-04-19
  7. Defence Department secretary Dennis Richardson announces resignation, Henry Belot, ABC News Online, 2017-04-19
  8. "Vault Systems attracts Moelis, former mandarins Jane Halton, Dennis Richardson" (in en-US). Financial Review. 2017-11-07. http://www.afr.com/technology/vault-systems-attract-moelis-former-mandarins-jane-halton-and-dennis-richardson-20171103-gze3wh. 
  9. "RICHARDSON, Dennis James: Officer of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 9 June 2003. http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=1043242&search_type=quick&showInd=true. Retrieved 28 October 2013. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Michael Thawley
Australian Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Kim Beazley
Government offices
Preceded by
David Sadleir
Director-General of Security
Succeeded by
Paul O'Sullivan
Preceded by
Michael L'Estrange
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Succeeded by
Peter Varghese
Preceded by
Duncan Lewis
Secretary of the Department of Defence
Succeeded by
Greg Moriarty

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