The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
 FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

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Media Release

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
Monday, 21 May 2001

Diplomatic Appointment: Consul General in New York

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Ken Allen as Consul-General of Australia in New York. Mr Allen will succeed Mr Michael Baume, AO, who has been Consul-General since October 1996.

The Consulate-General has a wide range of responsibilities in New York itself and in the north-eastern corner of the United States, including the promotion of Australia's profile and interests with influential business, media, political and cultural circles. Its most important function is to deepen two-way investment and commercial links, with a strong emphasis on encouraging and facilitating US investment in Australia as a base for operations in East Asia. It has a key role in promoting with leading New York financial institutions the concept of Australia as a Global Financial Centre.

The Consulate-General aims to influence images and perceptions of Australia, and raise awareness of Asia Pacific issues, through its extensive contacts with New York-based media and cultural agencies. The Consulate-General is also a major provider of consular and passport services to Australians.

Mr Allen has considerable international experience including eight years working in London, Washington DC and New York City. Currently, he is a Senior Director, Investment Banking Group for Macquarie Bank. Other positions held include Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, Salomon Smith Barney Australia Limited, Managing Director, Investment Banking, County NatWest Australia Limited, Chairman and Managing Director, Shearson Lehman Brothers Australia Limited, Managing Director, Merrill Lynch Australia Limited and Senior Project Officer, the World Bank.

Educated at the University of Adelaide, Mr Allen holds an Honours Degree in Economics and is married to Jill, a leading shoulder physiotherapist who practiced in Washington DC. Together they have three married sons, Craig, Nicholas and Simon.

Media inquiries: Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500
Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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