The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP


Media Release

FA195- 23 December 2002

Appointment of Director-General, ASIS

The Governor-General has appointed Mr David Irvine to be the next Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) with effect from 1 March, 2003.

It is intended that Mr Irvine will hold office for five years.

Mr Irvine is currently Australia's Ambassador to the People's Republic of China. He has previously served as High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea and has held several senior management and policy positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. ASIS is an important and valued part of the Australian intelligence community and I wish Mr Irvine well in his new responsibilities, for which his personal qualities, expertise and breadth of experience commend him.

Mr Irvine has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Western Australia. He was born in Perth in 1947 and is married with two daughters.

Mr Irvine will succeed Mr Allan Taylor AM, who will retire as Director-General on 28 February 2003.

Mr Taylor had a distinguished career in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade prior to his appointment to ASIS. Over the course of a five year tenure as Director-General, Mr Taylor has given full effect to the high value the Government places on intelligence capabilities and outputs and, in doing so, has enhanced the stature anhd professionalism of not only ASIS but the whole Australian intelligence community. He has shown outstanding operational and corporate leadership during a period which saw the emergence of significant new challenges for the security and intelligence communities worldwide. He also managed this smooth introduction and implementation of the Intelligence Service Act 2001 which placed ASIS on a statutory footing for the first time. Mr Taylor, through his efforts, leaves a strong, professional and vibrant organisation well equipped to meet the intelligence challenges of the global environment and serve the security of all Australians.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) +61 02 6277 7500


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