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

Media Statement

FA015 - 28 January 2005

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Russia

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Bob Tyson as Australia's Ambassador to the Russian Federation. Mr Tyson will replace Mr Leslie Rowe, who has been Ambassador since April 2002. He is expected to take up his position in April 2005.

Russia is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and member of the G8 group of major industrialised democracies. It plays an active and influential role in the global agenda. Australia and Russia continue to cooperate on international security challenges such as counter-terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Russia's engagement in Asia-Pacific regional forums such as APEC and the ASEAN Regional Forum has further broadened the scope for cooperation between our countries.

Russia is a major energy exporter. In recent years its rapid economic growth has increased its global economic influence and opened up opportunities for Australian business. Australian companies have secured new business in Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East and Russian investors are beginning to look at making long term investments in Australia. Australia continues to support Russia's accession to the WTO on appropriate terms.

Mr Tyson is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and most recently served as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Prior to this, he was Minister, Congressional Liaison, in Washington DC (1993-97), Consul-General in Honolulu (1989-93), Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission in Moscow (1984-87), First Secretary in Bangkok (1976-79) and as Third/Second Secretary in Wellington (1972-75). In Canberra Mr Tyson held the positions of Assistant Secretary, Nuclear Policy Branch (1999-2000), Assistant Secretary, Passports Branch (1997-99), and Director of Foreign Service Training (1979-80).

Mr Tyson has also worked for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as Senior Adviser, North America and Defence Branch (1987-89), and has held positions with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in Melbourne (1980-83) including as Head of the International Division, Director of the Cabinet Unit and Principal Adviser, Inter-governmental Relations.

Educated at the Australian National University, Mr Tyson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in History and Political Science. He is married with two children.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555


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