The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA067 - 22 June 2006

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Spain

I have today announced the appointment of Noel Campbell as Australia's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, with concurrent accreditation to the Principality of Andorra.  Mr Campbell will replace Ms Susan Tanner who has been Ambassador since August 2003.  He is expected to take up his appointment in August 2006.

Australia and Spain enjoy a cooperative and steadily expanding relationship with growing trade, cultural, sporting and scientific contacts and well-developed people-to-people links.  The countries share similar views on many global issues including security and disarmament and arms control.  Spain's increasingly important role internationally, including in the EU, makes it a valuable partner and interlocutor for Australia on a range of regional, multilateral and international issues.

The Spanish economy is the fifth largest in the European Union and the eighth largest in the world.  During the past five years, Spain has experienced one of the strongest rates of GDP growth in the European Union and it has become one of the world's leading foreign investors.  Our two economies have important complementarities, with Australia offering significant investment opportunities for leading Spanish companies, while Spain offers Australian business the attractions of a large, diverse and industrialised Eurozone economy.  Bilateral two-way trade totalled $2.28 billion in 2004-05 and there is considerable potential for further growth.

Mr Campbell is currently Chief of Protocol, a position he has held since September 2005.  He has held a range of other policy positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade including Deputy Legal Adviser (1997-98) and Director, Environmental Agreements Section (1992-94).  From 1998-2002 he was Chef de Cabinet in the office of the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

Overseas Mr Campbell has served as Australia’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar (2002-05) and Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Romania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1994-97).  His previous overseas postings included Buenos Aires, Geneva and Washington.

Mr Campbell graduated from the Australian National University with a BA (Political Science) and LLB. He also holds an MA (International Relations) from the University of Oklahoma.  He speaks Spanish and French.  He is married and has three sons.

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

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