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

Media Release

FA092 - 15 August 2006

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Iraq

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Marc Innes-Brown as Australia's Ambassador to Iraq. Mr Innes-Brown will replace Howard Brown who has been Ambassador since October 2004. He is expected to take up his appointment in August 2006.

Australia is committed to working with the Iraqi government to consolidate democracy and build security and prosperity. Since 2003, Australia has committed more than $173 million in assistance for rehabilitation and humanitarian needs in Iraq, including projects to improve governance and strengthen the agricultural sector.

As a contributor to the Multinational Force in Iraq, Australia is helping to establish a secure environment to foster Iraq's political and economic development. An important element of this support is Australia's contribution to the training of Iraq's security forces which is a vital step in Iraq assuming responsibility for its own security and long-term stability.

Australian companies are engaged in Iraq's reconstruction, including in the oil sector. Australia continues to provide high quality wheat to Iraq. The election of a permanent government in Iraq presents new opportunities for Australia to strengthen bilateral links and broaden the commercial partnership.

Mr Innes-Brown is currently Head of the Iraq Task Force, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a position he has held since September 2005.

Mr Innes-Brown has held a number of positions in the department in Canberra including Director, Indonesia Section (2005), and Director, East Timor Section (2003-05). From 2001 to 2003, Mr Innes‑Brown was seconded to the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he worked on South-East Asia and Americas policy issues.

Overseas, Mr Innes-Brown has held the positions of First Secretary, Australian Embassy, Washington (2000-01) and Third Secretary, Australian Embassy, Bangkok (1995-98). He also headed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's temporary tsunami response office in Phuket, Thailand during January-February 2005. Mr Innes-Brown was awarded a Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for his outstanding work during the aftermath of the tsunami.

Mr Innes-Brown was born in Goulburn in 1966. He holds a Bachelor of Economics degree (Honours) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Arts (Political Science) degree from the University of Hawaii.

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

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