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

Media Release

29 March 2007

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Kenya

Lisa Filipetto is to be Australia’s new High Commissioner to the Republic of Kenya. Ms Filipetto will also be Australia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN‑HABITAT).

Ms Filipetto will replace George Atkin who has been High Commissioner since August 2004. She is expected to take up her appointment in May 2007.

Australia and Kenya enjoy a warm and growing bilateral relationship, which includes constructive cooperation in the Commonwealth, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organisation. Kenya is a leading country in Africa; it has played a strong and constructive mediation rolein east African conflicts such as Sudan and Somalia and has participated in UN peacekeeping operations including in East Timor.

Australia’s merchandise and services trade with Kenya and other east African countries is modest but growing, with increasing opportunities for the export of Australian educational services. Australian investment in east Africa’s mining and oilsector, is significant and there is potential for further growth. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are also targeted countries under the Australian aid program. A significant number of Australians visit east Africa, particularly Kenya, each year.

Ms Filipetto was until recently Australia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia. Ms Filipetto has held a range of positions in Canberra including Assistant Secretary, Services and Intellectual Property Branch, Assistant Secretary, WTO Trade Law Branch, Assistant Secretary, Mainland South East Asia and South Asia Branch, and Director, Services Trade Policy Section. Overseas, Ms Filipetto has served in HoChiMinhCity, Dublin and Brunei.

Ms Filipetto is a graduate of the Australian National University where she completed degrees in Economics and Arts (Asian Studies). Ms Filipetto was born in Sydney in 1962 and is married. She speaks Italian, Indonesian and French.

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

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