Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

25 February 2009

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Mr Gary Quinlan is to be Australia’s new Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), New York. Mr Quinlan will succeed Mr Robert Hill, who has been Ambassador since April 2006. Mr Quinlan is expected to take up his appointment in May 2009.

The Government has made active engagement with the multilateral system, with the UN at its core, a key pillar of Australian foreign policy.

The UN is focused on global challenges that no country can address alone, including climate change, food and energy security, development, peacekeeping and non-proliferation and disarmament. The UN’s role in addressing these challenges is vital and Australia is committed to working with and through the UN to make it more effective in doing so. Australia’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2013-14 is a concrete expression of this commitment.

Since 2007, Mr Quinlan has been the Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Defence, and National Security.

Mr Quinlan joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1973 and has served in several senior positions in the Department in Canberra including First Assistant Secretary, Consular, Public Diplomacy and Parliamentary Affairs Division (2007) and First Assistant Secretary, Americas and Europe Division (2000-01). He was Head of the Australian Delegation to the Law of the Sea Preparatory Commission from 1987 until 1988.

Mr Quinlan's overseas assignments have been as Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy Washington DC (2005-07); High Commissioner to Singapore (2001-05); First Secretary, Australian Mission to the United Nations, New York (1981-85); Australian Deputy Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Paris (1979-81); and Second Secretary in Dublin (1974-77). He was attached to the Economic Development Institute, World Bank in Washington D.C. (1984).

Mr Quinlan also served as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Trade (1993-94) and to the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology (1994-96).

Mr Quinlan was educated at the University of Newcastle and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours. He also holds the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt Newc, 2007).

Media inquiries: Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555