Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media Release

24 August, 2009

Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador to Lebanon

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Jean Dunn as Australia’s Ambassador to Lebanon.  Ms Dunn replaces Ms Lyndall Sachs, who has been Ambassador since March 2006.  Ms Dunn is expected to take up her appointment next month.

Australia and Lebanon share a close and long-standing relationship, underpinned by extensive community links. The estimated 250,000 Lebanese community in Australia makes a deep and vibrant contribution to contemporary Australian society.  The 20,000 plus Australians living in Lebanon ensure that Australia has a significant profile there.

Lebanon’s continued development into an open and service-oriented economy provides opportunities for trade and commercial relations between Australia and Lebanon to grow.  In 2008 total two-way merchandise trade amounted to $41 million.  Current opportunities for Australian companies are primarily focused on the education, food and beverage sectors.

Reflecting Australia's active interest in the post-war reconstruction of Lebanon, the Australian Embassy in Beirut was re-opened in 1995.  Australia is a strong advocate of Lebanon's sovereignty and independence, and of efforts to build an enduring peace in the Middle East region.

Ms Dunn is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Agriculture and Food Branch, a position she held since 2007.  In this position, Ms Dunn conducted Australia’s WTO agriculture negotiations.  Prior to this, Ms Dunn was Ambassador in Ankara (2004 - 2007).  She has also served overseas in Seoul, Washington and Geneva.

Other positions that Ms Dunn has held in Canberra include Deputy Head, Australia-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Taskforce, and Assistant Secretary, Trade Development Branch.  Ms Dunn also served as Senior Adviser to the Minister for Trade (1994 - 1996).

Ms Dunn worked with the Department of Trade prior to the integration of that Department with the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Ms Dunn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Japanese language and politics from Monash University.  Ms Dunn is married with three children.

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