Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the OECD

Media release


26 March 2011

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd has today announced that Mr Chris Barrett will be Australia's next Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris.

Mr Barrett is expected to take up his appointment in July 2011. He replaces Mr Chris Langman who has been Ambassador and Permanent Representative since January 2008.

The OECD is at the forefront of international cooperation to promote economic development based on sound economic principles and policy. Australia places a high priority on OECD work to assess practical options in areas such as fiscal consolidation, balanced and sustained economic growth, and the linkage between economic growth and structural reform.

Australia benefits significantly from participation in the OECD's work in areas such as trade, agriculture, the environment and climate change, health, education, employment and innovation. The OECD committee network provides Australia with a unique opportunity to benefit from the experiences of a wide range of countries and to promote Australia's thinking on economic policy and issues such as trade reform.

The OECD has considerable expertise in analysing many of the aspects of public policy that need to be addressed to ensure continued recovery and growth after the financial crisis.

Mr Barrett is currently the Australia Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC. Prior to this, he was Chief of Staff to Treasurer Wayne Swan from 2007 to 2010.

Mr Barrett served in the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet from 2003 to 2007, culminating in the position of Deputy Secretary of the Policy and Cabinet Group. He has also worked as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne. Mr Barrett has Masters degrees from Princeton University (public policy) and the University of Melbourne (international relations) as well as a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts also from the University of Melbourne.

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