The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Kevin Rudd has today announced that Mr John Griffin will be Australia's new ambassador to Hungary.
Mr Griffin is expected to take up his appointment in July 2011. He replaces Mr Alex Brooking who has been Ambassador since May 2007.
Australia and Hungary enjoy friendly, co-operative relations with strong people to people links flowing from the large numbers of Hungarians who have migrated to Australia. Hungarian-Australians have been active in the fields of business, academia, politics and the arts and count among their number many prominent Australians.
Since Hungary's EU accession in 2004, increasing numbers of Australian businesses have been exploring Hungary's potential as a base for operations in the European Union and especially in the Central/Eastern European region. Hungary's EU membership offers opportunities for Australian business in areas such as environmental technologies and solutions. Two-way merchandise trade increased in 2009-10 to $439 million.
Mr Griffin is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He was most recently Assistant Secretary, European Union and Western Europe Branch, a position he held from May 2007. Mr Griffin has previously served overseas as Minister and Deputy Head of Mission and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Australian Embassy, Thailand. He has also served at the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York; and in France and Laos.
Mr Griffin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with first class honours and university medal from James Cook University. He also attended the French National Administration School (ENA), Paris.
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