Today I announce the appointment of Mr Brian Pontifex as Australia's next Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

The mission of the OECD is to improve the economic and social wellbeing of people around the world. The OECD does this by providing evidence-based policy analysis and advice, based on sound economic principles, with the wellbeing of people at their core.

Australia benefits significantly from participation in the OECD's work. Its committee network gives Australia a unique opportunity to benefit from other countries’ experiences and to showcase our own strong record of economic performance and reform.

The OECD’s work reaches well beyond its membership, including through strong engagement in our region. The OECD contributed to G20 outcomes during Australia’s 2014 Presidency, particularly through its work with the IMF to identify the policy gaps that need to be filled to achieve G20 countries’ 2 per cent growth target.

Mr Pontifex has worked as a Legal Adviser specialising in anti-corruption in the OECD Secretariat in Paris and as a consultant for the Attorney-General’s Department to the OECD Working Group on Combating Bribery in International Business Transactions. He is Chief of Staff in the Office of the Premier of Western Australia, the Hon Colin Barnett MLA, and has also worked as Chief of Staff for the former Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, and as a Barrister and Solicitor with Freehills in Perth.

Mr Pontifex holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Western Australia and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the Australian National University. He holds a Masters in International Law from the University of Edinburgh. He has been admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia as a Barrister and Solicitor.

Mr Pontifex is expected to take up his appointment in mid-2015. I thank the former Ambassador to the OECD, Mr Chris Barrett, former Chief of Staff to Wayne Swan, for his work on advancing Australia’s interests in the OECD.

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