20 December 2022

Albanese appoints Kevin Rudd to plum US ambassador posting

| Kim Treasure
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Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd will take over from former Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos in February. Photo: Kevin Rudd, Facebook.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has been appointed as Australia’s next ambassador to the United States.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced Dr Rudd’s appointment on Tuesday (20 December) at a press conference alongside Foreign Minister Penny Wong ahead of her departure to Beijing for a highly anticipated meeting with China’s foreign minister.

READ ALSO China breakthrough, Wong to visit Beijing

“Dr Rudd brings unmatched experience to the role,” Mr Albanese said.

“He has served as Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, held prominent academic roles and worked extensively in the United States. It is intended that he will commence his posting in early 2023.

“Joining Dr Rudd in the United States is Ms Heather Ridout AO as Australia’s Consul-General in New York. She is the first woman to be appointed to the role. A former Chief Executive of the Australian Industry Group, Ms Ridout brings four decades of experience to the role. She is currently a director of Sims Ltd and a director of Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Limited.”

Dr Rudd, currently the head of the Asia Society think tank, will succeed former Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos, whose three-year term expires in February.

The Washington posting is regarded as the most prestigious role in the Australian diplomatic service. It is usually granted to a former senior politician from the party in power rather than a career public servant.

READ ALSO APS kept busy in an extraordinary year

Mr Albanese and Dr Rudd were allies in parliament and have remained close since Dr Rudd’s retirement from politics.

Mr Albanese also announced Ms Bronte Moules as Australia’s inaugural Ambassador for Human Rights.

“As Ambassador for Human Rights, Ms Moules will lead Australia’s work to protect and promote human rights globally and be a key advocate on issues of importance to our region,” he said.

“Ms Stephanie Copus-Campbell has been appointed Australia’s Ambassador for Gender Equality. Ms Copus-Campbell will deepen Australia’s international engagement on gender equality with her expertise in community development, gender equality and health.”

Mr Albanese also announced the appointment of the following career diplomats to lead Australian posts:

  • Ms Sophie Davies as Australia’s Ambassador to Brazil
  • Dr Ralph King as Australia’s Ambassador to Israel
  • Ms Sonya Koppe as Australia’s High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago
  • Ms Minoli Perera as Australia’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe
  • Mr Richard Rodgers as Australia’s Ambassador to Croatia, and
  • Ms Phoebe Smith as Australia’s High Commissioner to the Cook Islands.

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Albo and KRudd. That has to be Dumb and Dumber.

William Newby4:57 am 26 Dec 22

The man in universal disliked across all political parties, and is extremely disliked across all of DFAT.

The Americans will be asking for a replacement ambassador within six months

I’d say well and truly before the 6 months.

Vinson1Bernie10:32 am 22 Dec 22

If he is so smart how come he is running a Vendetta against News Ltd on media diversity from the 1950’s. There is currently plenty of competition in newspaper space eg The RiotAct of course, New Daily, Conversation, Saturday paper, Guardian, Daily Mail, Brisbane and Perth Times in Murdoch only markets etc etc ,

I don’t see what the problem is re Kevin Rudd. At least you know where he is and he can bore them in the USA….in Mandarin no less.

Capital Retro3:34 pm 20 Dec 22

Only 2 months ago Albo said “no” when asked if he was going to make this appointment.

Rudd will be closer to his favourite nightclub in New York.

Wasn’t the US suffered enough under Trump?

No matter what people think of Kevin Rudd as a person he will probably be one of the best Ambassadors we have seen to this posting. He has knowledge and wisdom and his appointment recognises this. What good news is this!

The point isn’t what people think of Rudd or whether he is a good Ambassador or not.

The point is that the PM has only been in government less than a year and he has again lied to the voters.

I fully agree. He is an intelligent man and as ex. Prime Minister and Foreign Minister he will be an asset not a liability.

Just like you do every single day, he is allowed to change his mind. This isnt a policy change or an election promise.

Calm your horses.

Capital Retro8:53 am 22 Dec 22

Albo changes his mind = OK
Morrison changed his mind = UNACCEPTABLE!

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