13 March 2024

Australian Ambassador appointments to Germany, Micronesia and APEC announced

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Senator Penny Wong

Senator Wong welcomed the new appointments and thanked the outgoing ambassadors for their service. Photo: Penny Wong Facebook.

Foreign Minister Senator Penny Wong has announced the latest round of diplomatic appointments, naming new Australian Ambassadors to Germany and the Federated States of Micronesia, and Australia’s lead representative to APEC.

Natasha Smith has been named Australia’s next Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany to succeed Ambassador Philip Green.

Ms Smith is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently First Assistant Secretary, Multilateral Policy, First Nations and Human Rights Division. She has served overseas as High Commissioner to Canada, as well as previous postings to the United Nations in New York and Indonesia.

Jenny Grant-Curnow will replace Ambassador Jo Cowley as Australia’s next Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.

Ms Grant-Curnow is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Acting Assistant Secretary, Key Sectors Branch in the Office of the Pacific.

She has served overseas as Head of the Representative Office to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Ramallah, and as Political Counsellor in New Delhi. She has had short-term postings as Acting Head of Mission in Tuvalu, Nepal and Qatar. Ms Grant-Curnow has also previously served in peacekeeping operations for the United Nations.

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Elizabeth Ward has been named Australia’s next Ambassador for APEC, succeeding Ambassador Ms Helen Stylianou.

“APEC plays a key role in promoting Australia’s interests in open markets, regulatory cooperation and rules-based trade in our region,” Senator Wong said. “APEC member economies account for more than 60 per cent of global GDP and around 75 per cent of Australia’s total trade in goods and services.

“Australia works closely with APEC members on a wide range of issues to support regional economic cooperation and inclusive and sustainable growth,” she added.

“Australia’s current focus includes advancing services and digital trade, structural economic reform, trade in environmental goods, gender equality and the economic empowerment of women and Indigenous Peoples.”

Ms Ward is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Australian Consul-General in Hong Kong. She has previously served overseas in the United States, India and Egypt.

Ms Ward also served as the First Assistant Secretary in each of the specialist trade divisions in DFAT and led the 12-party Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation for Australia.

“I thank the outgoing Ambassadors for their contributions to advancing Australia’s interests,” Senator Wong said.

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Capital Retro11:21 am 12 Mar 24

Shouldn’t they all be referred to as the new ambassadress to the respective positions?


Happy I could improve your day.

Andrew McLaughlin4:52 pm 12 Mar 24

Not until their credentials are presented to the country’s head of state and accepted.

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