Ambassador to Saudi Arabia

  • Media release
25 June 2021

Today I announce the appointment of Mr Mark Donovan as Australia’s next Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Mr Donovan will also be accredited to Bahrain, Oman and Yemen.

Australia has a strong and growing bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia, with which we share economic ties and security interests.

Saudi Arabia is Australia’s second largest trading partner in the Middle East, with two-way trade reaching over $1.9 billion in 2020, and opportunities to expand our investment relationship.

We collaborate in the G20, the premier forum for international economic cooperation, and other multilateral institutions on global challenges. We also have strong people-to-people links, including in education and with Saudi Arabia hosting Australian Muslims for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages.

Australia’s long-standing relations with Bahrain include defence and commercial ties. Australia also enjoys a friendly relationship with Oman and has hosted a vibrant Omani student population. Australia engages with the Government of Yemen to promote peace and stability in the country.

Mr Donovan is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, most recently Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Amman. He has previously served overseas in Washington DC as Political Counsellor on Middle East issues.

Mr Donovan has extensive experience relating to the Middle East and protocol. He has also worked in the Office of the Prime Minister, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the then Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, and the Agriculture portfolio.

Mr Donovan holds a Master of Arts (Semitic Studies) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, and a Diploma of Agriculture from the University of New England.

I thank former Ambassador Ridwaan Jadwat for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Saudi Arabia since 2018.

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