Head of the Office of the Pacific

  • Media release
18 January 2019

Today I announce the appointment of Mr Ewen McDonald as the Head of the Office of the Pacific in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The establishment of the Office and Mr McDonald's appointment reflect the Australian Government's commitment to take our engagement with the Pacific to a new level. This will build on our already deep relationship with the region and support the delivery of the Australian Government's package of innovative new initiatives in the Pacific, including labour mobility and infrastructure financing.

Mr McDonald will coordinate and support the Australian Government effort to build stronger relationships with Pacific leaders, governments and people, as well as with regional organisations and institutions. He will engage actively with our Pacific Island partners to ensure Australia's development assistance is delivering on our shared priorities.

Our focus is on durable investments in the region's long-term prosperity and security. These will build on the goals we outlined in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

Australia's extensive business engagement with the Pacific is a driver of prosperity for Australia and our neighbours. Building on our existing strong collaboration with business, Mr McDonald will seek out new opportunities and avenues for commercial cooperation, as well as improved leveraging of commercial funds.

Mr McDonald is a senior officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. As our current High Commissioner to New Zealand, with accreditation to the Cook Islands and Niue, Mr McDonald brings to the role his direct experience working on the current issues of our region.

He has extensive experience working with Pacific colleagues on foreign policy, development and humanitarian issues. He has worked hard to advocate for Pacific voices in international bodies including the UN.

Prior to his most recent role, he was Deputy Secretary in the Department with oversight of the Australian aid program, and UN work, with a particular focus on the Pacific. He has also held the position of Deputy Director General, AusAID and other senior positions across Government.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555