01/04/2015 - 13:15

Pontifex appointed OECD ambassador

01/04/2015 - 13:15

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Premier Colin Barnett will be looking for a new chief of staff now that Brian Pontifex has been appointed as Australia's next ambassador and permanent representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.

Brian Pontifex speaking with Business News journalist Peter Kennedy at an event in 2013.

Premier Colin Barnett will be looking for a new chief of staff now that Brian Pontifex has been appointed as Australia's next ambassador and permanent representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris.

Mr Barnett said it was a very prestigious position and was delighted to see a Western Australian take on the role.

"Because of the nature of the appointment he will essentially finish up in my office at the end of this week," Mr Barnett said.

"Acting arrangements will be put in place while future arrangements are considered. No decisions have been made on a new chief of staff.

"I will miss his support but wish him well in the new role," he said.

Mr Pontifex, who 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, will take up his appointment in mid-2015.

Mr Pontifex has also worked as chief of staff for the former justice and customs minister Chris Ellison, and as a barrister and solicitor with Freehills.

“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,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.

“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.”

Mr Pontifex will replace former ambassador Chris Barrett, who was also chief of staff to former treasurer Wayne Swan.

 

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