Alexander Downer retired from politics in 2008 after an amazing 24 years and prior to that was a highly successful career diplomat. In every respect Alexander Downer has served his country with enormous energy, passion, dedication and integrity.... “For nearly 12 years he strutted the world stage, dining and talking with the most influential politicians in the world.”
Born in South Australia, schooled through Geelong Grammar and Radley College in Oxford, the son of a politician, Alexander was a leader with drive and enthusiasm from an early age. His university life at the University of Newcastle on Tyne in UK provided Alexander with a very international perspective on life that he was to use extensively through his later career.
He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Politics and Economics and is a Doctor of Civil Laws (honoris causa). Alexander also holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Bar Ilan University. His early roles of Economist to Westpac Bank and Australian diplomat serving in the Australian Missions to European Union and NATO, and as an Embassy representative in Belgium and Luxembourg, were excellent training grounds for Alexander’s later role as Minister for Foreign Affairs. He has held several key positions both in Government and Opposition (including Leader of the Opposition) but it was as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Liberal Government of Australia from 1996 until November 2007 that Alexander truly made his mark.
His energy and passion is unsurpassed. He does not shirk the tough issues yet is driven by compassion when leading the World’s response to events that have catastrophic effects on ordinary people. Post politics Alexander has accepted a professorial role with Adelaide University. He has started a consultancy business in South Australia and will write a book in the near future. He is enjoying speaking to business and community groups on a wide range of topics that include leadership, regional and global stability, future trends, the art of international negotiation. His speeches are loaded with anecdotes that provide a fascinating insight...the tensions, the humour and the characters that make the World go around.
Alexander’s years in the media spotlight has shown him to be very quick witted and a man with a wonderfully Australian sense of humour.