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William (Bill) Paterson PSM

Senior Fellow

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William (Bill) Paterson has held senior positions in the Australian Government with responsibility for counter-terrorism, international strategic and security policy, politico-military affairs, intelligence and regional issues, particularly in Asia and the Middle East.

Most recently, he was Senior Analyst in the Office of National Intelligence (ONI), covering in particular the United States.

From 2013 to 2016, he was Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (ROK), dually accredited to North Korea and Mongolia. Mr Paterson was Australia's representative on the United Nations Command (UNC) for Korea and worked closely with US forces Korea (USFK), positioning Australia as a key security partner to both the US and ROK. He led the campaign to deliver the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2013, and worked closely on resources trade issues.

From 2008-13, he was Australian Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism and Head of the International Security Division in Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), undertaking frequent missions in the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, the US and Europe, and working closely with Australian agencies and the federal-state national CT committee.

Mr Paterson was earlier Australian Ambassador to Thailand (2004-08), and led Australia's disaster response to the 2004 Asian tsunami. Before that, he was Head of the Southeast Asia Division in DFAT in 2003-04.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, Mr Paterson was appointed Head of the Australian Government's Anti-Terrorism Task Force. He subsequently became Head of the Government's Iraq Task Force (2002-03), planning and implementing Australia’s involvement in the Iraq campaign.

He served as Chief of Staff and Principal Adviser to the Foreign Minister in 2000.

Mr Paterson was Assistant Secretary (Asia) in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 1998-99, during both the Asian financial crisis and East Timor crisis, advising the Prime Minister on APEC, trade policy and regional issues.

Mr Paterson was Minister in the Australian Embassy in Tokyo from 2005-07.

He worked on global intelligence issues for the Office of National Assessments and was for four years ONA's representative to the US intelligence community in Washington.

Mr Paterson has had long-term postings in Dhaka, Baghdad, Vienna, Washington, Tokyo, Bangkok and Seoul.

He is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University (ANU), and is an adviser to the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre. He has been a member of the Fulbright Commission, the Board of the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Monash University and the Board of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Policing and Security. He is currently on the executive of the Australia-Korea Business Council (AKBC).

In 2003, he was awarded the Public Service Medal and in 2005 the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal. He is married with three adult children.