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Andrew Shearer

Mr Andrew Shearer

Director, General National Intelligence

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Andrew Shearer commenced duty as Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) on 18 December 2020. Prior to this Mr Shearer was Cabinet Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister between August 2019 and December 2020, in which capacity he was responsible for the operations of the Federal Cabinet and committees including the National Security Committee and Expenditure Review Committee, as well as the establishment and operation of the National Cabinet.

Mr Shearer was ONI Deputy Director-General (Assessments) between July 2018 and August 2019. For the 2½ years previous he was Senior Adviser on Asia-Pacific Security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC and Director of the Center’s project on Alliances and American Leadership. He authored and co-authored CSIS reports and other publications on a range of foreign policy, defence and national security issues and testified before the US House Armed Services Committee.

Earlier, Mr Shearer was National Security Adviser to Prime Ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott. In that capacity, he played a leading role in formulating and implementing Australian foreign, defence and security policies. He provided high-level advice that shaped Australian government decisions on engagement with the Indo-Pacific region, defence capabilities and commitments, responses to international crises and terrorist incidents, and longer-term strategic challenges.

Mr Shearer has 30 years of experience in intelligence, national security, diplomacy and alliance management. He was Political Minister-Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC and Strategic Policy Adviser to former Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill and held positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Office of National Assessments (ONI’s predecessor). As a Deputy Secretary at the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, Mr Shearer led the development of a comprehensive trade and investment strategy, initiating a major push to expand food exports to Asia, establishing new representational offices in China and Indonesia, and leveraging business, academic, and cultural relationships.

Mr Shearer has an international reputation as a commentator on Indo-Pacific strategic issues. He was Director of Studies at the Lowy Institute for International Policy and his analysis has been widely published in books, journals and leading Australian, US and Asian newspapers. He was awarded a UK Foreign Office Chevening Scholarship and holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge and honours degrees in law and arts from the University of Melbourne. He received the US Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service for his contribution to the Australia-US alliance.