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Hugh Watson

Hugh Watson

Assistant Secretary, Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; External Contributor

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Hugh Watson is the Assistant Secretary for Cyber Affairs and Critical Technology at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Previously, as Chief Climate Negotiator at DFAT and then the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water (DCCEEW), he led the inter-agency Australian Delegation prosecuting Australia’s interests in international climate negotiations (2021-22).  

Prior to that, Hugh managed Australia's membership of the UN Human Rights Council as Director of DFAT’s Human Rights and Indigenous Issues Section (2019-21), advanced Australia’s interests on arms control, cyber and legal issues on posting at Australia’s Mission to the UN in Geneva (2015-18), served as Executive Officer to the Secretary of DFAT (2014-15), and provided legal advice on cyber and international humanitarian law in DFAT’s International Law Section (2011-14).

The first overseas posting was to Tokyo (2007-2010), covering political and strategic issues. Prior to joining the public service he worked as a litigation and intellectual property lawyer.

Hugh has a Master’s in International law from Cambridge University, and undergraduate degrees in Arts (Government) and Law from Sydney University.