Bill Paterson PSM


Ambassador Paterson has held positions at the most senior levels in the Australian Government with responsibility for counter-terrorism, international strategic and security policy, politico-military affairs, intelligence and regional issues.  

From 2013 to 2016, he was Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (ROK), dually accredited also 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.

Prior to that, he served as Australian Ambassador for Counter Terrorism and Head of the International Security Division in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mr Paterson was earlier Australian Ambassador to Thailand (2004-2008), and led Australia’s disaster response to the 2004 Asian tsunami.  

As Ambassador to both Thailand and Korea, he focussed intensively on trade and investment promotion, including (in both countries) the initial implementation of bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs).  Mr Paterson worked closely with major Australian and multinational energy and resource companies, including on critical access issues.

He has served as Chief of Staff and Principal Adviser to the Foreign Minister and as Assistant Secretary (Asia) in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, advising the Prime Minister on APEC, trade policy and regional issues.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, Mr Paterson was appointed Head of the Australian Government’s Anti-Terrorism Task Force and, subsequently Head of the government’s Iraq Task Force (2002-03).

Mr Paterson served as Minister in the Australian Embassy in Tokyo from 2005-2007.

He has worked on global intelligence issues for the Office of National Assessments (ONA) and was ONA’s representative to the US intelligence community in Washington.

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

In 2003, he was awarded the Public Service Medal and in 2005 the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal. He is a Senior Fellow at the Australia Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

Bill Paterson PSM