Alexander Downer

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Person.png Alexander Downer  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(politician, deep state operative)
Alexander Downer.jpg
Born9 September 1951
Alma materGeelong Grammar School, Radley College, Newcastle University
SpouseNicola Robinson
Member ofAdelaide Club, Australian Institute of International Affairs, International Crisis Group/Board, Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies/Fellows
Interest ofAdelaide Establishment

Employment.png Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia

In office
23 May 1994 - 30 January 1995

Employment.png Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs

In office
11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Employment.png Member of the Australian Parliament

In office
1 December 1984 - 14 July 2008

Alexander John Gosse Downe is a former Australian conservative politician and diplomat.


Downer was born in Adelaide, the son of Sir Alick Downer and the grandson of Sir John Downer, part of the influential Downer family[1] political dynasty. Alexander was educated at the exclusive Geelong Grammar School in Australia, then in England (while his father was High Commissioner to the UK) at Radley CollegeHe subsequently completed a Bachelor of Arts in politics and economics at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne. From 1975 to 1976, he worked as an economist for the Bank of New South Wales, before entering the Australian Diplomatic Service, where he served until 1982.


Downer was elected to parliament at the 1984 federal election, winning the Division of Mayo in South Australia. He was added to the opposition frontbench in 1987. When the John Howard Government came to power in 1996, Downer was made Minister for Foreign Affairs. He served until the government's defeat in 2007, making him the longest-serving foreign minister in Australian history.

Downer in an unfortunate PR-stunt in 1996

Downer was FM during the Australian participation in the 2003 Iraq War, which he fully supported. In July 2006, it was claimed that six months before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Downer had argued that participating in the invasion would be commercially beneficial for Australia.

In August 2006, it was claimed by a former weapons inspector Dr John Gee, that Downer had in 2004 suppressed accurate and provable information that the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was fundamentally flawed[2].

In 1999, Downer assisted the United Nations to hold an independence referendum in East Timor and in negotiating the entry of the INTERFET peace keeping force into East Timor.

After East-Timorese independence, Australia bugged the new government as their personnel discussed their oil treaty tactics while conduction negotiations over the sea border,leading to Australia getting the lion's share of large oil and gas reserves. ASIS conducted the spying while undercover as an aid program.[3]

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, Downer played a role in the diplomatic dispute known as the Tampa affair in 2001 in which Australia denied permission for the ship MV Tampa to dock at the Australian overseas territory Christmas Island, having picked up a number of asylum seekers trying to get to Australia by boat. Downer also played a role in the subsequent negotiation of the "Pacific Solution" in which Australia held asylum seekers off-shore in foreign jurisdictions.

As Foreign Minister, Downer supported the United States Government's incarceration of two Australian citizens, David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, in the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp.

After parliament

Downer took a lucrative consulting job with the oil company Woodside Energy, one of the major beneficiaries of his East-Timor policies.

On 3 July 2008, the University of Adelaide announced Downer's appointment as Visiting Professor of Politics and International Trade in the School of History and Politics, including contributions to teaching and research, and work with the University's Institute for International Trade. He was also the vice chairman at Carnegie Mellon University, South Australia.

At about the same time, he went into partnership with Ian Smith (a former Liberal Party advisor and husband of former Australian Democrats leader and Senator for South Australia Natasha Stott Despoja) and Nick Bolkus (a former Labor Senator for South Australia) in a consultancy firm, Bespoke Approach.

He has had a number of board appointments, including the Advisory Board of British private intelligence firm Hakluyt & Company, Merchant Bankers Cappello Capital Corp. and Huawei in Australia.

A longtime supporter of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Downer has played a leading role opposing moves to replace the Queen with a president.

On 10 May 2016, Downer met with George Papadopoulos in London as part of the concerted attempt to incriminate him, and information from this meeting caused the FBI to formally open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump-campaign.

In 2017, it was announced that Downer would join UK think tank Policy Exchange as Chair of Trustees. In June 2018, Downer became the Executive Chairman of the International School of Government at King's College, London. He is a non-executive director of CQS and of Yellow Cake plc.

In 2018, he was named to Tilray's International Advisory Board.


Event Participated in

WEF/Annual Meeting/200421 January 200425 January 2004Switzerland
World Economic Forum
2069 billionaires, CEOs and their politicians and "civil society" leaders met under the slogan Partnering for Prosperity and Security. "We have the people who matter," said World Economic Forum Co-Chief Executive Officer José María Figueres.


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