The Honourable Alexander Downer

Former Politician

The Honourable Alexander Downer retired from politics in 2008 after an amazing 24 years, during which time he was Leader of the Opposition. But it was as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Liberal Government from 1996 to 2007 that he had his greatest impact.

Alexander Downer has earned the respect of government and business leaders around the world. He is renowned as a man committed to making the world a better place and has enhanced Australia's position in the global fraternity. His energy and passion is unsurpassed. He does not shirk the tough issues yet is driven by compassion when leading the world's response to events that have catastrophic effects on ordinary people.

Indeed, Alexander Downer has served his country with enormous energy, passion, dedication and integrity.... "For nearly 12 years he strutted the world stage, dining and talking with the most influential politicians in the world."

A keen speaker to business and community groups, he presents on a wide range of topics that include leadership, regional and global stability, future trends, the art of international negotiation and more. Alexander's speeches are loaded with anecdotes that provide the listener with an insight into how it works at the top...the tensions, the humour and the characters that make the world go around. Quick witted, with a wonderful sense of humour, he is engaging, informative and truly inspiring.

More about Alexander Downer:

Alexander Downer was born the son of a politician in South Australia. He went to school at Geelong Grammar and Radley College in Oxford then later studied at the University of Newcastle on Tyne in the United Kingdom. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Politics and Economics and is a Doctor of Civil Laws (honoris causa) and a Doctor of Philosophy from Bar Ilan University. Alexander's international schooling provided him with a very international perspective on life that he has used extensively during his career.

Prior to joining the government in 1984, Alexander Downer held roles as Economist to Westpac Bank and Australian diplomat serving in the Australian Missions to European Union and NATO, and as an Embassy representative in Belgium and Luxembourg. He held two senior political advisory roles before he entered politics as the Member for Mayo.

Alexander Downer has been at the forefront of Australian Foreign Policy in some very turbulent and also progressive times. He has seen the increase in terror around the world and orchestrated significant reforms to combat its influence; he has been instrumental in delivering independence in East Timor; and played a pivotal role in Australia's response to the Middle East conflicts. Alexander has been an active participant and diplomatic force on global issues of human rights, climate change and natural disasters ¬- yet he still found time to represent his local constituency on local, state and federal issues. An incredibly dedicated politician, it was not uncommon that on one day Alexander would be in dialogue with world leaders and his international counter parts, and the next he would be opening a school fete in his electorate back in Australia.

Alexander Downer retired from politics in 2008 to pursue new challenges. He accepted a professorial role with Adelaide University, started a consultancy business in South Australia and has plans underway to write a book.