Appointment of Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence

Media statement
30 Oct 2020
Prime Minister

I am pleased to announce that I intend to recommend to the Governor-General Mr Andrew Shearer as the new Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence (ONI).

Mr Shearer has served Australia and its national interests domestically and overseas through a long and distinguished career in national security and intelligence.

Mr Shearer has served as Deputy Director-General at the Office of National Assessments and, Senior Adviser on Asia-Pacific Security at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. He has an international reputation as a strategic and foreign policy analyst.

He has served as the Prime Minister’s senior national security adviser to both The Hon John Howard AC and The Hon Tony Abbott AC. He was a senior diplomat at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC and has held a range of positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Since 2019, Mr Shearer has served as Cabinet Secretary to the Commonwealth Government and worked through an unprecedented time in Australia’s history.

In this role, he has helped establish the National Cabinet, made up of the nation's first ministers – the Prime Minister, premiers and territory leaders – to co-ordinate and deliver a robust and consistent national response to COVID-19.

This whole-of-government approach has, and continues to, deliver outcomes for all Australians. I thank Mr Shearer for his service as Cabinet Secretary.

I also thank outgoing Director-General of the Office of National Intelligence, Mr Nick Warner AO PSM, for his service as Director-General since December 2017.

Mr Warner's expertise and distinguished career is without peer, and he has well-served our government and our nation, including his role at ONI and as Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.

Subject to the Governor-General’s agreement Mr Shearer will commence as Director-General of ONI in December 2020, for a five-year term.