Ian Kemish AM

Co-founder and Director


Ian Kemish is a former senior Australian diplomat. His 25-year career with the Australian government included service as International Policy Advisor to the Australian Prime Minister, as Australian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, and as Australian High Commissioner to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. He was also head of the Australian Consular Service and chair of the International Emergency Response Task Force from 2000-2004. He was awarded membership of the Order of Australia (A.M.) for his leadership of Australia’s response to its worst offshore consular disaster: the 2002 Bali bombings.

His career with the Australian Foreign Ministry had a strong overall focus on the Asia-Pacific region. He was posted to several different embassies in this region, and in Europe, during his time with the Australian Foreign Ministry, and worked on Asian policy issues in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra at different times, including as First Assistant Secretary for Southeast Asia. He worked closely with then Prime Minister Howard in the aftermath of the 2013 Tsunami to develop strong development partnerships between Indonesia and Australia.