Dennis Richardson AO was previously a member of the US Studies Centre's Board of Directors. Following two years as the Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Richardson commenced as Secretary of the Department of Defence in 2012, a position he held until his retirement in 2017. He was Ambassador of Australia to the United States from 2005 to 2009 and has been a career public servant since 1969, when he joined Australia's foreign service.
From October 1996 until his appointment to Washington, DC, Richardson served as Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation. Prior to this, he was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (1993-1996).
Richardson has served in various senior public service roles in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Foreign Affairs and Trade and Immigration. He was Head of the Review of the Intelligence Community post-Cold War in 1992 and Principal Adviser to the Prime Minister from 1990 to 1991.
Richardson holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2003.