Ian Kemish AM
Ian Kemish is is a former Nonresident Fellow of the Lowy Institute. Ian is an Expert Associate at the Australian National University’s National Security College, an Adjunct Research Professor in History at the University of Queensland, and an Industry Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute.
He is a former senior Australian diplomat and business executive. His government career included service as Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, as Australian Ambassador to Germany and Switzerland, and as head of the International Division at the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was posted to several other embassies in the Asia Pacific, as well as in Europe, and worked on regional policy issues in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, including as Head of Southeast Asia Division.
Ian was awarded membership of the Order of Australia for his leadership, as head of the Australian Consular Service, of Australia’s response to the 2002 Bali bombings.
He moved to the private sector in 2013, supporting companies to improve their sustainability and community development outcomes in the Indo-Pacific. This included the adoption of new greenhouse gas emissions targets and biodiversity objectives by leading ASX companies.
Ian is an Honours graduate in modern Southeast Asian history from the University of Queensland. He also has a graduate diploma in education from Queensland University of Technology.
He grew up in Papua New Guinea and Australia, and speaks PNG Tok Pisin, Indonesian and German.