John McCarthy AO

John McCarthy is a former Australian career diplomat. He joined the then-Department of External Affairs in 1968.

McCarthy's posts include Ambassador to Vietnam, Mexico, Thailand, the United States, Indonesia and Japan and High Commissioner to India.

His assignments in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Australia included Chief of Staff to the then-Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock, Chief Legal Officer and Deputy Secretary,

Born in Washington, D.C. in 1942, McCarthy has an MA and LLB from Cambridge University and was called to the London Bar at the Middle Temple in 1965. He was a barrister in London from 1965 to 1966 and worked for the New York law firm of Shearman and Sterling from 1966-1967.

Since leaving DFAT in 2009, McCarthy has been:

  • National President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Chair of the Australian Australia-India Council
  • Co-Convenor of the Australian-Indonesia Dialogue
  • Chair of the Advisory Board of the Griffith Asia Institute

After 2009, McCarthy has also had a number of assignments from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and has been involved in the private sector, including as adviser to Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Tokyo, since 2011.

McCarthy is an Officer of the Order of Australia (1999). He has honourary doctorates from Murdoch and Griffith Universities.