home       biography       publications       speeches       organisations       images       @contact

Summary Biography of Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010. He is President Emeritus of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation which he led from 2000 to 2009, Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Canberra-based Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, and Co-Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. He was a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne from 2009 to 2012, and is now an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Australian National University.

He previously spent 21 years in Australian politics, thirteen of them as a Cabinet Minister. As Foreign Minister (1988-96) he was best known internationally for his roles in developing the UN peace plan for Cambodia, concluding the Chemical Weapons Convention, and initiating new Asia Pacific regional economic and security architecture. He has written or edited nine books - most recently The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All, published by the Brookings Institution in 2008 (paperback edition 2009) - and has published over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform.

He has co-chaired two major International Commissions on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-01), and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008-10) whose report Eliminating Nuclear Threats was published in December 2009, and a member of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (2004), the Blix Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction (2006), the Zedillo Commission of Eminent Persons on The Role of the IAEA to 2020 and Beyond (2008) and the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention.

Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) on 11 June 2012 for "eminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament." In December 2011 Foreign Policy magazine cited him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011 "for making 'the responsibility to protect' more than academic". In May 2010 Gareth Evans was awarded the 2010 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Fear, for his pioneering work on the Responsibility to Protect concept, and his contributions to conflict prevention and resolution, arms control and disarmament.

(July 2012)


Biography of Gareth Evans

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC is Chancellor of the Australian National University (since January 2010), and President Emeritus of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (Crisis Group), the independent global independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation of which he was President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2000 to June 2009. He has co-chaired two major International Commissions, on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-01) and on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008-10), and is now Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Canberra-based Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Convenor of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, and Co-chair of the International Advisory Board of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. He was a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne from 2009 to 2012, and is now an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Australian National University.

Born in 1944, he went to Melbourne High School, and holds first class honours degrees in Law from Melbourne University (BA, LLB (Hons)) and in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University (MA). Before entering the Australian Parliament in 1978, he was an academic lawyer specialising in constitutional and civil liberties law and a barrister specialising in industrial law. He became a Queens Counsel (QC) in 1983.

A member of the Australian Parliament for 21 years, he was Senator for Victoria from 1978 to 1996, serving as Deputy Leader (1987-93) and then Leader (1993-96) of the Government, and was a member of the House of Representatives from 1996 until September 1999, serving as Deputy Leader of the Opposition (1996-98). He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments for thirteen years, in the posts of Attorney General (1983-84), Minister for Resources and Energy (1984-87), Minister for Transport and Communications (1987-88) and Foreign Minister (1988-96).

Gareth Evans was one of Australia's longest serving Foreign Ministers, best known internationally for his roles in developing the UN peace plan for Cambodia, bringing to a conclusion the international Chemical Weapons Convention, founding the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and initiating the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) on 11 June 2012 for "eminent service to international relations, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, as an adviser to governments on global policy matters, to conflict prevention and resolution, and to arms control and disarmament." In December 2011 Foreign Policy magazine cited him as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011 "for making 'the responsibility to protect' more than academic". In May 2010 Gareth Evans was awarded the 2010 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Fear, for his pioneering work on the Responsibility to Protect concept and his contributions to conflict prevention and resolution, arms control and disarmament.

He was Australian Humanist of the Year in 1990, won the ANZAC Peace Prize in 1994 for his work on Cambodia, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2001, and was awarded Honorary Doctorates of Laws by Melbourne University in 2002, Carleton University in 2005, Sydney University in 2008 and Queen's University Ontario in 2010. In the United States he received in 1995 the $150 000 Grawemeyer Prize for Ideas Improving World Order for his Foreign Policy article "Cooperative Security and Intrastate Conflict". His other international awards include the Chilean Order of Merit (Grand Cross), given in 1999 primarily for his work in initiating APEC.

Gareth Evans has written or edited nine books - including Cooperating for Peace: The Global Agenda for the 1990s (Allen & Unwin,1993), Australia's Foreign Relations (Melbourne University Press 1991, 2nd ed 1995), and most recently The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All (Brookings Institution Press, September 2008, paperback edition 2009, awarded an Honorable Mention in the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award 2009 as one of the best three books on international relations published in the last year). He has published over 100 chapters in books and journal articles (and many more newspaper and magazine articles) on foreign relations, politics, human rights and legal reform.

In 2000-2001 he was co-chair, with Mohamed Sahnoun, of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), appointed by the Government of Canada, which published its report, The Responsibility to Protect, in December 2001. He was a member of the of the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, whose report A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility was published in December 2004; the Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction sponsored by Sweden and chaired by Hans Blix which reported in June 2006; the International Task Force on Global Public Goods, sponsored by Sweden and France and chaired by Ernesto Zedillo, which reported in September 2006, and the Commission of Eminent Persons on The Role of the IAEA to 2020 and Beyond, whose report Reinforcing the Global Nuclear Order for Peace and Prosperity: was launched in June 2008. He had previously served as a member of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, co-chaired by Cyrus Vance and David Hamburg (1994-97), and is currently a member of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Committee on Genocide.

From 2008 to 2010 he co-chaired (with former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi) the Australia and Japan sponsored International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament: its report Eliminating Nuclear Threats: A Practical Agenda for Global Policymakers was published in December 2009.

Gareth Evans has maintained strong academic and scholarly connections throughout his career, lecturing at many universities around the world. In May 2004 he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs; the International Advisory Board of the Leuven Centre for Global Studies; and the International Board of Advisors of the International Peace and Security Institute affiliated with SAIS (John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies).

Among other current positions, Gareth Evans is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation, chaired by F.W. de Klerk; Aspen Atlantic Group, chaired by Madeleine Albright; Supervisory Council of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe; a member of the International Council of the Asia Society; Advisory Council of the Independent Diplomat; International Advisory Board of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University; jury of the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award; and a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association. In June 2008 he was made an Inaugural Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Australian international relations.

He is married to Professor Merran Evans, an econometrician who is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Quality) at Monash University, Australia. They have two adult children, Caitlin and Eamon, and four grandchildren. His leisure interests are reading and writing, travel, architecture, opera, golf and Australian Rules football.

(July 2012)

See also

Gareth Evans, by Keith Scott, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1999, ix + 414 pp.