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Summary Biography of Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010. He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments from 1983-96, in the posts of Attorney General, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Transport and Communications and - from 1988-96 - Foreign Minister. During his 21 years in Australian politics he was Leader of the Government in the Senate (1993-96) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives (1996-98). From 2000 to 2009 he was President and CEO of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation.

He has written or edited eleven books - including Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary (2014, forthcoming), Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play (co-editor, 2013) and The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All (2008); has published many newspaper articles and over 100 journal articles and chapters on foreign relations, human rights and legal and constitutional reform; has honorary doctorates from Melbourne, Sydney, Carleton and Queen’s Universities; and has lectured at many universities around the world, including Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Yale, Stanford and the Central European University.

He has co-chaired two major International Commissions, on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-01), and Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (2008-10), and has been a member of a number of others. He currently Co-Chairs the International Advisory Board of the New-York based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and is Convenor of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2012 for his "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", and in the same year was elected an honorary Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia (FASSA). 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 2010 he was awarded the 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 2014)


Biography of Gareth Evans

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC FASSA has been Chancellor of the Australian National University since January 2010. He was a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne from 2009 to 2012, and is now an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the ANU. From 2000 to 2009 he was President and Chief Executive Officer (and is now President Emeritus) of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, the independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation. From 1983 to 1996 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).

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). As one of Australia's longest serving Foreign Ministers, he was 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.

Born in 1944, Gareth Evans went to Hawthorn West Central School and 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.

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 ground-breaking report, The Responsibility to Protect, in December 2001. 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.

His other international policymaking roles have included membership of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Committee on Genocide; 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).

Gareth Evans is currently Chair of the International Advisory Board of the Canberra-based Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, Convenor of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, and Co-chair of the International Advisory Board of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.  Among other current positions, he is a member of the Global Leadership Foundation, chaired by F.W. de Klerk; Aspen Atlantic Group, chaired by Madeleine Albright; the Supervisory Council of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe; the International Council of the Asia Society; Advisory Council of the Independent Diplomat; the International Advisory Board of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University; the 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, and in 2012 was elected an honorary Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia (FASSA).

Gareth Evans has written or edited eleven books - including Cooperating for Peace: The Global Agenda for the 1990s (Allen & Unwin,1993), Australia's Foreign Relations (with Bruce Grant, Melbourne University Press 1991, 2nd ed 1995), 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), Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play (co-edited with Ramesh Thakur, ANU, 2013), and Inside the Hawke-Keating Government: A Cabinet Diary (Melbourne University Press, 2014). 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.

He has maintained strong academic and scholarly connections throughout his career, lecturing at many universities around the world, including Oxford (where he was elected in 2004 an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College), Cambridge (where he delivered the 2013 Humanitas Lectures on Statecraft and Diplomacy), Princeton, Yale, Stanford and the Central European University in Budapest. He is 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).

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.

In June 2012 Gareth Evans was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for his "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." 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 2010 Gareth Evans he was awarded the 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 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 2014)

See also

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