Australia's Head of Mission to the Netherlands
His Excellency Dr Greg French
Dr. Greg French is the Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He has previously served as the Senior Legal and Non-Proliferation Adviser to the AUKUS Nuclear Powered Submarine Taskforce within the Department of Defence (2021-23). Before that, he was head of the Consular Modernisation Program at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Between 2016 and 2020, Dr. French was the Australia’s Ambassador to Italy, Albania, Libya, and San Marino. He also served as Australia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN World Food Programme. Prior to that, he was Legal Adviser and head of the International Legal Branch in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
He has led Australian delegations at meetings of the International Criminal Court Assembly of States Parties (including with respect to negotiating the Kampala Amendments to the Rome Statute on the crime of aggression) and Antarctic Treaty Parties, as well as in negotiations on the Law of the Sea Convention, biosafety, marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction and the MH17 incident. He also led the Australian delegation that negotiated the Australia-New Zealand maritime boundary, was part of Australia’s ICJ team in the Whaling in the Antarctic case, and has advised on the spectrum of international law, including nuclear cooperation and non-proliferation.
He chaired a UN Commission on seabed mining and was rapporteur for the negotiation of the 1994 Implementing Agreement that enabled entry into force of the UN Law of the Sea Convention. He has published a book and numerous chapters and articles on international law. He was Australia's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldives (2004-2008), has served at Australia’s Embassy in Germany and was Business Development Manager of Australia’s Pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hanover.
He received the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal with respect to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. He speaks fluent German and Italian and working level French, Dutch and Turkish. He has worked as a simultaneous conference interpreter on four continents and as a translator with publications in the fields of law, economics, medicine and marketing. He has also interpreted for Australian prime ministers and German chancellors and presidents. He is married and has three children. He is a singer and guitarist with a solo album as well as group recordings and, more recently, as Australian Ambassador to Italy, wrote and frequently performed an Italian version of ‘We are Australian’ (https://twitter.com/ausambrome/status/1248327914522906626).