AP4D is deeply saddened by the passing of Allan Gyngell AO FAIIA. Allan was a colossus of the Australian international affairs community, with a modesty of temperament that belied his immense contribution.
Allan’s long and distinguished career began with an early introduction to the Australian Institute of International Affairs that sparked a lifelong passion. He joined the public service as a foreign affairs graduate in 1969, holding diplomatic posts in Rangoon, Singapore and Washington. From 1993-1996 Allan was Senior Advisor (International) to Prime Minister Paul Keating, and from 2009-2013 held the position of Director-General of the Australian Office of National Assessments (ONA).
Allan’s contribution to Australian foreign affairs extended beyond public service. Allan was the founding Executive Director of the Lowy Institute and National President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He co-hosted the podcast Australia in the World – essential listening for anyone interested in Australia’s foreign relations – and in 2017 published the seminal text on Australia’s foreign policy history, Fear of Abandonment.
Acknowledging Allan during an address to the National Press Club in April this year, Foreign Minister Penny Wong fittingly described him as the “finest mind in Australian foreign policy”.
Like so many others, AP4D is indebted to Allan for his sharp and generous intellect. Allan was involved with AP4D from its inception, attending the initial dialogue, speaking at the first public event and serving on the Advisory Group.
Our thoughts are with his loved ones.
He will be remembered.