Richard Campbell (Ric) Smith was born in Perth and educated at State Schools and the University of Western Australia, from which he graduated BA, B Ed. He taught in country high schools for three years before joining the Department of External Affairs in 1969.
Mr Smith served in Australia’s diplomatic missions in India, Israel, The Philippines and Hawaii. He was a Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1992 to 1994, and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defence in 1994-95. He served as Ambassador to China and Mongolia from 1996 to 2000, and as Ambassador to Indonesia in 2001-02. He was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Defence in 2002, and retired from the Public Service in 2006.
In 2008 Mr Smith led a review of Australia’s ‘Homeland and Border Security’; in 2011 he co-led a review of the ADF’s force posture; in 2013 he was a member of the Defence Minister’s White Paper advisory panel; and in 2016 he served as the Independent Review Leader for the Functional and Efficiency Review of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. From 2009 to 2013 he was Australia’s Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mr Smith is a Visiting Fellow the Lowy Institute for International Affairs, and an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University. He was a Distinguished Fellow at RSIS in Singapore in 2007 and the Australian Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC in 2009. He is currently Chairman of RAND’s Australian Advisory Board and a Member of SOS International’s Government Advisory Panel.
Mr Smith was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1998, and awarded a Public Service Medal in 2003 for his service following the first Bali bombing. He is married, with two sons and three grandchildren, and lives in Canberra.
The Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (Aus-CSCAP) was established by Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) at the Australian National Univer