Gareth Evans

Gareth Evans

Foreign Minister, Australia 1988-1996
President and CEO of the International Crisis Group 2000-2009

Gareth Evans

Foreign Minister, Australia 1988-1996
President and CEO of the International Crisis Group 2000-2009

Public Career

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.

He was a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labour 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 (1988-1996). A member of the Australian Parliament for 21 years, Gareth Evans was Senator for Victoria from 1978 to 1996, serving as Deputy Leader (1987-1993) and then Leader (1993-1996) of the Government, and was a member of the House of Representatives from 1996 until September 1999, serving as Deputy Leader of the Opposition (1996-1998).

Before entering the Australian Parliament in 1978, Gareth Evans 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.

Activity after Public Politics

From January 2000 to June 2009 Gareth Evans was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, an independent global conflict prevention and resolution organisation.

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.

Gareth Evans 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).

Gareth Evans has numerous awards and distinctions including the 2010 Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute/Roosevelt Stichting Four Freedoms Award for Freedom from Fear, citing 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, and made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2001. His international awards include the Chilean Order of Merit (Grand Cross), given in 1999 primarily for his work in initiating APEC and the 1995 Grawemeyer Prize for Ideas Improving World Order for his Foreign Policy article “Cooperative Security and Intrastate Conflict”.

Gareth Evans has maintained strong academic and scholarly connections throughout his career, lecturing at many universities around the world. He has written or edited nine books and has also 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.

Until 2020, Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AO QC was Chancellor of the Australian National University. He remains an Honorary Professorial Fellow at The University of Melbourne, Co-chair of the International Advisory Board of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and Convenor of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.

Gareth Evans has been a Member of the Global Leadership Foundation since 2010. He has been involved in a GLF project in Asia.

Memberships and Associations

  • Advisory Board Chair
  • Board Member of the Asia Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
  • Global Council Member of Asia Society
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member of Cambridge Review of International Affairs 
  • Advisory Council Member of the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, Washington University 
  • Advisory Council Member of the Independent Diplomat 
  • Advisory Council Member of Asialink 
  • Advisory Board Member of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Advisory Board Member of the Institute for Integrated Transitions 
  • Advisory Board Member of ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies 
  • Supervisory Council Member of the International Luxembourg Forum on Preventing Nuclear Catastrophe
  • Global Advisory Council Member of the Jeju Forum
  • Member of the Hiroshima Prefecture Round Table
  • Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College 
  • Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
  • Fellow of Australia India Institute
  • Patron of the Rationalist Society of Australia
  • Patron of UN Youth Australia
  • Patron of the Architects Without Frontiers 
  • Victorian Patron of the Asian Lawyers Association

For more information about Gareth Evans, please visit his official website: