Biography of Hon Gareth Evans AO QC

Gareth Evans has been since January 2000 President and Chief Executive of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG), an independent multinational non-governmental organisation with 90 full-time staff on five continents which works, through field-based analysis and high-level policy advocacy, to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.

Born in 1944, he 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.

A member of the Australian Parliament for 21 years, he 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). 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 (1988-1996).

Gareth Evans was one of Australia's longest serving Foreign Ministers, best known internationally for his roles in helping to develop the UN peace plan for Cambodia, bring to a conclusion the international Chemical Weapons Convention, found the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and initiate the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

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 an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Melbourne University in 2002. 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", and was awarded by Tufts University in 2003 the Dr Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award. His other international awards include the Chilean Order of Merit (Grand Cross), given in 1999 primarily for his work in initiating APEC.

Gareth Evans has written or edited eight books - including Cooperating for Peace: The Global Agenda for the 1990s (1993) and Australia's Foreign Relations (1991, 2nd ed 1995), and has published over 80 chapters in books and journal articles (and many more newspaper and magazine articles) on foreign relations, politics, human rights and legal reform.

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. 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). He is currently a member of the International Task Force on Global Public Goods, sponsored by Sweden and France and chaired by Ernesto Zedillo.

Gareth Evans has maintained strong academic and scholarly connections throughout his career, lecturing at many universities around the world. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of UN Studies at Yale; the Advisory Council of the Institute for International Studies at Stanford; and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.

Among other current positions, Gareth Evans is Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Governance Initiative Peace and Security Expert Group; a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association; a member of the International Council of the Asia Society; a member of the International Advisory Board of the Pew Global Attitudes Survey.

He is married to Professor Merran Evans, an econometrician who is Director of Planning and Academic Affairs at Monash University, Australia. They have two adult children, Caitlin and Eamon. His leisure interests are reading and writing, travel, architecture, opera, golf and football.

(October 2003)