Robert Owen-Jones

Assistant Secretary, Australian Competitiveness Branch, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Chair, Kimberley Process


Mr Owen-Jones is the Assistant Secretary of the Australian Competitiveness Branch, in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which includes responsibility for tourism policy. Mr Owen-Jones is an experienced career diplomat with over twenty five years’ international service, including diplomatic postings to Manila, Moscow (twice), Paris, Bonn, Lisbon and Washington.

Previously, he was the Assistant Secretary of the G20 Branch in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr Owen-Jones was Australia’s senior official for the G20 on trade, agriculture, energy and development. Prior to this, he was the Assistant Secretary of the Global Engagement Branch and the Assistant Secretary of the Multilateral Negotiations Branch in the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. He was the Special Negotiator for Climate Change. Mr Owen-Jones served also as the Senior Strategic Advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office of National Assessments.

Mr Owen-Jones has chaired many international processes and meetings, including for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (SBI Chair), the World Bank, OECD, G20 and the UN Diplomatic Conference that established the Tsunami Warning System for the Indian Ocean. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Kimberley Process (“Blood Diamonds”), and will take over as Chair in 2017. Mr Owen-Jones is qualified in economics, international relations and strategic studies, and is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force’s Senior Staff College. Mr Owen-Jones was born in Shropshire, United Kingdom and grew up in rural Queensland.