Federal Government officials lobby to extend Arthur Sinodinos’ US posting

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Arthur Sinodinos AO is set to complete his term as Australia’s Ambassador to the United States next February, however, senior officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) are pushing for him to remain in the role until at least mid-2023.

The push comes as Australia enters a crucial phase of negotiations to secure nuclear-powered submarines under the trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS).

The government is set to announce which type of nuclear-powered submarine it will acquire in March 2023, with speculation mounting that Australia could strike a deal directly with the US.

Sinodinos’ role, which he has held since arriving in Washington in 2020, has been described as crucial in effecting the deal.

“Sinodinos is respected by both sides of politics despite being one of the Liberal Party’s most influential figures over recent decades,” wrote The Sydney Morning Herald’s Matthew Knott.

The Greek Australian previously served as John Howard’s chief-of-staff for a decade before becoming Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet secretary in 2015.

With the expectant Republican takeover in the US House of Representatives in January, DFAT officials have advocated for Sinodinos’ extension as a matter of stability at the Australian embassy in Washington.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, possible contenders to succeed him include Foreign Minister Penny Wong, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and former Defence Minister Stephen Conroy.

READ MORE: Arthur Sinodinos: Don’t underestimate the value of Australian innovation in the US

SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald

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