Steve Waters

Mr Waters is a senior career officer of the DFAT.

His most recent appointment has been as Assistant Secretary, Pacific Engagement Task force, in which role he was responsible for the formulation of new policy initiatives, and subsequently their implementation, during the year of Australia’s chairmanship of the Pacific island Forum (2009-10). Prior to that he was Assistant Secretary East Asia, responsible for Australia’s relations with greater China.

Mr. Waters took up his position as Consul General in Mumbai in late July 2010.

Mr. Waters holds a Bachelor of Art degree with combined honours in Oriental Studies and Political Science from Melbourne University.

Geoffrey Conaghan

Geoffrey Conaghan commenced as Commissioner to India in December 2009. The Commissioner was a senior executive at Melbourne Airport between 1994 and 2009, in roles including marketing, corporate affairs and International airline business development.

His career also included 9 years in the vocational education and training sector. Between 1985 and 1994 he held various positions with Tourism Training Australia, including founding Executive Director of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Training Board, 5 consecutive terms between 1998 and 2009 as a Director of Tourism Victoria, the Government’s Tourism Commission and he was a board member of The Central Melbourne Group Apprenticeship Scheme 1991-1994, serving as Chairman 1992-1994.

Sanjaya Baru

Dr Sanjaya Baru is the Director for Geo-Economics and Strategy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies leading a recently inaugurated research programme devoted to an analysis of the interplay between economics and geopolitics at the global level. Dr Baru previously served as Editor of the leading Indian financial newspaper The Business Standard. From May 2004 until August 2008 he was the Official Spokesman and Media Advisor to the Prime Minister of India. Prior to his official appointment, he was the Chief Editor of The Financial Express. He has also been the Associate Editor of The Economic Times and The Times of India. He served as a Consulting Senior fellow of the Indian Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) from September 2008. He is one of India’s most respected and influential commentators on political and economic issues.

Dr Sanjaya Baru has been a Professor at the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations in New Delhi and a Member of India’s National Security Advisory Board in the Prime Minister’s Office. He is the author of Strategic Consequences of India’s Economic Performance, which was launched in the UK at the IISS in April 2007 and The Political Economy of Indian Sugar (1990). He has also published extensively on economic and strategic policy in India and abroad.

Ashok Malik

Ashok Malik is an Indian current affairs columnist who writes for The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Asian Age, The Pioneer and Tehelka. He has also contributed to international publications such as Forbes and YaleGlobal Online.

Ashok’s writing focuses on government, politics and foreign policy. Much of his recent work has dealt with the impact of globalisation on our world and in particular its social spheres. Ashok has been a journalist for 20 years now and recently authored a paper for the Lowy Institute on business and civil society influences on Indian foreign policy. Ashok obtained his B.A. (Hons) from the University of Calcutta, India.

Gopalaswami Parthasarathy

Born on May 13, 1940, Ambassador Gopalaswami Parthasarathy is a career Foreign Service Officer who retired from Service on May 31, 2000. Prior to his entry to the Indian Foreign Service Mr. he was a Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army (1963-1968), after having graduated with a B.E. Degree in Electrical Engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras in 1962. He has served as Ambassador of India to Myanmar, 1992-95, High Commissioner of India to Australia 1995-98, High Commissioner of India to Pakistan 1998-2000 and High Commissioner of India, Cyprus (1990-92). He also served in Indian Missions abroad as Second/First Secretary, Embassy of India, Moscow (1969-1973), Deputy High Commissioner to Tanzania (1974-1976), Counsellor,(Political and Press), Embassy of India, Washington D.C., (1978- 1981); and Consul General of India, Karachi (1982-1985).

In New Delhi, Ambassador. Parthasarathy was Deputy Secretary in the Foreign Secretary’s Office (1976-1978). He has served as Spokesman, Ministry of External Affairs and Information Adviser and Spokesman in the Prime Minister’s Office with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (1985-90). He has been a member of Indian Delegations in several international conferences including summits at United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement and SAARC.

Lachlan Strahan

Lachlan Strahan has been Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi since February 2009.

A senior career officer, Dr Strahan joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1993. He has previously served overseas as Second Secretary at the Embassy in Bonn (1995-1998) and Counsellor (Political) at the Embassy in Seoul(2002-2005).

In Canberra, Dr Strahan has worked in a range of positions. He was Assistant Secretary of South and West Asia Branch (2008-2009), Assistant Secretary of Images of Australia Branch (2006-2008), Director of the China Economic Section(2005-2006) and Director of the Chemical and Biological Disarmament Section.

(2001-2002). Dr Strahan has a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from Monash University. He is the author of Australia’s China (1995) and Day of Reckoning (2005). Dr Strahan is married with two children.

Lavina Lee

Lavina Lee is a lecturer in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University, Sydney.

Lavina has a combined law and commerce degree from the University of NSW, a Master of Arts with distinction from King’s College, University of London, and a doctorate in International Relations from the University of Sydney.
She was previously a consultant with Control Risks Group, and held a research position with Chatham House, London. Her research interests include the nuclear non-proliferation regime, nuclear disarmament, Indian security and nuclear policy, the role of culture and norms in international relations, legitimacy and US foreign policy, and international law on the use of force.
Her research is currently focused on prospects for closer strategic cooperation between India and Australia in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific.

Naveen Chopra

The industry veteran, Naveen Chopra pioneered the concept of overseas educational consultancy in India. The project dates back to the 1990s (1995 to be precise),where a profound realisation on how unorganised space was, with reference to studying abroad, led to the development and growth of the entire advent. Realising the importance of an education consultancy, he along with his wife Natasha, incepted ‘The Chopras’, an overseas education consultancy firm.

It is his sagacious background that allows The Chopras to successfully understand and support decisions of aspiring students who want to consider studying abroad.

Peter Varghese

Peter Varghese took up his position as Australian High Commissioner to India in August 2009.

Prior to his posting, he was for five and half years the Director General of the Office of National Assessments (ONA) in Canberra.
From June to December 2003, Mr Varghese worked in the Prime Minister’s personal office as the senior foreign and defence policy adviser to then Prime Minister John Howard.

Mr Varghese is a career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which he joined in 1979. He has served in Vienna (1980-83), Washington (1985-88), as Minister (Political) in Tokyo (1994) and as High Commissioner to Malaysia (2000-2002).

In 2010, Mr Varghese received an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to public administration, particularly in leading reform in the Australian intelligence community and as an adviser in the areas of foreign policy and international security.


Geeta Reddy

Dr Jetti Geeta Reddy (born 1947) is an Indian politician belonging to the Indian National Congress party. She is a Minister in Kiran Kumar Reddy’s cabinet. She is the only minister in AP Government who was brought into politics by Rajiv Gandhi. She represents Zaheerabad constituency in Medak district.She was also Leader of the Legislative Assembly in K. Rosaiah Government, the first Dalit woman.

Reddy worked as a gynaecologist. She lived in Australia from 1971 to 1977, in London from 1977 to 1980 and in Saudi Arabia from 1980 to 1982. She returned to India in 1982.