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Former Foreign Affairs Minister takes uni role

Alexander Downer.

Alexander Downer.
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Alexander Downer speaking at the Association of Commonwealth Universities Conference of Executive Heads, held at the University of Adelaide in 2006.

Alexander Downer speaking at the Association of Commonwealth Universities Conference of Executive Heads, held at the University of Adelaide in 2006.
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Thursday, 3 July 2008

Former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister and long-serving Member of Federal Parliament Alexander Downer has accepted a Visiting Professorship with the University of Adelaide.

"I am pleased to announce that Alexander Downer has been appointed to the position of Visiting Professor with the University of Adelaide's School of History & Politics," says the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.

"In this role, Professor Downer will be involved in teaching, writing, research and other University activities on a part-time basis. As well as working in the School of History & Politics, he will also be involved with the University's Institute for International Trade.

"The depth of experience Professor Downer brings to the role will be unique, having served for more than a decade as Australia's Foreign Minister. Our students and staff will greatly benefit from his first-hand knowledge of both politics and foreign affairs," Professor McWha says.

Professor Downer's appointment starts on Monday 7 July.

Professor Downer says: "I am delighted to be working at the University of Adelaide to maintain my interest and involvement with politics and international relations at an academic level. The University of Adelaide is one of Australia's leading universities and I am proud to be a part of it."

The University's Head of Politics, Dr Clem Macintyre, says Professor Downer's academic work will build on his continued roles in Australia and overseas.

"Professor Downer's continued interest in international relations will help to strengthen our teaching and research in this area," Dr Macintyre says.

"We're really looking forward to what he will bring to Politics at the University. This is an excellent opportunity for our students and staff to benefit from someone with such great experience of international relations."

Professor Downer has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Politics and Economics from the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK, and holds a Doctor of Civil Laws (honoris causa), also from the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Since 1984 he has been the elected Member for the Federal seat of Mayo, and was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs in 1996 - a position he held until November 2007.

Among his many interests, he is a member of the Institute of International Affairs.

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