- Thomas Hart Benton Mural Medallion (2002)
- Presenter: Myles Brand
Michael Thawley was Ambassador of Australia in Washington DC from 2000-2005. He joined Australia's Foreign Service in 1972 and held the rank of Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. From April 1996 until his most recent appointment as Ambassador, he served as the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. John Howard, and was responsible for advising the Prime Minister on foreign policy, trade, defense, intelligence and security. Prior to that, he served as First Assistant Secretary, where he was responsible for international issues in the Prime Minister's department under the previous Prime Minister, Mr. Paul Keating.
In addition, Mr. Thawley has served in Rome, Moscow and Tokyo. Apart from serving in a variety of positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, he has also worked in the Office of National Assessments, Australia's peak intelligence assessment and co-ordination agency.
Ambassador Thawley is fluent in Russian, and was educated in both Australia and the UK. He is a well-known and well respected diplomat, and was most instrumental in brokering the peace deal in East Timor. He is now in private business in Washington.