Published: 19 December 2018
State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes today announced the appointment of Chris Seed as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Chief Executive, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“I am very pleased to appoint Mr Seed to this role,” the Commissioner said.
“He is an experienced diplomat and public servant who recently returned home after five years as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Australia. Mr Seed is a well-respected senior foreign service leader who has led a number of key initiatives to advance New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade agenda, including working to raise New Zealand’s profile in the Pacific region.
“His 34 years as a public servant – most of which was spent in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade – gives Mr Seed a huge depth of experience and institutional knowledge of the Ministry and New Zealand’s domestic and international priorities.”
In both his international postings and senior leadership roles at the Ministry, Mr Seed has proven himself adept at managing international relationships, balancing competing interests and optimising opportunities to represent and protect New Zealand’s interests overseas.
He spent five years as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary of Australia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa and the Europe Group, where he led a team of more than 400 staff across 29 international locations. Alongside his diplomatic career, Mr Seed also spent four years as the Deputy Secretary of Defence, Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Defence.
As Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Seed will lead approximately1500 staff, including a network of 60 posts in 53 countries. In 2018/19, the Foreign Affairs and Trade budget is $1.3 billion.
He will be responsible for delivering on the Government’s foreign, international trade, development and climate change policy objectives, as well as contributing to New Zealand’s broader security, economic and environmental objectives.
“Mr Seed’s strong spirit of service can be seen by the positive impact he has had on the interests of New Zealand and New Zealanders throughout his career. His ability to build strong, open and trusting relationships is well-respected both in the Ministry and internationally,” Mr Hughes said.
Mr Seed will take up his new role on 1 February 2019 for five years.
Media enquiries: Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457.
- Mr Seed has been the New Zealand High Commissioner to Australia since November 2013.
- From 2008-2013 he was the Deputy Secretary of Australia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa and the Europe Group at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- He was the Deputy Secretary of Defence, Policy and Planning at the Ministry of Defence from 2004-2008.
- Mr Seed joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1985. His early career roles included assignments in Tehran, Canberra, London and Papua New Guinea.
- He holds a Master’s degree in History and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from Massey University.
Papers included in the proactive release state that MFAT has a network of 58 posts in 51 countries. MFAT has recently opened posts in Stockholm and Dublin and these figures are now 60 posts in 53 countries.
In his role as the Deputy Secretary of Australia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa and the Europe Group, Mr Seed led a team across 29 international locations, not 13 as incorrectly stated in the papers.