Prior to taking up his most recent appointment as Australia’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Mr O’Sullivan was Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) from 2005 until 28 February 2009. He was concurrently a Commissioner of the National Crime Commission. In 2004 and 2005, Mr O’Sullivan was the Senior Adviser (International) in the office of the Prime Minister(The Hon John Howard MP).
Mr O’Sullivan served overseas as Australia’s Ambassador in Bonn and Berlin (1999-2003), Deputy Chief of Mission in Washington (1996-1998) and Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, based in Geneva and New York (1991-1994). Mr O’Sullivan has also served in the Australian Embassies in Rome and Cairo. He was Australian Commissioner-General for the 2000 World Expo held in Hannover. In Canberra, Mr O’Sullivan has held a range of senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade including Acting Secretary (2002-2003), Deputy Secretary (2003-2004), First Assistant Secretary, International Organisationsand Legal Division (1995-1996) and First Assistant Secretary, Americas and Europe Division (1994-1995).
Mr O’Sullivan was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2010 Honours List, for service to public administration through signiﬁcant contributions to the advancement of Australia’s security and the development of international relations. In 2012, he was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to Trans-Tasman relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Sydney. Mr O’Sullivan is married and he and his wife, Merrilyn, have three sons.