John McCarthy has served as Australia’s Ambassador to a number of countries including: Vietnam (1981-83), Mexico (1985-87), Thailand (1992-94), the United States (1995-1997), Indonesia (1997-2001) and Japan (2001-2004). Mr McCarthy has also served in Damascus, Baghdad and Vientiane. For the period 1994-95, John was Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra. In 2004 he was appointed as High Commissioner to India, serving in this role until 2009.
Born in Washington D.C., Mr McCarthy was educated at Cambridge University where he received a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws degree. He is a barrister-at-law and practised in London from 1965 to 1966. He worked with the New York law firm of Shearman & Sterling from 1966 to 1967 and joined the Australian foreign service in 1968. Mr McCarthy has held roles as National President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Chair of the Australia-India Council, Deputy Chair of the Australia-India Institute and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Griffith Asia Institute. He is the Co-Convenor of the Australia-Indonesia Dialogue.