Mr Varghese took up his position as the fourteenth Chancellor at The University of Queensland on 11 July 2016.
Prior to this appointment Mr Varghese was Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 3 December 2012 to 1 July 2016. His diplomatic appointments include High Commissioner to India (2009-12), High Commissioner to Malaysia (2000-02) and postings to Tokyo, Washington and Vienna.
From 2004-09, Mr Varghese was Director General of the Office of National Assessments, a statutory office which reports directly to the Prime Minister and also coordinates the Australian intelligence community. In 2003, Mr Varghese was the senior international adviser in the office of Prime Minister John Howard. He also headed up the international division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1998-99.
In 1996-97, Mr Varghese headed up the secretariat which drafted Australia’s first White Paper on foreign and trade policy.
Mr Varghese was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in 2010 for distinguished service to public administration, particularly in leading reform in the Australian intelligence community and as an adviser in the areas of foreign policy and international security. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters honoris causa by The University of Queensland in July 2013 in recognition of his distinguished service to diplomacy and Australian public service. In 2016 he was appointed a fellow of the AIIA.
Mr Varghese is a graduate and university medalist in history from The University of Queensland. He is married to Margaret Varghese. They have one adult son and a grandson.