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A Strategic Thinker with Global Reach and Local Impact
Dave Sharma is a former ambassador, career diplomat and Member of Parliament. Over two decades he has worked at senior levels of government, formulating Australian strategic policy, representing Australia overseas, and helping navigate some of the most testing international issues facing Australia.
Dave was a high achiever from an early age. He attended his local public high school in Sydney, coming first across the state in the Higher School Certificate, before going to study at the University of Cambridge where he graduated with first-class honours.
Dave joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a graduate in 1999 and was quickly deployed as an Australian peacekeeper with a multinational military operation in Bougainville, earning the Australian Service Medal.
After serving as a policy and legal advisor to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Dave was posted to the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. He worked closely with senior figures in the Bush and Obama Administrations to strengthen the Australia-US alliance, combat terrorism, and shore up the US presence in East Asia.
Several years later Dave headed back to Canberra to lead the International Division in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, working closely with then Prime Minister Julia Gillard on key foreign policy challenges facing Australia.
In 2013, Dave was appointed by the Labor Government as Australia's Ambassador to Israel. At 37 years of age, this made him one of Australia's youngest serving ambassadors.
As Ambassador, Dave managed forty staff across two high-risk locations, in Ramallah and Tel Aviv, and a budget of several million dollars. He helped evacuate Australians and protect Australian citizens and interests during several wars and periods of conflict and tension. He established the strategic Beersheba Dialogue and facilitated closer defence and military ties and intelligence-sharing arrangements.
Dave also spearheaded several initiatives to grow the commercial, strategic and high-tech relationships between Australia and Israel. He developed the concept for and opened Australia's first ever 'Landing Pad' in Tel Aviv, an entry point for Australian access to Israel's start-up economy. He worked closely with the ASX to position Australia as the listing destination of choice for small-cap Israeli tech firms. He initiated negotiations for a free trade agreement and double taxation agreement, secured agreement to a working holiday visa scheme, and helped initiate direct flights between Israel and Australia and a codeshare agreement.
On his return to Australia in 2017, Dave joined the private sector until 2019 when Dave was elected to Parliament to represent the seat of Wentworth, in Sydney's eastern suburbs.
He was appointed Chair of Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Aid Subcommittee. In these roles he helped secure bipartisan Parliamentary endorsement of the free trade agreements with Indonesia and the Indo-Pacific Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership; delivered support for the AUKUS agreement to enable Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines and share sensitive nuclear propulsion technology; crafted Australia's response to the military coup in Myanmar; and recommended measures to comprehensively upgrade Australia's relations with Pacific Island states and deter foreign interference.
Dave is a strong believer in public service and a regular contributor and commentator on the profound global challenges facing Australia.
Dave is a gifted speaker and communicator across all the media platforms. He can speak with authority on the multitude of challenges facing the world and their impact on Australia, the dynamics of the Australian political system, and the impact of disruption and innovation on the modern economy. Remaining current, being resilient and thinking ahead is critical for Australian corporate success. Dave has strong messages for Australian business!
After a brief from a company on presentation requirements, Dave is happy to ‘deep dive’ into any of his areas of expertise to assess and advise Australian corporate entities on their way forward in this constantly changing World.
Dave is married with three children and lives in Sydney.
“Dave’s knowledge and experience, from politics to diplomacy, provided invaluable insights for our leadership group of young professionals. He is frank, honest and entertaining as a speaker.”
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