Dr Higgie was previously Senior Adviser (International) to the Prime Minister. He is an experienced diplomat with a strong background in European affairs and international security. Before joining the Prime Minister's staff Dr Higgie was at the Office of National Assessments (ONA) where he served as the Senior Europe Analyst and prior to ONA, he was Australia's representative on the UK Joint Intelligence Committee, based in London. Between 1998 – 2001 Dr Higgie was appointed the Australia's Ambassador to Hungary and previous diplomatic appointments have included Belgrade and Vienna. Dr Higgie speaks several European languages and is well qualified to advocate Australia's interests in Brussels, including those related to the broader European Union and NATO.