Mr Ritchie is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Australia's Ambassador to Italy. He has previously served as Ambassador to Indonesia (2002-2005) and has had extensive experience in Germany, having served at the Australian Embassies in both East Berlin (1981-1983) and Bonn (1975-1978). Mr Ritchie has been a Deputy Secretary at DFAT since 2001 and was Senior Adviser, International Relations, in the Prime Minister's Office (1999-2001).
Mr Ritchie holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Queensland in German language and literature. He has two children and is married. Mr Ritchie speaks German and Italian.