Mr Ritchie is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Deputy Secretary, a position he first took up in 2001. He has served as Senior Adviser (International Relations) to the then Prime Minister and has held various positions in the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
He has previously served overseas as Ambassador to Indonesia and also had earlier postings to Lusaka, Nairobi, Berlin and Bonn. He received his Order of Australia for his contribution to the fight against terrorism in South-East Asia, following the attack on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in September 2004.
Mr Ritchie holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from the University of Queensland. He speaks Italian. Mr Ritchie is married with two children.