Mr Paterson is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was until recently Australian Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. Mr Paterson has previously served as Ambassador to Thailand, Minister at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Washington and in earlier postings to Vienna, Baghdad and Dhaka.
Mr Paterson is currently the Department's First Assistant Secretary, International Security Division. He was Chief of Staff to Foreign Minister Alexander Downer in 2000.
Mr Paterson holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and has worked extensively on strategic and security policy in Australia and overseas. He is married and has three adult children.