Mr Hawkins is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and until recently was Assistant Secretary, Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe Branch, a position he has held since 2010. Prior to joining DFAT in 2008, Mr Hawkins worked with the Office of National Assessments (2004-08) and AusAID (2002-04). He has also served with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank (1994-96) and with CARE Australia in Cambodia and Burma (1998-2001).
Mr Hawkins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom and a Master of International Business from Murdoch University in Western Australia. He speaks Arabic.