Mr Anderson has a strong background in Pacific island affairs. He was most recently Australia's High Commissioner to Samoa. Mr Anderson has also served overseas in Papua New Guinea, South Africa, and was the Chief Negotiator of the Australian-led Peace Monitoring Group on Bougainville. Mr Anderson speaks Pijin.
Prior to joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1995, Mr Anderson was a commissioned officer in the Australian Defence Force. He is married with three children.
Mr Anderson was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2011 Australia Day Honours List for his role leading the consular and humanitarian response to the 2009 earthquake and tsunami in Samoa.