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Jeffrey L. Bleich is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to Australia.
Ambassador Bleich was nominated by President Obama, and confirmed unanimously by the Senate on November 10, 2009. He presented his credentials to the Governor General of Australia Quentin Bryce on November 26, 2009, becoming the 24th American ambassador to the Commonwealth of Australia.
Ambassador Bleich’s tenure in Australia has been marked by a commitment to expanding Australia and the United States’ broad alliance by promoting security, advancing free trade, promoting human rights, and expanding collaboration in education, space, energy, and technology.
Within four months of his arrival in Australia, Ambassador Bleich visited every one of Australia’s states and territories, and he has maintained an active schedule, engaging Australians across all sectors of the community and advancing common goals. His efforts have included assisting victims of the 2011 Queensland floods, overseeing Australian-U.S. relief efforts to Japan, and working across a range of issues with Australia’s first minority coalition government since the 1940s.
On the issue of security, Ambassador Bleich has led U.S. efforts to advance defense cooperation between the United States and Australia. These efforts include helping drive Senate ratification of the U.S.-Australia Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty, overseeing America’s largest joint training exercise (Talisman Sabre) off the coast of Australia, promoting delivery of upgraded military assets to Australia Defense Forces including C-17s, F-18 Super Hornets, and the MH60-Romeo, and helping to guide Australia’s participation in the U.S. global force posture review, resulting in new Marine joint-training exercises in Darwin and increased use of RAAF airfields in the Northern Territory by U.S. Air Force aircrafts on a rotational basis to support a more robust exercise and training program. Ambassador Bleich has worked closely with combined U.S. and Australian forces throughout the region, including traveling with the Chief of the Australian Defense Forces, General David Hurley, to support our troops in Afghanistan.
Ambassador Bleich has also focused U.S.-Australian efforts in promoting free trade throughout the region. These efforts include advancing U.S. and Australian joint participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ambassador Bleich has also led key trade missions and hosted conferences to promote trade in a wide range of industries, including cleantech, biofuels, water-production, cloud-computing, laying trans-pacific cables, and promoting satellite technology – helping substantially increase bilateral investment and trade between the U.S. and Australia. During Ambassador Bleich’s tenure, the Mission has exceeded all of its National Export Initiative (NEI) goals and was recognized in 2011 as one of the five leading NEI Missions in the world.