CANBERRA, Australia, May 18 (UPI) -- After eight years in charge of Australia's spy agency, Dennis Richardson is set to take over as his nation's ambassador to the United States.
The Australian newspaper The Age says Prime Minister John Howard has appointed Richardson, who headed the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, to the post. Richardson must be confirmed by the Senate before taking over.
Announcing the Washington nomination, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Richardson had been an outstanding ASIO chief and he would be an outstanding representative of Australia in Washington.
"He's a man who was a diplomat originally," he said. "He's been director-general of the ASIO now for about eight years and has been an outstanding director-general through a very difficult time."
Richardson oversaw the ASIO through the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney as well as the post-Sept. 11, 2001, rebuilding of the spy agency.