Mr Michael Phelan APM has been reappointed as a Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and Mr Graham Ashton AM APM and Ms Leanne Close APM have been appointed as new Deputy Commissioners.
Mr Phelan has been a Deputy Commissioner since 2010, and is currently in the role of Deputy Commissioner National Security. He will continue in this role and provide leadership in emerging and ongoing operations in community policing, counter terrorism and protection, both nationally and internationally.
Ms Close has been with the AFP for 28 years and has recently acted in two different Deputy Commissioner roles. Having significant experience in the training and development of AFP officers, she will have a strong focus on developing capability across the AFP. Ms Close will become the AFP’s most senior woman and is the first woman appointed Deputy Commissioner of the AFP.
Ms Close will fill the Deputy Commissioner position that is currently vacant, following the appointment of previous Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin AM APM as the AFP Commissioner.
Mr Ashton is currently a Deputy Commissioner with Victoria Police and was previously a Deputy Director of the Victorian Office of Police Integrity. Before his time in Victoria, Mr Ashton was with the AFP for 24 years.
Mr Ashton will bring to the AFP Deputy Commissioner role high level strategic leadership, as well as a breadth of experience across Commonwealth and State law enforcement agencies.
Mr Ashton will fill the Deputy Commissioner position that will become vacant at the end of this year, following Deputy Commissioner Peter Drennan taking a position in the Department of Safety and Security for the United Nations.
I am confident that the skills and experience of these three distinguished officers will complement each other. Their appointments will ensure the AFP continues to successfully tackle complex crime and security issues and forge strategic national and international partnerships.
Each Deputy Commissioner is appointed for a five‑year term.
I congratulate Mr Phelan on his reappointment, and Ms Close and Mr Ashton on their appointments.