Senior Fellow, Centre for Strategic Studies: NZ
John McKinnon is a former New Zealand diplomat and public servant. McKinnon joined the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1974, and was posted to Beijing as second secretary in 1978. In 1985, he was posted to Washington as First Secretary, then to Canberra as Counsellor in 1986. In 1992, McKinnon became New Zealand’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York and presided over the entirety of New Zealand's third tenure on the United Nations Security Council (1993–1994). On returning to Wellington in 1995 he became Director of the External Assessments Bureau. In 2001, McKinnon became New Zealand’s Ambassador to Beijing. McKinnon was appointed Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs in 2004. In October 2006, he was appointed Chief Executive of the Ministry of Defence, a position he held until November 2012. In the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours, McKinnon was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for services to the State. From December 2012 to October 2014 McKinnon served as the Executive Director of the Asia New Zealand Foundation. In January 2015, McKinnon returned to Beijing for a second posting as Ambassador, where he served until 2017 at which point in time he retired.