Paul O'Sullivan, a former head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, is to become chief of staff to Attorney-General George Brandis.
A former chief spook has been appointed top official for Attorney-General George Brandis.
Paul O'Sullivan, who served as Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) director-general from 2005-09, will start work as Senator Brandis' chief of staff next month.
Mr O'Sullivan also worked as senior foreign affairs adviser to former prime minister John Howard.
Senator Brandis said his new chief of staff's long experience at the highest levels of government also included representative to the United Nations, ambassador to Germany and high commissioner to New Zealand.
"The appointment will underline the strong national security focus which I intend to bring to the Attorney-General's portfolio," Senator Brandis said in a statement.
Senator Brandis said Mr O'Sullivan reflected the very high quality of the people who had accepted senior appointments in the Abbott government.