Dr Allan Hawke's career in public administration at senior levels includes past appointments as Secretary of the Departments of Veterans' Affairs, Transport and Regional Services and Defence. He completed his public service to Australia as High Commissioner to New Zealand in 2006. Dr Hawke was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Public Administration in 1998 and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management in 1999 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to public service.
In 2001, he became a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. The Australian Financial Review's "Boss" Magazine, named him as one of Australia's top 30 true leaders in its inaugural list in 2001.
Dr Hawke served a three year term as Chancellor of the Australian National University from 4 February 2006 and now serves on a range of public and private sector boards. He has conducted several Government enquiries, including the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999 and the Review of the Administration of the Home Insulation Program. Dr Hawke is actively involved in community and sporting organisations.