Mr Merrifield is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Until June 2013 he held the position of DFAT Senior Spokesman and Head of Parliamentary and Media Branch. Mr Merrifield has extensive experience in ASEAN countries having served as Deputy High Commissioner to Malaysia, First Secretary, Jakarta and Second Secretary, Manila. He has lived in South-East Asia for a total of 13 years, including three years in Myanmar until 2011.
Mr Merrifield speaks Indonesian and Malay and is a graduate of the Australian National University's Asian Studies program. He is married with two children.