Mr Beazley was a Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments (1983-1996) holding, at various times, the portfolios of Defence, Finance, Transport and Communications, Employment Education and Training, Aviation, and Special Minister of State.
From 1995 to 1996, Mr Beazley was Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Australian Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1996 to 2001, and 2005 to 2006. Mr Beazley served on parliamentary committees, including the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.
After his retirement from politics in 2007, Mr Beazley was appointed Winthrop Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at The University of Western Australia.
In July 2008 he was appointed Chancellor of the Australian National University, a position he held until December 2009.
Ambassador to the United States of America
Mr Beazley took up an appointment as Ambassador to the United States of America in February 2010. He served as Ambassador until January 2016.
Upon returning to Australia from Washington in 2016, Mr Beazley was appointed as President of the Australian Institute for International Affairs (2016-17), Co-Chairman of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue (2016-18), Distinguished Fellow at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and a Director and Distinguished Fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre.