Chris Birrer joined the Department of Defence through the 1994 graduate program. Chris worked initially in financial management and resource analysis, including in the secretariat of the Defence Efficiency Review and the Defence Reform Program, and in the establishment of the Defence Corporate Support organisation.
Between 1999 and 2016, Chris was in the International Policy and Strategic Policy Divisions in a number of positions at different levels up to periods of acting as the head of both divisions. In addition to leading policy teams on a range of geographical and thematic policy issues, he was the Policy Adviser to the Australian National Commander in the Middle East during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. From 2007 until 2010, Chris was posted to the Australian Embassy in Washington DC as the Strategic Policy Liaison Officer.
Chris was appointed as the First Assistant Secretary Infrastructure in Estate and Infrastructure Group in April 2016.