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Grad Connect - speaker biographies

Mr Peter Woolcott AO
Australian Public Service Commission

Mr Peter Woolcott AO commenced as the Australian Public Service Commissioner on 9 August 2018.

Mr Woolcott has had a distinguished career in the Australian Public Service, serving in senior diplomatic positions around the world.

He has served as Australia’s High Commissioner to New Zealand (2016–2017), Ambassador for the Environment (2014–16), Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Ambassador for Disarmament (2010–2014), Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues (2009), and Ambassador to Italy (2004–2007).

Most recently he has served as the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff.

Mr Woolcott was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2017 for his distinguished service to public administration in the field of international relations, and as a lead negotiator in the non-proliferation and arms control fields.

In 2009, Mr Mansfield was appointed as Executive Officer (Chief of Staff) to the Secretary of the Department, where he provided direct support to the Secretary on a range of strategic initiatives, including an organisation-wide business and cultural reform program.



Ms Katherine Jones PSM
Deputy Secretary, Business Enabling Services
Department of Finance

Katherine Jones was appointed Deputy Secretary of Business Enabling Services at the Department of Finance in October 2017. Katherine leads corporate and ICT services in Finance, the provision of facilities and services for Ministers and Members of Parliament, ICT and online services across government and business services for government departments through the Service Delivery Office.

Prior to her position at Finance, Katherine was the Deputy Secretary in the Attorney-General’s Department where she led the National Security and Emergency Management Group.  In 2017, Katherine received a Public Service Medal for her outstanding contribution in this role.

Before joining the public service in 1999, Katherine spent 10 years as a publisher at McGraw Hill. Katherine has a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.



Ms Lisa Wright
Assistant Secretary, innovationXchange
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Ms Wright is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She commenced as Assistant Secretary, innovationXchange, in January 2019.

Previously, Ms Wright served overseas as Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Seoul.

Prior to this she served in Canberra as Assistant Secretary, South-East Asia Mainland Bilateral Branch; Assistant Secretary, Public Diplomacy Branch; and Assistant Director General, Communications, Ministerial and Transparency Branch, AusAID.

Ms Wright has also worked in the private sector in Australia and Asia in management and consultancy roles with Ford Motor Company, Deloitte, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai and Tsinghua University.

Last reviewed: 
21 February 2019