Dr Heather Smith was appointed Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in September 2017. Heather has had 17 years of experience in the Australian Public Service at senior levels, with responsibility for a number of significant government programs covering economic and public policy areas.
Prior to her current role, Heather was Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts (2016-2017). She has served as Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2013-2016) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2010-2013). In October 2013 she was appointed by Prime Minister Abbott as Australia’s G20 Sherpa, a role she held during Australia’s Presidency. Heather has also held roles with the Office of National Assessments and the Australian Treasury.
Before joining the public service, Heather was an academic working on North Asia at the Australian National University. She also worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Heather was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2015 Honours for her outstanding public service as Australia’s G20 Sherpa.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Economics (first class honours) from the University of Queensland and a Masters and PhD in Economics from the Australian National University. She has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. In 2012, Heather completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.