Frances Adamson


Frances Adamson
CEW Member

Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Frances Adamson has worked in the highest echelons of the Federal Government and is currently Secretary of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Prior to that appointment she was Foreign Policy Adviser to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Frances was Australia’s Ambassador to China (2011-2015), Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (2005-2008) and Australian Representative in Taipei (2000-2005).

Frances is a woman of significant influence in the Australian Public Service and has worked constructively with both sides of politics. She was Chief of Staff to Foreign Minister and then Defence Minister, Stephen Smith.

Frances has an Economics degree from the University of Adelaide and has a keen interest in public policy issues. She joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 1985.

As a senior public servant, Frances has a commitment to merit-based promotion of women and has instigated several policy initiatives to this end. Frances has the distinction of being the first ever female Secretary to be appointed to the portfolio of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was the first female Australian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.

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