Biography of Ms Penny Williams PSM

Ms Williams was appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary in February 2017.

Her responsibilities include Americas, Europe, Pacific, South and West Asia, and Middle East and Africa Divisions.

Ms Williams represents the department on the Australia-India Council, the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, the Council on Australia-Latin America Relations and the Advisory Group on Africa Australia Relations (AGAAR).

From 2011 to 2013, Ms Williams was Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls.  She was also the Executive Director of the Australian Passport Office. She served as Australia's High Commissioner to Malaysia (2007-10) and undertook earlier postings to Chile and Syria.

In Canberra Ms Williams has held senior positions including First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Management Division (2005-07), First Assistant Secretary, Diplomatic Security, Information Management and Services Division (2004-05) among others.

Ms Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies (Hons) and a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from the Australian National University. She speaks Indonesian and has studied Spanish and Arabic.

Ms Williams is the Department’s Women in Leadership Band 3 Advocate.

She is married and has four children.

Last Updated: 21 August 2017
Ms Penny Williams

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