Secretary and Deputy Secretaries

Secretary, Frances Adamson

Frances Adamson was appointed Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 22 July 2016.

After undertaking study at Harvard University on a Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship, Ms Adamson will take up the position in Canberra on 25 August 2016.

Prior to her appointment as Secretary, Ms Adamson was International Adviser to the Australian Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP from November 2015.

Biography of Frances Adamson

Ms Frances Adamson 

Download the photo of Frances Adamson in print-quality [JPEG 1 MB]. Images can be freely used for any non-commercial purpose.


Deputy Secretary, Gary Quinlan AO

  • South-East Asia Maritime Division
  • South-East Asia Mainland and Regional Division
  • North Asia Division
  • Public Diplomacy and Communications Division
  • International Security Division
  • Consular and Crisis Management Division
  • Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office
  • New Colombo Plan Secretariat Branch

The People Smuggling Taskforce and the relevant Ambassador report directly to Mr Quinlan.

Mr Quinlan represents the department on the National Intelligence Coordination Committee and the Strategic Policy Coordination Group. He serves as ASEAN SOM leader and carries responsibility for the East Asia Summit. Mr Quinlan represents the department on the Australia-China Council, the Australia-Indonesia Institute, the Australia-Japan Foundation, the Australia-Korea Foundation, the Australia-Malaysia Institute and the Australia-Thailand Institute (until the latter two are replaced by the Australia-ASEAN Council). He also attends, as required, the Australian Government Crisis Committee (AGCC) and the National Crisis Committee (NCC).

Biography of Gary Quinlan

Mr Gary Quinlan

Download photo

Download the photo of Gary Quinlan in print-quality [JPG 3.45 MB]. Images can be freely used for any non-commercial purpose.


Deputy Secretary, Ewen McDonald

  • Humanitarian, NGOs and Partnerships Division
  • Multilateral Development and Partnerships Division
  • Multilateral Policy Division
  • Development Policy Division
  • Office of Development Effectiveness
  • innovationXchange

Mr McDonald chairs the Aid Investment Committee, the Development Policy Committee, and the Audit and Risk Committee. He also represents the department on the Independent Evaluation Committee and is a member of the Indigenous Taskforce.

Biography of Ewen McDonald

Ewen McDonald

Download photo

Download the photo of Ewen McDonald in print-quality [JPG, 10.1x13.2 cm at 300 dpi, 560 KB]. Images can be freely used for any non-commercial purpose.


Deputy Secretary, Jennifer Rawson

  • Australian Passports Office
  • Corporate Management Division
  • Information Management and Technology Division
  • Overseas Property Office and Services
  • Contracting and Aid Management Division
  • Legal Division
  • Capability and Change Management Team

Ms Rawson chairs the Workplace Relations Committee, the Ethics Committee, the Information and Communications Technology Steering Committee, the Business Continuity Taskforce and the Indigenous Taskforce.

Biography of Jennifer Rawson

Ms Jennifer Rawson

Download photo

Download the photo of Jennifer Rawson in print-quality [JPG, 1.1 MB]. Images can be freely used for any non-commercial purpose.


Deputy Secretary, Justin Brown

  • Free Trade Agreement Division
  • Office of Trade Negotiations
  • Trade, Investment and Economic Diplomacy Division

The Sustainability and Climate Change Branch and the Ambassador for the Environment will report directly to Mr Brown but remain within the Multilateral Policy Division structure.

Mr Brown will also act as an alternate ex-officio government member on the EFIC board and represent the department on the International Economic Policy Group.

Biography of Justin Brown

Justin Brown

Download photo

Download the photo of Justin Brown in print-quality [JPG 2.19 MB]. Images can be freely used for any non-commercial purpose.


Deputy Secretary, Ric Wells

  • Americas Division
  • South and West Asia Division
  • Middle East and Africa Division
  • Pacific Division
  • Europe Division

Mr Wells was appointed Deputy Secretary in June 2009.

From 2011 to 2014, he was Australia’s Ambassador to France. He has also served as Deputy Head of the Australian Mission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, and undertook earlier postings to Indonesia and Egypt.

Biography of Ric Wells

Mr Ric Wells

Download photo

Download the photo of Ric Wells in print-quality [JPG, 13x18 cm at 300 dpi, 900 KB]. Images can be freely used for any non-commercial purpose.



Last Updated: 5 March 2015