Ms Hardy is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was until recently Assistant Secretary, Strategic Issues and Intelligence Branch. Previous positions include Assistant Secretary, United States Branch (2010-2011); Counsellor, Australian Embassy, Washington (2005-2009); Counsellor, Australian Embassy, Seoul (1999-2002) and Second Secretary, Australian High Commission, Kuala Lumpur (1993-1996).
Ms Hardy holds a Master of Arts degree from Monash University; Bachelor of Arts degrees from Flinders University and the University of South Australia and a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from the ANU. She has published articles and a book on Australian Aboriginal art. She speaks Spanish.