Ms Penny Williams, Global Ambassador for Women and Girls
The Global Ambassador for Women and Girls is responsible for high-level advocacy to promote Australian Government policies and activity regarding gender equality and the social, political and economic empowerment of women and girls, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Ambassador works closely with foreign governments and international organisations to support measures that: eradicate violence against, and trafficking of, women and girls; promote better educational and health outcomes; protect women and girls in conflict and promote the role of women in peace-building; eliminate discrimination; and enhance the participation of women in decision-making and leadership.
Ms Williams was appointed Australia's first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls on 13 September 2011. She also holds the position of Executive Director of the Australian Passport Office (APO).
Ms Williams has most recently been Australia's High Commissioner to Malaysia (2007-10). She has held a number of positions in DFAT, including First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Management Division (2005-07), First Assistant Secretary, Diplomatic Security, Information Management and Services Division (2004-05) and Assistant Secretary, Staffing Branch (2003-04). Overseas, Ms Williams has also served in Santiago and Damascus.
Ms Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies (Hons) from the Australian National University. She speaks Spanish, Indonesian and has studied Arabic. She is married and has four children.