Secretary and Deputy Secretaries

Secretary, Frances Adamson 

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

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Deputy Secretary, Penny Williams PSM

Ms Williams is responsible for the Services Delivery Group, which includes:

  • Australian Passport Office
  • Contracting and Aid Management Division
  • Corporate Management Group (People, Finance and Security Branches)
  • Diplomatic Academy
  • Information Management and Technology Division
  • Overseas Property Office and Services
  • Protocol Branch

Ms Williams 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 Penny Williams PSM

Penny Williams

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Deputy Secretary, Richard Maude

Mr Maude is responsible for the Indo-Pacific Group, which includes:

  • Southeast Asia Division
  • North Asia Division
  • Pacific Division
  • US and Indo-Pacific Strategy Division
  • South-West Asia Division
  • Strategic Policy Contestability and Futures Branch

Mr Maude 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 Maude represents the department on the Australia-China Council, the Australia-India Council, the Australia-Indonesia Institute, the Australia-Japan Foundation, the Australia-Korea Foundation and the Australia-ASEAN Council.

Biography of Richard Maude

Richard Maude

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Deputy Secretary, Christopher Langman

Mr Langman is responsible for the Trade, Investment and Business Engagement Group, which includes:

  • Regional Trade Agreements Division
  • Investment and Economic Division
  • Office of Trade Negotiations
  • Europe and Latin America Division
  • State and Territory Offices

Mr Langman will also act as an alternate ex-officio government member on the EFIC Board and represent the department on the International Economic Policy Group and the Council on Australia-Latin America Relations.

Biography of Christopher Langman

Christopher Langman

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Deputy Secretary, Clare Walsh

Ms Walsh is responsible for the Global Cooperation, Development and Partnerships Group which includes:

  • Development Policy Division
  • Multilateral Development and Finance Division
  • Multilateral Policy Division
  • Public Diplomacy, Communications and Scholarships Division
  • Centre for Health Security
  • innovationXchange
  • Office of Development Effectiveness

Ms Walsh chairs the Aid Governance Board and the Development Policy Forum. She also represents the department on the Independent Evaluation Committee.

Biography of Clare Walsh

Clare Walsh

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Deputy Secretary, Tony Sheehan

Mr Sheehan is responsible for the International Security, Humanitarian and Consular Group, which includes:

  • Consular & Crisis Management Division
  • Humanitarian, NGOs and Partnerships Division
  • International Security Division
  • Legal Division
  • Middle East and Africa Division
  • Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office
  • Audit Branch

Mr Sheehan represents the department on the Council for Australian-Arab Relations. He also attends, as required, the Australian Government Crisis Committee (AGCC) and the National Crisis Committee (NCC).

Biography of Tony Sheehan

Caroline Millar  


Last Updated: 8 October 2018