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Ken Smith AO

Dean and CEO

ANZSOG and the University of Melbourne

Faculty: Expert contributors


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Professor Ken Smith is the Chief Executive Officer and Dean of ANZSOG since May 2017. He is also  Enterprise Professor at The University of Melbourne.

He joins ANZSOG from London where he was the Queensland Agent-General and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa from mid-2011.

Professor Smith brings extensive, senior and diverse public sector experience from roles in NSW, Tasmania and for almost three decades for the Queensland government. He previously headed the Queensland Public Service as Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet between 2007 and 2011, and held various department chief executive officer positions in Queensland from the early ’90s.

He has worked on many national policy issues over the past three decades, particularly in housing and urban affairs, social welfare and education. Professor Smith has served as Coordinator-General and Director-General of the Queensland Department of Infrastructure, and has been the Director-General of a range of large Queensland Government departments including Education and Arts, Employment and Training, Family Services, Disability Services Queensland and Housing Local Government and Planning. He has been involved in Commonwealth state negotiations from the early ’80s onwards, and has chaired many senior officer fora.

Professor Smith has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in social work majoring in social policy. He has worked extensively with and within the school, vocational and higher education sectors and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and Australian College of Educational Leadership. He has held adjunct professorial positions at the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney.

He has extensive experience as a chair and board member of several companies and statutory authorities in Australia and the United Kingdom, including as a Board Member and Chair of ANZSOG. Professor Smith is also an Honorary Member of the South Asian Network for Public Administration (SANPA).

News Stories
1. Professor Ken Smith: How ANZSOG is adapting for the post-COVID era

ANZSOG, like many other organisations, spent much of 2020 adapting what we do to meet the new world of social distancing and online engagement, while ensuring that we worked closely with our government owners to meet their changing needs at a time of great disruption.

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2. Always was, always will be: ANZSOG supports NAIDOC week 2020

Each year NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Celebration) Week celebrates the achievements, history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and gives non-Indigenous Australians the chance to get involved in NAIDOC Week celebrations in their communities.

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3. National Reconciliation Week: We are in this together

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about the histories, cultures and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities across our diverse country.

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4. How we can build on Australia’s COVID-19 response to reshape the federation

Trust in government at record levels? The federation working smoothly, and politicians apologising for criticising each other? These would not have been among anyone’s predictions for 2020, but the global COVID-19 pandemic has upended most of what we have taken for granted.

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5. ANZSOG’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across all sectors, and the importance of effective, evidence-based and transparent public management has never been more important.

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6. New staff, new research program, more courses in regional Australia 
ANZSOG is in for an exciting 2019, with new staff, a revamped research program, greater Indigenous engagement and a focus on regional Australia.
Read more about the future of ANZSOG

7. Professor Ken Smith | Reimagining public administration speech transcript
This is a version of a speech given by ANZSOG Dean and CEO Ken Smith at ANZSOG’s Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms at Melbourne’s Federation Square on 20-21 February 2019.
Read the full speech

8. Professor Ken Smith: Why public services must improve Indigenous representation

Since 2017, ANZSOG has been on a journey to improve the representation of First Peoples’ knowledge, wisdom and experiences in our teaching, learning and research.

Read the full speech

9. Ken Smith’s key priorities for ANZSOG
Professor Ken Smith, ANZSOG’s new CEO and Dean, says that expanding the organisation’s international focus in the Indo-Pacific region, ensuring ANZSOG continues to provide relevant, high-quality education and research to the public sector, and better connecting with alumni will be his key priorities.
Read more about Ken’s priorities for ANZSOG

10. Ken Smith’s Federalism fix: forget turf wars, focus on outcomes

Professor Ken Smith discussed Commonwealth-state relations at the 2017 Institute of Public Administration Australia national conference in Canberra.

Read the full speech