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ANZSOG’s new CEO and Dean Ken Smith announced

9 January 2017

News and media


photo of incoming Dean Ken Smith

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) has appointed Ken Smith as its new Chief Executive Officer and Dean.

Mr Smith joins ANZSOG from the Queensland Government, where he has been Agent-General and Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa based in London since 2011.

Mr Smith brings extensive, senior public sector experience to the role having headed the Queensland Public Service as Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. He has held a number of Department Chief Executive Officer positions in Queensland since the early 90’s.

Finn Pratt AO PSM, Chair of ANZSOG, welcomed Mr Smith’s appointment on behalf of the ANZSOG Board and said the appointment signals a new phase for the organisation.

“Our founding CEOs, Allan Fels and Gary Banks, helped establish ANZSOG as a global leader in public sector education and research,” Mr Pratt said.

“We are now embarking on our next stage of development, which includes expanding our work in executive development solutions and resources for the public sector, growing our work in the Asia-Pacific region and increasing recognition of our brand.

“I welcome Mr Smith to ANZSOG. He joins a team that includes some of Australia and New Zealand’s leading public sector faculty and researchers.

“Ken’s extensive experience as a senior public servant, combined with his vision for moving ANZSOG forward, make him an outstanding appointment.”

Mr Smith said he looks forward to working closely with the highly skilled network at ANZSOG and particularly the key government and university stakeholders to develop an efficient, effective, ethical, and more responsive and resilient public sector in our two nations.

“I am excited about joining ANZSOG as Dean and CEO and building on the great legacy of my distinguished predecessors, Allan Fels and Gary Banks. The public sectors in Australia and NZ play a vital role in the life of our two nations. The partnership between ten governments and fifteen of our best Universities offers a unique platform to systematically address the skill deficits and leadership challenges governments face.

“The strength and capability of our public sector leadership and the higher education sector also provides an opportunity to share our experiences internationally – particularly in our own region, the Asia Pacific.

“Working in London and in a number of jurisdictions in Europe and Sub Saharan Africa over the last 5 years, has demonstrated the importance of ongoing public sector reform and development to effectively manage and respond to the major challenges faced by governments within and across nation states. Australia and New Zealand can benefit as well as contribute to how the public sector is best positioned to respond to the many difficult challenges that inevitably arise.”

Mr Smith has worked on many national policy issues over the past 3 decades, particularly in housing and urban affairs, social welfare and education. He has served as Coordinator-General and Director-General of the 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.

Mr Smith has undergraduate and post graduate 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 Universities of Queensland and Sydney.

Upon commencing with ANZSOG, Mr Smith will also be appointed Enterprise Professor at The University of Melbourne.

He has extensive experience as a chair and board member of a number of companies and statutory authorities in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Mr Smith will commence his role from Monday 15 May 2017.