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Media Release: New Dean and CEO for ANZSOG

19 August 2022

News and media


Image of Adam Fennessy, new Dean and CEO of ANZSOG

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) is pleased to announce the appointment of Adam Fennessy PSM as its new Chief Executive Officer and Dean.

Mr Fennessy joins ANZSOG from the Victorian Government where he is currently the Public Sector Commissioner, and brings more than 20 years of public sector experience at state and federal levels including four years as Secretary of the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and prior to that the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Mr Fennessy has also worked in the private sector as a Partner with global advisory firm Ernst & Young and has served on several boards including the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria), Infrastructure Victoria, the Monash University Sustainable Development Institute, the University of Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute and Women & Leadership Australia.

Chair of ANZSOG Peter Woolcott AO welcomed Mr Fennessy’s appointment on behalf of the ANZSOG Board and said the appointment signals an exciting new phase for the organisation, that has experienced growth and success under the leadership of outgoing Dean and CEO, Professor Ken Smith AO.

“Ken Smith has a long history of public sector leadership and has played a key role in the recognition of ANZSOG as a global leader in public sector education and research,” Mr Woolcott said.

“Ken has led the organisation and enhanced its reputation locally and internationally through growth and expansion, as well as carefully navigating our path through a global pandemic. He leaves a strong legacy and a solid platform from which ANZSOG can continue to develop,” Mr Woolcott said.

“Our course for the future will include expanding our impact across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, along with further defining and cementing the ANZSOG brand as a global leader in public sector education and research.

“ANZSOG will continue to be a leading and significant contributor to public administration capability across the Indo-Pacific, cementing its position as the premier School of Government and public sector leadership in the region. We have an increasingly important role to play both across the sector and with partners outside government, and we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for ANZSOG to contribute further to the development of leadership and capability across all of the jurisdictions we serve.

“I welcome Mr Fennessy to ANZSOG. His extensive senior experience in the public sector, his networks and record of engagement experience, and his vision and commitment to the future of ANZSOG make him an outstanding and exciting appointment,” Mr Woolcott said.

Ken Smith said he is proud to have been associated with ANZSOG for ten of its short 20-year history as a Board member, Chair and as Executive Director for the last five years.

“ANZSOG is a globally unique model with a fantastic reputation for excellence in delivering innovative education and research focussed on assisting governments to solve complex problems. It was a great honour to lead the organisation and I am sure ANZSOG will continue to flourish under Adam Fennessy’s leadership,” Professor Smith said.

Mr Fennessy said he is excited about the opportunity to lead such a significant and influential organisation that will play a critical role in the future development of the public sectors across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

“I am delighted to be joining ANZSOG at such an exciting and pivotal time. ANZSOG has played a key role in the development of leaders across our sector, and I look forward to building upon its success as a key partner in the growth and development of public sector education and research.

“It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to contribute to the future prosperity of both ANZSOG and public sector leadership in such a meaningful role.’’

Mr Fennessy will commence on Monday 3 October 2022.


Download a copy of this media release here.