Independent non-executive director, BA (Sydney), MA (Oxon)
Appointment: September 2014
Committee membership: Nominations Committee, Sustainability Committee
Skills and experience: Michael, an Australian citizen, has long and distinguished public service experience in Australia and brings to the board valuable, global expertise in foreign policy, international relations and trade. His long standing career has enabled him to gain practical experience of the broader geostrategic, economic and societal trends which impact Rio Tinto’s global operations. Michael joined the Australian Government’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 1981. From 1989 to 1994, he worked in a range of policy advisory positions before he was appointed the inaugural executive director of the Menzies Research Centre in Canberra in 1995.
In 1996, he was appointed by the Prime Minister as secretary to cabinet and head of the Cabinet Policy Unit. He served in that role until 2000 when he became Australia’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom. He returned to Australia as secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 2005 to 2009. In 2007, he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia.
External Appointments (current and recent): Director and Deputy Chancellor of the University of Notre Dame, Australia, since 2014 and 2017 respectively, and head of college of the National Security College at the Australian National University in Canberra from 2009 until 2014, continuing as a professor until 2015. Non-executive director of Qantas Airways Limited.