Meet the members of our Executive team.
Secretary, Dr Heather Smith PSM
Dr Heather Smith was appointed Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in September 2017. She previously held the positions of Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts and Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Heather was responsible for innovation policy and public data policy and headed the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Innovation. In October 2013 she was appointed by Prime Minister Abbott as Australia's G20 Sherpa, a role she held during Australia's Presidency. Prior to this Heather had responsibility in the Department for economic, industry, infrastructure, environment and strategic policy matters in her role as Deputy Secretary Economic and Strategy.
From August 2010 to May 2013, Heather was Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for the Americas and Africa, North Asia, international security issues, G20 and the international economy, and information technology issues. She also served as an advisory member of then Prime Minister Gillard's Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.
Between February 2005 and August 2010, Heather was Deputy Director-General, Office of National Assessments (Australia's peak intelligence assessment agency) with responsibility, at various times, for North Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, transnational issues, international economic issues, corporate issues, and foreign intelligence coordination.
Between 2003 to 2005, Heather held positions at the Australian Treasury as General Manager, G20 and APEC Secretariat and General Manager, International Economy Division.
From 2000 to 2003, she was Assistant Director-General, International Economy Branch, Office of National Assessment.
Before joining the public service Heather was an academic working on North Asia at the Australian National University, holding various position from 1994 to 2000. She also worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia from 1988 to 1990.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Queensland and a Masters and PhD in Economics from the Australian National University. She has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. In 2012, Heather completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
Deputy Secretary, Elizabeth Kelly
Elizabeth Kelly commenced as Deputy Secretary at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in October 2017, where she is responsible for innovation, digital strategy and industry support programmes.
Prior to this, Elizabeth was Deputy Secretary, Governance at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where she was responsible for machinery of government, Cabinet, legal policy and governance issues across the public service and coordination of support to the Prime Minister..
Elizabeth has previously served in two Deputy Secretary roles with the Attorney-General’s Department, firstly responsible for Civil Justice and Legal Services and then Strategic Policy and Coordination and ministerial support.
Before returning to the Australian Public Service in 2006, Elizabeth was the Director of Policy and Regulatory Services in the ACT Department of Justice and Community Safety, responsible for legal policy advice to the ACT Government. She also served as the Director of Policy for the Northern Territory Attorney-General’s Department from 1996 to 2001, and was a Crown Prosecutor in the Serious Fraud Office, Fiji Director of Public Prosecutions in 1998.
Elizabeth was admitted as a legal practitioner by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1989, practising as a solicitor at Blake Dawson Waldron in 1989 and 1990, for the New South Wales Royal Commission into Productivity in the Building Industry from 1990 to 1992 and for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions from 1992 to 1996.
Elizabeth completed the Advanced Management program at the Harvard Business School in 2012.
Deputy Secretary, Mike Lawson
Mike Lawson commenced with the department in 1989 and became Deputy Secretary in 2016. He is responsible for the Strategic Policy, Resources, Northern Australia and Major Projects, Economic & Analytical Services, Industry Growth, and the Anti-Dumping Commission divisions, as well as the Office of Northern Australia.
Mike was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2014 for the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda and again in 2015 for the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
He was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2016.
He worked in the International Energy Agency, based in Paris, from 1994 to 1997.
Mike has a Masters Degree in Economics from the Australian National University and a Bachelor or Arts (Honours) from Murdoch University.
Deputy Secretary, David Williamson
David Williamson commenced with the department in August 2019. He is responsible for science and commercialisation policy, Questacon and the National Measurement Institute, as well as the department’s analytic and corporate functions.
David commenced in the Australian Public Service as a graduate in 2000 and joined the Senior Executive Service in 2004.
He recently led the team in the Prime Minister’s department supporting the Independent Review of the Australian Public Service. Prior to this he was a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, where his group included agricultural policy, farm support and sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry divisions.
From 2013 to 2016 David worked in the Prime Minister’s department, leading firstly the taskforce that prepared the Australian Government’s White Paper on Developing Northern Australia, then the Industry, Infrastructure and Environment Division.
David was Executive Director of the Policy and Research Division in the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development from 2010 to 2013. His division included the department’s strategic policy team and the research Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.
From 2004 to 2010 he held a number of senior executive positions in the Agriculture portfolio, including with responsibility for industry structural adjustment, trade and market access, and rural and regional policy and innovation. He has also had leadership roles supporting a number of other government-commissioned inquiries and as Government Director on a rural research and development corporation.
David grew up in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, and has a Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours) from the University of Melbourne.
Our organisational chart shows the internal structure of our department, our senior executives as well as the other agencies that form our portfolio.