CEDA announces high profile business leader as new Chair-elect
High profile WA-based business leader Diane Smith-Gander AO will take over as Chair of CEDA from Paul McClintock AO in November.
Smith-Gander has been a member of CEDA’s Board since 2015 and is currently non-Executive director of AGL Energy, Wesfarmers and the Keystart Loans group, Chair of Safe Work Australia, Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council, and a member of the partnership council of Norton Rose Fulbright Australia. She recently served as a panel member of the APRA Capability Review commissioned by the Federal Treasurer.
She is a past President of Chief Executive Women and has also previously been Chairman of Broadspectrum, Deputy Chair of NBNCo, a commissioner of Tourism WA and a board member of the Committee for Perth.
Smith-Gander said it would be an honour to lead an organisation such as CEDA and succeed McClintock as Chairman.
“Paul’s outstanding stewardship of CEDA has included a focus in recent years to reposition the organisation to have a greater voice and impact in driving good social and economic development. This makes it an exciting time to take over as Chair,” she said.
McClintock said it had been a privilege to lead an organisation such as CEDA.
“CEDA turns 60 in 2020 and I hope the work undertaken during my tenure as Chair to move CEDA towards a greater policy advocacy role, will ensure CEDA stays strong for many more decades to come,” he said.
Highlights have been chairing the high-level commission set up by CEDA to oversee the Deficit to balance: budget repair options report, launched at the National Press Club, and more recently the completion of CEDA’s 2019 foundation document, Connecting people with progress.
According to McClintock, Community Pulse, CEDA’s first nation-wide poll of community attitudes to economic development undertaken last year, and its follow-up currently underway and due for release in September, have been a great addition in his time.
“I would also like to thank my fellow CEDA Board members for their support, professionalism, expertise and input during my tenure as Chair,” he said. “With global economic and political uncertainty, having a trusted and independent policy voice such as CEDA is now more important than ever for Australia.”
Meanwhile, leading Australian economic and policy experts, Professor Jeff Borland and Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM have also been appointed to the CEDA Board, taking up their positions immediately.
CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento said Smith-Gander brings a wealth of experience from corporate Australia combined with a keen interest in progressing social issues, a great alignment with CEDA’s purpose.
Cilento said in addition to Smith-Gander’s role as CEDA Chair, the appointment of Professor Borland and Dr de Brouwer to the Board would ensure the focus and relevance of CEDA’s research and policy agenda would continue.
Professor Borland is currently the Truby Williams Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne. His main areas of research and teaching are on labour markets in Australia, program and policy evaluation and economic history. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and currently President of the Victorian Branch of the Economic Society of Australia.
Dr de Brouwer is a former Secretary of the Federal Department of Environment and Associate Secretary in the Domestic Policy Group for the Federal Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has also previously worked for the Federal Treasury, RBA and Westpac Bank in Tokyo. His areas of expertise include Asian economies, macroeconomics, international finance, regionalism and international institutions.
“Professor Borland, a leading Australian economist, and Dr de Brouwer, a prominent Australian economic and policy expert, bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the CEDA Board and our Research and Policy Committee, who oversee CEDA’s research agenda,” Cilento said.
Professor Borland will also take over as Chair of the RPC.
CEDA’s work creates a nexus for business, government, academia and community organisations to come together to debate and progress policy solutions that deliver better economic and social outcomes for Australia.
As an independent not-for-profit, Cliento said that CEDA’s ability to attract this calibre of appointments is testament to the strength of CEDA’s position in the business and public policy space.