9 December 2022

Kerri Hartland named as new ASIS boss

| Chris Johnson
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kerri hartland DESE

Kerri Hartland is the first woman to lead the ASIS. Photo: Australian Government.

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service has a new director-general and, for the first time ever, it’s a woman.

Kerri Hartland has been named the next ASIS boss and she brings a wealth of public sector and national security experience to the role.

She will be the 13th director-general of the service.

Ms Hartland served as deputy director-general of ASIO from 2011 to 2017 and has continued to work with the national intelligence community as a consultant, as Chair of the AFP and the Office of the Special Investigator Audit and Risk Committees, Special Advisor to Fintel Alliance, and as a member of the National Security College Futures Council.

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong jointly announced the appointment today, Friday 9 December.

“At a time when Australia’s external environment is being reshaped, the work of ASIS is critical to defending our interests and keeping Australians safe,” they said.

“Ms Hartland will bring excellent strategic, operational and people leadership to her new role, having served as the Secretary of the Department of Employment, Small and Family Business from 2017 to 2020, and as Deputy Secretary of Human Services from 2006 to 2011.”

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The pair also thanked outgoing director-general Paul Symon for his leadership of ASIS over five years.

“Mr Symon’s career has been one of service to Australia. He has contributed with distinction in senior Defence and intelligence roles both domestically and internationally,” they said.

“We have greatly valued his experience, integrity and counsel and wish him and his family well.”

Ms Hartland, who will start in her new role on 20 February next year, said she was “incredibly honoured” by the appointment.

“With an increasingly complex geostrategic landscape, intelligence will continue to be critical to securing Australia’s safety, prosperity and sovereignty,” she said.

“To lead an organisation that so significantly contributes to Australia’s national security is a true privilege.”

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