Our Executive

Our Secretary, Dr Heather Smith PSM

Dr Heather Smith PSMDr 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 2003–2005, Heather held positions at the Australian Treasury as General Manager, G20 and APEC Secretariat and General Manager, International Economy Division.

From 2000–2003, 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 1994–2000. She also worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia from 1988–1990.

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 - Sue Weston

Sue WestonSue Weston is the Deputy Secretary currently responsible for the department’s science groups, which include the Science and Commercialisation Policy Division, Questacon (the National Science and Technology Centre), the National Measurement Institute and the Australian Astronomical Observatory. Sue also has responsibility for the Corporate division which includes the department’s budget.

Sue is the department’s disability champion.

Sue has previously provided policy advice and support to portfolio Ministers on issues relevant to industry and small business in Australia. Her roles have included working with other Australian Government departments and agencies to assist them to better assess the impact policies may have on small business in particular.

Sue has been involved in a number of corporate roles in the then Department of Innovation including time as Deputy Chair of the Audit Committee and Chair of the Financial Statement Sub-committee. Sue also has experience in managing Machinery of Government changes.

Prior to her appointment in this department, Sue had an extensive career in the Australian Taxation Office, working in a wide range of areas, and in particular on business education and training in relation to the New Tax System reforms.
Sue has a Bachelor of Science degree, a Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting and is a Fellow of CPA Australia.


Deputy Secretary - Elizabeth Kelly 

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 1989/1990, 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 LawsonMike Lawson is the Deputy Secretary responsible for the Portfolio Policy and Innovation Strategy, Economic & Analytical Services, Industry Growth, Resources, Office of Northern Australia, and the Anti-Dumping Commission divisions of the department. Mike also has oversight of the COAG Australian Building Codes Board.

Previously, Mike headed the Portfolio Strategic Policy Division and before that, the Sectoral Growth Policy Division.

Mike was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2014 for the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda and in 2015 for the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

He worked in the International Energy Agency, based in Paris, from 1994 to 1997.

Mike commenced his career in the public service in 1989, in the then Bureau of Industry Economics.

Mike has a Masters Degree in Economics from the Australian National University.