Ian Watt becomes board member at defence company BAE Systems Australia

By on 29/04/2016 | Updated on 25/09/2020
Dr Ian Watt retired from his role as secretary to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) in November 2014

Australia’s former top civil servant Dr Ian Watt has been appointed non-executive chairman of the country’s largest defence company.

BAE Systems Australia said the board post has been newly created for Watt, who previously headed up the prime minister’s department and worked as secretary of Australia’s defence department.

Watt, who retired from the public service in November 2014 following a career spanning almost 30 years, became the longest-serving secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation where he worked between 2002 and 2009.

He also worked as secretary of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts for one year from 2001, before which he was deputy secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and executive coordinator of the economic, industry and resources policy group.

Since leaving the public service, Watt has taken up a number of directorships, and currently holds board roles with Citigroup, Smartgroup Corporation, O’Connell Street Associates, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and the Grattan Institute where he is also the chair of the public policy committee.

He is also currently serving as chair of the National Innovation and Science Agenda Implementation Committee, chair of the Advisory Council for the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility and is a member of Male Champions of Change.

Glynn Phillips, chief executive of BAE Systems Australia said yesterday: “Dr Watt’s depth of experience will help guide our Australian business as we consider the opportunities to support the Government meet its strategic defence challenges.”

And Guy Griffiths, group managing director of BAE Systems’ international operating group, said: “Australia continues to be a key growth market for the group.

“The appointment of Dr Watt will help improve our engagement with government so that we can continue to play a leading role in helping protect the nation.”


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About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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