Ms Bird was appointed Deputy Secretary in December 2004. From 2008 to 2013, she held the additional role of Australia's first Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). She now holds the position of ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting leader and carries responsibility for the East Asia Summit.
Before taking up her position as Deputy Secretary, Ms Bird served as First Assistant Secretary, International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2002-2004). Prior to this appointment, she was Head, Foreign and Trade Policy White Paper Task Force (Advancing the National Interest) within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Her previous positions in the department include First Assistant Secretary, South and South-East Asia Division (1999-2002), First Assistant Secretary, International Organisations and Legal Division (1997-1999), Assistant Secretary, Peace, Arms Control and Disarmament Branch (1994-1997) and Assistant Secretary, Executive Branch (1993-1994). She has also worked with the Office of the Minister for Trade Negotiations.
Ms Bird has served overseas in UN New York (1990-1993), Harare (1986-1987) and Paris OECD (1980-1983). Ms Bird joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1980.
Ms Bird was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2012 for outstanding public service in the field of International Relations.Ms Bird holds a BA (First Class Hons), University of Sydney and is a graduate of the French École Nationale d'Administration.