Secretary and Deputy Secretaries
Biography of Ms Penny Williams PSM
Ms Williams was appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary in February 2017.
Her responsibilities include: the Australian Passport Office, Contracting and Aid Management; the Corporate Management Group (People, Finance and Security Branches), the Diplomatic Academy, Information Management and Technology, and the Overseas Property Office and Services. Ms Williams chairs the Workplace Relations Committee, the Ethics Committee, the Information and Communications Technology Steering Committee, the Business Continuity Taskforce and the Indigenous Taskforce.
Prior to assuming this role in April 2018, Ms Williams was the Deputy Secretary for the International Security, Humanitarian and Consular Group.
From 2011 to 2013, Ms Williams was Australia's Global Ambassador for Women and Girls. She was also the Executive Director of the Australian Passport Office. She served as Australia's High Commissioner to Malaysia (2007-10) and undertook earlier postings to Chile and Syria.
In Canberra Ms Williams has held senior positions including First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Management Division (2005-07), First Assistant Secretary, Diplomatic Security, Information Management and Services Division (2004-05) among others.
Ms Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies (Hons) and a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from the Australian National University. She speaks Indonesian and has studied Spanish and Arabic.
Ms Williams is the Department's Women in Leadership Band 3 Advocate.
She is married and has four children.