The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney (USSC) is pleased to announce the appointment of four new directors to its board, replacing outgoing members over the previous six months. Barrister Louise Clegg, former Minister for Communications the Hon. Stephen Conroy, EY assurance partner John Robinson, and Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Dr Heather Smith, PSM. The USSC also has the pleasure of announcing that the former Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. Mike Baird, will be joining the board in January 2019.

Chairman of the USSC Board Mark Baillie said the mix of the new board members' expertise in business, accounting, law and innovation – as well as their experience on both sides of politics – will be an ongoing asset to the Centre. 

"Louise, Stephen, John, Heather and Mike's professional and political experiences will be of immense value in conveying the importance of the Australian-US relationship to Australian leaders in all spheres. This greatly supports the Centre's mission of engagement," Mr Baillie said.

CEO Professor Simon Jackman thanked outgoing board members Senator Kristina Keneally, Greg Medcraft, Dennis Richardson and Simon Smith for their service.

"Kristina, Greg, Dennis and Simon's contributions have been invaluable to the Centre as it has continued to grow into its role as the pre-eminent voice on Australia-US relations. The Centre thanks them kindly for their service and wishes them well in all future endeavours," Professor Jackman said. 

Louise Clegg

Louise Clegg is a barrister at PG Hely Chambers who specialises in public law and employment law. Louise has appeared in more than one hundred Federal Court appeals, many of them appeals from the Federal Circuit Court, and hundreds more judicial review cases in the Federal Circuit Court. A keen writer and presenter, Louise has also been published extensively in Australian outlets on the topics of democracy, freedoms and politics. 

The Hon. Stephen Conroy

The Hon. Stephen Conroy is the Executive Director of Responsible Wagering Australia. Prior to taking up this position, Stephen served as a Senator in the Australian Parliament for more than 20 years, including as the Leader of the Government in the Senate. During his time in Parliament, Stephen worked across multiple portfolio areas, most notably as the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

John Robinson

John Robinson is a Partner in EY’s Assurance practice with over 20 years’ experience in professional services. John has serviced public, multinational and major domestic clients in the media, gaming, technology and aged care sectors. He has worked in the United States and the United Kingdom throughout his career.

Dr Heather Smith, PSM

Dr Heather Smith is the Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Heather has previously served as Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts, Deputy Secretary in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Foreign Affairs and Trade, and as Deputy Director-General of the Office of National Assessments. Heather was Australia’s G20 Sherpa in 2014. She has also been an academic working on North Asia at the Australian National University.

The Hon. Mike Baird

The Hon. Mike Baird is the Chief Customer Officer, Corporate & Institutional Banking, at the National Australia Bank. Prior to this role, Mike served as a member of the New South Wales Parliament for 10 years, including as Treasurer from 2011-2014, and then as the 44th Premier of NSW from 2014 to January 2017, when he retired from politics. Mike holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from the University of Sydney and has completed executive management courses at Harvard and Duke University.

Media enquiries

Drew Sheldrick
T 02 9114 2622
E drew.sheldrick@sydney.edu.au