Ian Watt (public servant)

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Dr Ian Watt
AC
Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
In office
5 September 2011 (2011-09-05) – 30 November 2014 (2014-11-30)
Preceded by Terry Moran
Succeeded by Michael Thawley
Secretary of the Department of Defence
In office
2009–2011
Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation
In office
3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) – 2009
Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration
In office
23 November 2001 (2001-11-23) – 3 December 2007
Secretary of the
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts
In office
26 April 2001 (2001-04-26) – 23 November 2001
Personal details
Born (1950-06-18) 18 June 1950 (age 66)
Preston, Victoria
Nationality Australian
Spouse(s) Lorraine Watt[1]
Alma mater La Trobe University;
University of Melbourne;
Harvard Business School
Occupation Public servant
[2][3][4]

Ian James Watt AC (born 18 June 1950) is a retired Australian public servant, best known for his time as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet between September 2011 and November 2014.[5]

Background and career[edit]

Watt was born in Victoria[6] and raised in Reservoir in Melbourne's northern suburbs.[3] Watt was educated at La Trobe University and joined the Australian Public Service in 1971 in the Victorian Division of the Post Master General's Department. He completed his honours degree at the University of Melbourne before commencing a cadetship with the The Treasury in 1973. Watt completed his master's degree and PhD at La Trobe University before returning to The Treasury in 1985.[4]

He served as Minister (Economic) at the Embassy of Australia in Washington between 1991 and 1994. On his return to Australia, Watt was appointed as First Assistant Secretary of Economic Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, between March 1994 and November 1996; and was Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPM&C) and Executive Coordinator of the Economic, Industry and Resources Policy Group until March 2001. During his time at DPM&C, Watt completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.[2]

In March 2001, Watt accepted appointment as the Secretary of the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, until his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration in January 2002. Watt became the longest serving Finance Secretary in April 2009. In August 2009 he accepted appointment as the Secretary of the Department of Defence,[7] until his appointment to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in September 2011.[4][8][9] Watt resigned from the role in November 2014.[10][11] His departure had been speculated since the Abbott Government took office in September 2013.[12]

Watt is the former chair of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD's) Working Party of Senior Budget Officials.[2] His appointments since resigning from the public service include directorships with the Grattan Institute and Citigroup Pty Limited.[13]

During April 2016, Watt was appointed Chair of SMART Infrastructure Facility's Advisory Council.[14] The role of the Council is to advise and guide SMART Infrastructure Facility in its vision to deliver integrated infrastructure planning solutions for Australia and internationally

Honours[edit]

Watt was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008 for service to the community through the development of public policy and administration in the areas of finance and governance, budget and expenditure policy, taxation reform, and through contributions to international professional finance organisations.[15] In 2016 Watt was appointed a Companion of the Order for eminent service to the community through public sector leadership and administration, to innovative and effective governance, program delivery and policy reform, and to the promotion of workplace diversity.[13][16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raggatt, Matthew (11 June 2014). "Canberra's power couples – the cream of the crop". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 30 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Secretary – Dr Ian Watt". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Commonwealth of Australia. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "The Top 50: Politics: Ian Watt". The Australian. 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "The Role of the Defence Secretary" (PDF). RUSI of Australia. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Gillard, Julia (4 August 2011). "Departmental Secretaries". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Watt, Ian (26 January 2013). Speech at Australian Unity Australia Day Breakfast (Speech). Australian Unity Australia Day Breakfast. Queen's Hall, Parliament House, Melbourne. 
  7. ^ Rudd, Kevin (13 August 2009). "Departmental secretaries and statutory office-holders, Canberra". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Dr Ian J Watt AO" (PDF). RUSI of Australia. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation". Minister for Finance and Deregulation (Press release). Commonwealth of Australia. 13 August 2009. 
  10. ^ Thomson, Phillip (30 October 2014). "Michael Thawley appointed new PM&C secretary as Ian Watt resigns". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "Ian Watt departs Prime Minister and Cabinet. Michael Thawley steps in". Canberra, Australia: CityNews. 30 October 2014. Archived from the original on 30 October 2014. 
  12. ^ Burton, Tom (31 October 2014). "Thawley returning for PM&C post to 'get good things done'". The Mandarin. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Companion in the General Division in the Order of Australia" (PDF). The Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List. Governor-General of Australia. 13 June 2016. p. 13. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Former head of Australian Public Service to lead SMART Advisory Council". media.uow.edu.au. Retrieved 2016-07-13. 
  15. ^ "WATT, Ian James". It's an honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2013. 
  16. ^ Doherty, Megan (13 June 2016). "Queen's Birthday Honours 2016: Former secretary to four departments, Dr Ian Watt, appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 13 June 2016. 

References and further reading[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Terry Moran
Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
2011–2014
Succeeded by
Michael Thawley
Preceded by
Nick Warner
Secretary of the Department of Defence
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Duncan Lewis
Preceded by
Himself
as Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration
Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation
2007–2009
Succeeded by
David Tune
Preceded by
Peter Boxall
Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration
2001–2007
Succeeded by
Himself
as Secretary of the Department of Finance and Deregulation
Preceded by
Neville Stevens
Secretary of the
Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

2001
Succeeded by
Helen Williams