Our leadership team

Simon Smith was appointed to the position of Secretary in July 2015 by the Premier.

Prior to this appointment he was Chief Executive at the Office of Finance and Services and before that, Deputy Secretary at the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Simon trained as an economist and first joined the NSW Public Sector in 1994. His public sector roles have focused on the nexus between the economy and the environment, including roles in regulation, policy development and program delivery.

He is passionate about the contribution that the public sector can make to building prosperity for the whole community.

Tara is the Director of the Office of the Secretary, the central management unit of the Department of Industry that provides principal support services to the Secretary, including strategic advice and management of information flows from the department’s divisions.

Tara has held policy and management roles in the NSW public sector since 2011, including three years at the Department of Industry as Director Cabinet and Legislation Services and Director of the Ministerial Liaison Office.

Tara has a comprehensive understanding of the political process, machinery of government, policy formation, legislative development and Cabinet process. She has delivered a range of complex stakeholder management and policy reform programs that have contributed to the economic growth and productivity of NSW.

Steven Blaney joined DRE and Industry as an Executive Director in Communication in September 2015 and was appointed the Executive Director and Head of Communication and Engagement for Industry in February 2016.

Prior to joining Industry Steven had been Head of Corporate Affairs for an Australian mining company. Before this Steven had spent the previous 15 years working in leadership and regional management roles in Sydney, London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong with the Royal Bank of Scotland, ABN AMRO and Citi.

Steven brings a wealth of communication and marketing experience to the NSW public sector.

Susan Calvert is Acting Deputy Secretary for Skills and Economic Development, a division of Industry that focuses on creating the conditions for NSW to prosper. Skills and Economic Development collaborates with industry and economic agencies to ensure that the NSW economy continues to grow and that the workforce is suitably skilled to support future economic growth.

When not in her current acting role, Susan heads the NSW Trade & Investment team within the NSW Department of Industry, and supports the Minister for Trade, the Hon Niall Blair MLC.

NSW Trade & Investment has offices in 10 international markets and in seven locations in regional NSW. The team works to promote NSW as a strong, diverse economy and the globally competitive capabilities of our sectors internationally. NSW has performed competitively in trade and investment over the last year and has set the following targets for 2020:

  • Grow international investment into NSW to $8 billion and 15,000 jobs per annum
  • Grow international education to a $9 billion service export industry per annum
  • Grow financial services exports from NSW to $4.5 billion per annum
  • Increase the number of NSW businesses exporting to 16,000.

Susan has worked in the public, private and university sectors in roles covering strategy development, policy reform, business management, consulting, project management and communications.  Susan coordinated the NSW Government’s response to the Global Financial Crisis in partnership with the private sector and prepared the NSW Business Sector Growth Plan in 2010 which supported jobs and economic growth in NSW through the downturn.

In her 8 years in the private sector Susan worked for large infrastructure companies including Hyder Consulting, Parsons Brinkerhoff and as a long term secondee to the Olympic Coordination Authority in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Scott Hansen joined NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) as Director General in March 2014. The NSW Department of Primary Industries is a core division of the state's economic development agency, NSW Department of Industry and includes Agriculture NSW, Fisheries NSW, NSW Office of Water, Metropolitan Water Directorate, NSW Food Authority, Biosecurity NSW, Land and Natural Resources, Game Licensing Unit and Office of Agricultural Sustainability & Food Security.

Before joining the department he held senior management positions in both the public and private sectors with a defined interest in the areas of agriculture, innovation and productivity. Immediately prior to joining DPI, Scott was Managing Director of Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) responsible for the overall operations of the business and a $170 million industry-funded budget for research and development and marketing.

Before being appointed Managing Director, Scott held an overseas post with MLA, working in Washington from 2009 - 2011, heading up the Australia's beef, lamb and goat marketing efforts in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

He has also served in leadership roles as the Executive Director of Sheepmeat Council of Australia, Executive Director of Victorian Farmers Federation Pastoral Group, and previously worked with the Victorian Department of Primary Industries. He graduated with a rural science degree from the University of New England.

Ian is Acting Deputy Secretary for Finance, Strategy and Operations, a central division of the Department of Industry that provides operational support and strategic advice in the areas of procurement, administration, human resources, asset management, digital technology and legal services.

He has over 20 years' experience as a business and technology executive across the public and private sector, including senior leadership roles at Dimension Data Australia, LinkedIn and the Department of Industry, where he has been Chief Information Officer since 2015.

Ian has led a wide variety of change projects bridging business and technology at the executive level in large enterprises with global complexities. He is passionate about bringing people and technology together to improve businesses and organisations, and believes that the right combination of these factors has the power to change entire economies.

Paul Newson commenced in the Deputy Secretary, Liquor, Gaming & Emergency Management role in September 2016. Paul brings an extensive range and depth of regulatory knowledge and experience from leadership roles across a number of state and federal organisations.

Paul’s experience in law enforcement, defence and regulatory practice includes commercial assurance activity in the import/export environment, interdiction of criminality in the border environment, educating and strengthening business resilience and in response to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing risks, consumer protection enforcement and energy market compliance. Prior to his secondment as interim Chief Executive of Greyhound Racing NSW in February 2015, Paul was the Executive Director of the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.

Paul has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Company Directors Course and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Politics), a Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Legal Studies, and a Master of Law & Management.

Paul is a Trustee of the Responsible Gambling Fund and has recently taken up an appointment as a Trustee of the International Association of Gaming Regulators.

Alison Stone has over 30 years' experience across federal and state governments, the private sector and with a major water corporation. Alison has extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of strategy and public sector reform, and has held senior executive positions in public land, fire and natural resource management.

Alison joined the NSW state public service in 2013. As Deputy Director General Lands, she is tasked with delivering social, environmental and economic benefit to NSW by providing access to and facilitating the sustainable use of Crown land and by managing forestry policy.