Kate Louis, Head of Defence and National Security, Executive Director, Ai Group Defence Council
Kate joined the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) in July 2017. The Australian Industry Group Defence Council is the principal voice for Australian defence industry.
Kate joined the Department of Defence in 1997 as a graduate in contracting.
Kate has extensive experience with Defence capability development having worked as Director, Chief of Staff, and Assistant Secretary within Capability Development Group, Capability Investment and Resource Division. This experience has equipped Kate with the knowledge and skills to manage the development of major capital equipment acquisition submissions for the Government.
In June 2010 Kate commenced her first SES role as the Assistant Secretary Investment Analysis. As the Assistant Secretary Investment Analysis, Kate was responsible for overseeing and directing the activities of the Investment Analysis staff in the contestability function and preparation of Ministerial and Cabinet submissions for the acquisition of new major capital equipment.
In April 2014 Kate was appointed as Assistant Secretary White Paper Enterprise Management to develop industry related Defence policy including Shipbuilding and the Defence Industry Policy Statement.
Having acted in the position of First Assistant Secretary Defence Industry Policy Division from 19 November 2015 Kate was formally appointed to the position on 01 March 2016. Kate was responsible for the effective implementation of the Government’s approach to Defence Industry policy.
Kate has a Bachelor of Laws (1st Class Honours) and Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University.
Air Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib AM, CSC, Australian Government Freight Controller,Austrade
Air Vice-Marshal Margaret Staib was appointed as the Australian Government Freight Controller leading the International Freight Assistance Mechanism within the Australian Trade and Investment Commission in April 2020.
Margaret is a Non-Executive Director of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the Australian Royal Aeronautical Society and QINETIQ Australia, and a member of the Industry Advisory Board for the Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics at Deakin University.
In 2017, Margaret was appointed the Chair of the Northern Territory Government Strategic Advisory Board and the Northern Territory Defence and National Security Advocate. Margaret is also a Director of Chief Executive Women.
Margaret commenced her professional career as a military logistician with the Royal Australian Air Force after completing a Business Degree at the University of South Queensland. She also graduated with a Master of Business Logistics from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 1997.
On promotion to Wing Commander in February 1998, Margaret was appointed Staff Officer Logistics Program Management at Headquarters Logistics Command. Her exceptional service in that post was recognised when she was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2000 for outstanding achievement in the field of inventory management in support of military aviation.
In June 2000 she was selected for the prestigious exchange post with the United States Air Force Logistics Staff in the Pentagon. Her service with the US Air Force was recognised with the United States Meritorious Service Medal.
In January 2009 she was appointed as Commandant of the Australian Defence Force Academy. In December 2009 she was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal and posted to the position of Commander, Joint Logistics. She was responsible for developing and implementing the $2.4 billion logistics reform program, a major initiative of the 2009 Australian Defence White Paper.
In 2009, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for exceptional service to the Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Defence Force in the field of logistics strategic planning as Director of Logistics Support Agency–Air Force and Director General Strategic Logistics, Joint Logistics Command.
Following her retirement from the permanent Air Force, Margaret continued her executive career as the CEO and Managing Director of Air Services Australia; the air navigation and air traffic management organisation for Australia. There, she led significant transformation in air safety, air navigation technology and cultural change. She has subsequently pursued a career as a Non-Executive Director.
Margaret’s expertise is in defence, national security, transport and logistics, aviation and aerospace, cultural change and organisational transformation.
In addition to her business degree, Margaret holds a Master of Business Studies (Logistics) and a Master of Arts (Strategic Studies). She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and Royal Aeronautical Society. In 2012 Margaret was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and was included in the AFR 100 Women of Influence.
Margaret in the proud mother of twins Alexandra and Lachlan, and her hobbies include gardening and travelling with her partner Michael.
David Uren, Senior Fellow, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
David Uren is one of Australia’s most highly regarded economics writers. He led The Australian’s Canberra economic coverage for 15 years and was the newspaper’s Economics Editor from 2012 to 2018.
He is a specialist in international economic relations. He is author of the book on Australia’s attitudes towards foreign investment, Takeover, (2016) and of The Kingdom and the Quarry (2012) about the tensions in Australia’s economic relationship with China which emerged under the Rudd government. He was also co-author, with Lenore Taylor, of Shitstorm (2010), about the Rudd government’s management of the global financial crisis.
He has also written research reports on rare earths and on Australia’s investment relationship with the United States for the US Studies Centre.
David writes regularly for the ASPI Strategist and contributes to ASPI Special Reports.
Jeffrey Wilson, Research Director, Perth USAsia Centre
Dr Jeffrey Wilson is the Research Director at the Perth USAsia Centre. He provides leadership and strategic direction in developing the Centre’s research program across its publications, policy and dialogue activities.
Dr Wilson specialises in the regional economic integration of the Indo-Pacific. He has particular expertise in the politics of trade agreements, regional economic institutions, and Australia’s economic ties with Asia. He has been featured in local and international media outlets, contributed to a range of track two dialogues between Australia and key regional partners, and supported policy development through consultancy, publication and advisory work.
A political scientist by training, Dr Wilson’s research has been recognised as a recipient of the University of Sydney Medal (2006) and the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Research Award (Murdoch, 2015). He was the inaugural winner of the Australian Institute of International Affairs’ Boyer Prize (2012) for his work on the politics of China-Australia mining investment. He holds a Bachelor of Economic and Social Sciences (Honours) from the University of Sydney, and a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University.
Michael Shoebridge, Director of Defence, Strategy and National Security, Australian Strategic Policy Institute
Michael Shoebridge is the Director of ASPI’s Defence, Strategy and National Security program.
He was a senior executive in the Defence organisation and has worked for 25 years in different parts of Australia’s national security community. His career has centred on the connection between strategy, capability and resources in national security.
Michael has been deputy in two defence intelligence agencies (DIO and ASD), ran the Defence, Intelligence and Research Coordination Division in the Prime Minister’s department, and was the senior policy representative for Defence in Australia’s Washington Embassy.
He has worked with Ministers in two Commonwealth Ministers’ offices.
As head of Minor War Vessels Branch in the then Defence Materiel Organisation, Michael led Defence’s tendering and negotiation for the Navy’s Armidale Class Patrol Boats and the delivery and support of the minehunter and hydrographic ships.
Michael led the team that produced the 2013 Defence White Paper, and also brought the Australia-US Defence Trade Treaty into force in 2012, along with negotiating and delivering the new risk-based approach for defence exports in the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012 and implementing Allan Hawke’s Woomera Review.