Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is key to the dynamic culture that drives AmCham, and they reflect the forward-thinking ethos that drives us and our members onward. They are responsible for the policy, direction and governance of the organisational activities in all states.

Brendan Nelson AO

President, Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific
Boeing Australia Holdings Pty Ltd

Dr Brendan Nelson AO was appointed President of Boeing in Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific in February 2020. Dr Nelson is chairman of the board for Boeing Australia Holdings and the company’s senior leader for its 3,800 employees working across commercial airplane manufacturing, defence systems, services, research & development, and autonomous systems. Prior to Boeing, Dr Nelson served as director of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. He began his career in 1985 as a medical practitioner before going on to lead the Australian Medical Association. In 1996, he was elected to the Federal Parliament of Australia serving as Minister for Education, Science and Training and then as Minister for Defence. He was elected leader of Australia’s Liberal Party in 2007 and led the Opposition until 2008. He later served as Australia’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO until 2012. In 2016, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the community and the parliament of Australia, his diplomacy, and his cultural leadership.

Laura Anderson


Laura Anderson is an International Company Director, Entrepreneur and Global Philanthropist. Laura has worked extensively across governments and industries locally and globally as a senior adviser on global governance, strategy transformation and risk optimisation. Her professional speciality is harnessing the power of big data and its effect on global supply chains, trade, investment and infrastructure development. Laura is Chairman of SVI Global Pty Ltd, OneGlobalVenture Pty Ltd, LaunchVic and Chairman of the Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Laura is on the Board of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Epworth HealthCare, the NBL, Defence Science Institute, and is a Director of several private investment companies. Laura is a global thought leader on the development of the creative economy and its impact on the future of industry structures, social cohesion and economic innovation. She is a champion for the global transformation across The Fourth Industrial Revolution and empowering the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Robert Bedwell

Chief Executive Officer
J.P. Morgan Australia Ltd

Robert Bedwell is the CEO of J.P. Morgan ANZ. In this role, Robert has responsibility for growing J.P. Morgan’s business, facilitating local governance, coordinating across the firm’s lines of business and fostering regulator and community engagement. Prior to this, he was the head of Sales and Marketing for the firm’s Markets and Investor Services businesses. Robert joined J.P. Morgan in 2011 as head of Investor Client Management. Robert has 27 years of financial markets experience and has worked extensively with institutional investors and corporate clients around the world. His background extends across all asset classes including derivatives, product development, corporate advisory, public & private markets, and custody & fund services. Robert is a member of J.P. Morgan’s Asia Pacific Management Committee, chair of the ANZ Location Management Committee and a director of J.P. Morgan Securities Australia Limited. He’s the chair of the Australian Financial Markets Association, a member of the Business Council of Australia & the Art Gallery of NSW President’s Council.

Deborah Chew

Partner - Corporate and Commercial
Hall & Wilcox

Deborah has over 25 years of corporate and commercial experience across a broad range of commercial transactions, and has advised on substantial mergers and acquisitions and private equity and capital raising transactions. Deborah’s practice includes company and business acquisitions and sales, public and private issuances of equity and debt securities, shareholders agreements and joint ventures, management equity arrangements, commercial structuring and corporate organisational restructuring and corporate governance and ASX Listing Rule advice. Deborah has led and worked on a large number of major transactions, both at Hall & Wilcox and previous top tier firms (in Australia and the United States). Before joining Hall & Wilcox, Deborah was a partner at Allens Arthur Robinson and prior to that worked for almost ten years at a leading New York firm, Debevoise & Plimpton.

Nick McKenna

Chief Executive Officer
Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd

Nick McKenna is Chief Executive Officer of Australia Pacific LNG, a joint venture between Origin Energy, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec based in Brisbane. Nick commenced his role with APLNG in September 2020 and is on secondment from ConocoPhillips where he was most recently President of the Australia business unit. In 2010 he was seconded to Australia Pacific LNG as the General Manager Projects. In 2013 Nick relocated to Calgary, spending two years as Vice President, Oil Sands Development before his appointment to Vice President, Oil Sands Development and Subsurface in 2015. In 2017 Nick transitioned to the Houston based role of Asset Manager, Central Rockies and Anadarko. Prior to ConocoPhillips, Nick held a number of supervisory and engineering roles with both McKinsey & Company and Technip in Houston, Halliburton Subsea in Singapore, and Brown & Root Energy Services in Australia. Nick has served on the Boards of the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada and Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. Nick has also served on the Board of APPEA.

Chris Morris

Head of Tax, Australia

Chris is a Partner at PwC Australia and leads the Deals (Mergers & Acquisitions) Tax group. Chris also leads the Financial Assurance USA inbound practice. Chris was appointed Partner in 2006 and soon after was seconded to PwC USA for two years to establish the Australian tax desk to advise USA based clients on their Australian tax requirements. On returning from the USA, Chris focussed on USA inbound investment into Australia and has advised on a number of listed company takeovers both by USA corporations and USA based Private Equity Funds. Chris has been an active member of Amcham as Chairperson of Amcham's Tax Committee since its inception.

April Palmerlee

Chief Executive Officer
American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

April Palmerlee was appointed CEO of AmCham in 2017 after an international career in government, education, and the corporate sector. American-born, Palmerlee has lived in Sydney since 2003 and is a dual citizen. She is a member of Chief Executive Women and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She received a BS from Georgetown and a Master’s from Columbia. In Australia, she has worked for the University of Sydney’s US Studies Centre, the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the Centre for Independent Studies, and Potomac Partners. In the US, she held the rank of Assistant Secretary at the Department of State with the remit for international women’s issues. Before that, she was a senior executive at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. She has also worked for couturier Oscar de la Renta, financial publisher The Bank Credit Analyst, and not-for-profit The Spanish Institute. She is on the boards of CIS and Georgetown University Australian and New Zealand Centre. She also chairs a scholarship selection committee at the Fulbright Commission.

Vice Chair
William Ruh

CEO, Digital
Lendlease Group Services

Mr. William Ruh is the Chief Executive Officer for LendLease Digital. In this role, he is focused on building out advanced automation and analytics capabilities, as well as driving the global strategy, operations and portfolio of digital services across all of LendLease businesses. His portfolio includes the Innovation Group, Living Utilities, Technology in Property, DesignMake and the IT organization.Prior to joining LendLease, Mr. Ruh was the CEO of GE Digital and the Chief Digital Officer for GE. He grew the overall GE digital sales 2.5x and established the GE Digital business unit. During his tenure, Mr. Ruh led the charge to develop the first cloud-based platform for the industrial world. A recognized expert in the emerging Industrial Internet of Things he helped establish the Industrial Internet Consortium, was a member of the US Dept of Commerce Digital Economy Board of Advisors, Executive Board member of the Bay Area Council as well as the Co-Chair of the Bay Area Council India Initiative and is a member of the board of the Magna Corporation.

Bill Townsend

Vice President Corporate
INPEX Operations Australia Pty Ltd

Bill Townsend is Vice President Corporate at INPEX. In this role, Bill oversees the Corporate Affairs, Human Resources, Industrial Relations and Business Services functions in Australia as well as INPEX’s corporate interests in the Northern Territory. Bill joined INPEX in 2006.Beginning his career as a US Navy submarine officer, Bill entered the oil and gas industry in 1994 as a Business Advisor to BP Russia based in Moscow. Further commercial and external affairs assignments followed with BP in Azerbaijan and Georgia.Bill arrived in Australia in 2004 to take up the role of Joint Venture Coordination Manager for the North West Shelf Ventures at Woodside Energy. Bill earned a BA (Political Science) from Northwestern University and an MBA from Dartmouth College. He holds dual American-Australian citizenship. Bill is a Director of AmCham and the Energy Policy Institute of Australia

Jim Whalley

Chairman & Director
Nova Group

Jim Whalley is the Chair, an Executive Director, former CEO and Co-Founder of the Nova Group ( ), an engineering and project management professional services firm spanning defence, transport, utilities, energy and communications. Jim is a former RAAF fighter pilot and test pilot and among other qualifications holds a BSc, an MBA and is a Graduate of the Harvard Business School OPM Executive Education Program and the UK Empire Test Pilots’ School. Jim currently serves on several defence, industry and university boards and advisory committees. Jim is also the Chief Entrepreneur for South Australia and Chairs the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. The Nova Group itself employs over 850 people throughout Australia and in the UK, NZ, Norway, Ireland and Singapore with skills in areas ranging from flight testing and electronic warfare to system safety and satellite communications. Nova has been listed as an SA Top 100 company, a BRW fast 100 company, an SA Fast Movers Company and one of the BRW 50 best places to work in Australia.