Leadership Council


THE HONOURABLE Jan Adams

Australian Ambassador to China

Ms Adams is Australia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and took up her appointment in February 2016.

Ms Adams is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  She was appointed Deputy Secretary in April 2013 with responsibility for trade and economic issues.  In this role she was chief negotiator overseeing conclusion of Free Trade Agreements with China, Korea and Japan.  Previously, Ms Adams was First Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Division.

Ms Adams served as Ambassador for the Environment and Ambassador for Climate Change between 2005 and 2008, and as Minister Counsellor (Trade) in Washington from 2000 to 2004.

From 1993 to 1996, Ms Adams worked as an Adviser to the Minister for Trade and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Senator Peter Cook. She also previously worked in the OECD Environment and Trade Directorates in Paris.

Ms Adams joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1999 as Assistant Secretary, APEC Branch.

Ms Adams was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in 2007 for outstanding public service in pursuing Australia's international objectives on trade and the environment.  In 2016 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to international relations through the advancement of Australia's diplomatic and free trade relationships, particularly with the United States of America, South Korea, Japan and China.

Raised in Wodonga, Victoria, she holds Bachelor of Economics (Hons) and Bachelor of Law (Hons) degrees from Monash University, and is married with one child.


PROFESSOR THE HONOURABLE BOB CARR

Director, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology, Sydney

The Honourable Bob Carr is Professor in International Relations at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). He is the Director of the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI), the only Australian think tank devoted to illuminating the Australia-China relationship.

Professor Carr is a former Foreign Minister of Australia (2012-2013). He is also the longest continuously serving Premier in New South Wales history (1995-2005).

He received his Honours degree in History from the University of New South Wales.
He is an Honorary Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University. He is recipient of the RSIS Distinguished Visiting Fellowship from Nanyang Technological University and the Fulbright Distinguished Fellow Award Scholarship. He has served as Honorary Scholar of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue. 

Professor Carr is an active public speaker. He has been invited to give scholarly presentations at many universities including Nanyang Technological University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Shanghai University, Shanghai Jiaotong University.

He has been frequently interviewed by international media. His opinion pieces are published in the Australian Financial ReviewThe AustralianSydney Morning Herald and Nikkei Asian Review.

He is the author of Thoughtlines (Viking, 2002), What Australia Means to Me (Penguin, 2003), My Reading Life (Penguin, 2008) and Diary of a Foreign Minister (NewSouth Publishing, 2014).

Professor Carr’s research focuses on international relations, foreign policy, Chinese politics and economics, national defence and security. 


MR JOHN W.H. DENTON AO

Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

John W.H. Denton is a Partner and the Chief Executive Officer of Corrs Chambers Westgarth, the leading Australian independent law firm.

A global leader in three arenas; a legal expert in the areas of government, workplace relations, and international trade and investment; a national business leader and an international adviser on global policy. His advice is sought by the nation’s most prominent corporations and by governments and international bodies alike.

Appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2015 by the Governor-General in his capacity as Chancellor of the Order of Australia. He was recognised in 2015 “for his distinguished service to business and commerce, particularly in the legal profession, to the visual and performing arts sectors, to social welfare and the rights of refugees”. This award represents the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service in Australia.

John is Chair of the Business Council of Australia’s (BCA) Global Engagement Taskforce; board member of Asialink and Teach for Australia; Chairman (emeritus) of the Experts Group on Trade and Investment in Indonesia and a founding member of the Australia China CEO Roundtable meetings.

He is one of the two originating members of the B20 - the business reference group of the G20, and is a member of the Australian B20 Leadership Group.

John was recently elected to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Executive Board in Paris and is a member of the ICC G20 CEO Advisory Group, the primary body for establishing the direction of business input within the G20 process.

A key member of the Australian Government advisory panel overseeing the development of the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ White Paper, John was also on the Government’s Cabinet sub-committee for the White Paper review process published in October 2012. He later became a member of the Strategic Advisory Board advising the Government on implementation and emerging policy issues.

John was a government appointed panel member of the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness and has been Chairman of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Australia for more than a decade. He is a former diplomat, has a double degree in Arts and Law, and is a Harvard Business School alumnus.

He is recognised as one of the best labour law practitioners in the Asia Pacific by Asialaw Leading Lawyers Survey and one of Australia’s best government and trade lawyers in the Best Lawyers peer survey.


The Honourable Kevin Rudd

President, Asia Society Policy Institute

Kevin Rudd joined the Asia Society Policy Institute as its inaugural President in January 2015. He served as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister (2007 to 2010, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010 to 2012). He led Australia’s response during the global financial crisis—the only major developed economy not to go into recession— and helped found the G20. As Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mr. Rudd was active in global and regional foreign policy leadership. He was a driving force in expanding the East Asia Summit (EAS) to include both the U.S. and Russia in 2010. He also initiated the concept of transforming the EAS into a wider Asia-Pacific community to help manage deep-rooted tensions in Asia by building over time the institutions and culture of common security in Asia. A Senior Fellow with Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Mr. Rudd is undertaking a major research project on U.S.-China Relations. He is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Chatham House and a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute. He is also a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and was recently appointed to the Concordia Leadership Council. Mr. Rudd is proficient in Mandarin Chinese and is a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University. He co-authored a report of the United Nations Secretary-General's High Level Panel on Global Sustainability and chairs the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Fragile States. He also remains actively engaged in indigenous reconciliation in Australia. 


THE HONOURABLE WARWICK L. SMITH AM

Chairman, Australia-China Council

Warwick Smith is Chairman New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory and Senior Managing Director of the Australia New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ Bank); Board Director of ANZ Bank China, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Australian Capital Equity, holders of interests in Seven Group Holdings, West Australian News, Coates Hire, WesTrac and Caterpillar industrial services and equipment in Western Australia, New South Wales and North East China; Chairman of the Australia–China Council, Global Trustee of the Asia Society and Chairman of the Asia Society in Australia; Chairman New South Wales Export, Investment & Advisory Board and Chairman of the Flagship Property Group. Formerly, he was Chairman of E*TRADE, the Australian Sports Commission and an Executive Director with Macquarie Bank; and a Federal Government Minister with a parliamentary career spanning 15 years. He was also Australia’s first Telecommunications Ombudsman and has received a Centenary Medal and an Order of Australia.