Leading economic strategist and former US Ambassador named head of State Development Department

By / 30th of June, 2014

DR Don Russell has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the South Australian Department of State Development (DSD).

Dr Russell has previously worked as the principle adviser to former Prime Minister Paul Keating, as a consultant for the World Bank, Bankers Trust and Westpac Bank. He was also Australia's Ambassador to the USA in Washington from 1993 to 1995.

Most recently, Dr Russell was Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education from 2011 until 2013.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the South Australian Government is fortunate to have someone of Dr Russell's calibre leading the department.

"This is a significant appointment for South Australia as Dr Russell will lead a Department that aims to ensure the Government better responds to the needs of business and drive trade and investment," the Premier said.

“He has a strong understanding of how Government can leverage investment and develop the skills required by industry – the only true basis for sustainable high-paying jobs.”

Don Russell has a PhD from the London School of Economics, a Masters of Economics from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Economics with honours from Flinders University.

He will take up the role from the 4th of August, 2014.

Key contacts

Chris Burford Media Contact Premier of South Australia
61 419 467 989 burford.chris@dpc.sa.gov.au www.dpc.sa.gov.au
  • In 2014, the Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE) and the Department of Further Education, Employment and Science and Technology (DFEEST) were merged to form the Department of State Development (DSD).
  • The new Department continues and expands on the merged bodies' duties, namely to forge stronger links between the South Australian Government and the private sector, with a strong focus on small to medium enterprise.
  • Their duties as outlined by the State Government include driving and leveraging growth in the economy, administering the Our Jobs Plan set out by the Government as well as serving a number of Ministers involved in employment, defence, manufacturing and state development.