Caroline Edwards joins Vic government in diplomatic role

By Shannon Jenkins

August 2, 2021

Caroline Edwards
Former commonwealth health department associate secretary Caroline Edwards. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

The Victorian government has appointed former commonwealth public servant Caroline Edwards to a senior trade role in New York.

Caroline Edwards

Edwards recently left the Australian Public Service after leading Australia’s response to COVID-19 in the role of associate secretary at the Department of Health. She previously served in deputy secretary roles at Health and at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

In her new role as a commissioner to the Americas, Edwards will oversee Victoria’s trade and investment attraction activities with the East Coast of the United States and Canada.

The state government has also appointed Nigel Warren as a commissioner. He will be based in San Francisco, and will oversee the US West Coast and Latin America.

Nigel Warren

Warren’s past roles have included Australia’s consul-general and senior trade and commissioner in San Francisco. Prior to that, he was senior trade commissioner in Latin America. He was most recently a member of the CSIRO’s executive team, and a member of the Council on Australia Latin America Relations.

Trade minister Martin Pakula said the appointment of the two commissioners would drive growth in the ‘crucial’ US, Canadian and Latin American markets.

“We’ve got top-notch negotiators posted around the globe because every deal done means stronger Victorian businesses and more jobs for Victorians,” he said.

The US is Victoria’s second largest trading partner, with two-way trade valued at $14.5 billion in 2019-20. It is also the number one source of foreign direct investment into Victoria, Pakula noted. Meanwhile, two-way trade with Latin America topped $1.9 billion in 2019-20.

Read more: Caroline Edwards explains how public servants can prevent their new minister from scrapping a good policy


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