What Ian Watt did next: board of a defence contractor

By The Mandarin

April 29, 2016

Former Finance, Defence and Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Ian Watt will put his government experience to good use as a board member of global defence contractor BAE Systems.

Watt, one of Australia’s most esteemed government elders, will serve as non-executive chairman on an expanded BAE board, serving the Australian division.

Watt (pictured with former prime minister Tony Abbott) is currently chairing the National Innovation and Science Agenda Implementation Committee, a policy delivery unit set up by Innovation Minister Christopher Pyne in his department. Watt steers deputy secretaries from relevant departments and agencies on the rollout of the government’s “ideas boom”.

Watt also sits on the boards of think tanks the Committee for Economic Development and the Grattan Institute, and firms Citigroup, Smartgroup Corporation and O’Connell Street Associates. He’s also on the advisory council for the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility.

Guy Griffiths, managing director of BAE Systems’ International Operating Group, wants Watt to use his government connections to open doors for the company on defence and security contracts. He said in a statement:

“Australia continues to be a key growth market for the group. The appointment of Dr Watt will help improve our engagement with government so that we can continue to play a leading role in helping protect the nation.”

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