Today I announce the appointment of Dr Stephanie Williams as Australia’s Ambassador for Regional Health Security.
The Government is committed to strengthening the health security of the Indo-Pacific, which is integral to Australia’s economic and security interests.
The current COVID-19 epidemic, as well as recent outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio in Papua New Guinea and measles in the Pacific, demonstrate the need for co-ordinated international action and Australian leadership on health security.
The Ambassador for Regional Health Security will advance Australia’s interests by ensuring Australia’s world-class public health and medical research expertise is used for the good of our region, with a particular focus on Pacific island countries and Timor-Leste.
The Ambassador will help guide the implementation of Australia’s $300 million Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region, working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security. She will represent Australia in relevant international fora, focusing global attention on the needs of our region.
Dr Williams is a senior officer with DFAT and has been the Principal Sector Specialist for Health since 2017. She is a public health physician and visiting fellow in applied epidemiology at the Australian National University, and holds degrees from Monash University, James Cook University and the Australian National University.
I thank the outgoing Ambassador for Regional Health Security, Mr Peter Versegi, for his contribution to regional health security since 2018.