Skip to content Skip to main content

Dr Don Russell

Dr Don Russell has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, and a unique perspective on policy formulation and the political process. Don served as Australia’s ambassador to the United States in Washington during the Clinton years and was principal adviser to the Hon. Paul Keating during his time as treasurer and prime minister. Until 2018, Dr Russell was the chief executive of the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet. Previous roles include secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, and senior roles at global firm BNY Mellon Asset Management Australia and Sanford C. Bernstein in New York. Dr Russell is currently the Independent Chair of AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest superannuation fund with $180 billion in assets and 2.3 million members. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics, a MEc from ANU and a BEc (Hons) (First) from Flinders University as well as the Charted Financial Analyst designation. Don lives in Sydney with his wife Lisa Barker and their dog Sunny.


Publications View All


Long Half-life: Ian Lowe in conversation with Carmen Lawrence

State Library of Western Australia 25 Francis Street, Perth, WA

Hosted by the Climate Council of Western Australia (CCWA), join us for a special evening with Professor Ian Lowe AO and CCWA President Carmen Lawrence AO to explore the history...

Grilling the Democracy Sausage

Canberra Writers Festival - Museum of Australian Democracy

Does our country have a vision for a stronger economy, fairer society, and more environmentally sustainable future? Who dares to imagine and fight for a better Australia? Speakers include Jo...

The Change Makers

Canberra Writers Festival - Museum of Australian Democracy

Participating Chair: Linda Jaivin • Emma Batchelor, Diana Reid and Jo Dyer Sometimes significant incidents in life can only be fully appreciated after they’ve passed. Four passionate women unpack pivotal...

Comrade — It’s Time Again!

Canberra Writers Festival - Kambri Cultural Centre Australian National University

Moderator: Paul Bongiorno • Christine Sykes, Jenny Hocking, John Faulkner and Paul Kelly 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the Whitlam Government being elected to office. Our panel talks all...

The Toughest Assignment

Canberra Writers Festival - Kambri Cultural Centre Australian National University

Moderator: Karen Middleton • Kylie Moore-Gilbert, John Lyons and Andrew Quilty From Kabul to Tehran via the conflict in the Middle East, how does one survive the harrowing risks that...