New Chief Executive for the Department of Premier and Cabinet

I am pleased to announce that Mr Jim McDowell has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.


Mr McDowell is an incredibly talented leader with decades of international business experience in industries that are critical to South Australia’s future prosperity.

A former Chief Executive of BAE Systems in Australia and Saudi Arabia, Mr McDowell is well placed to guide the South Australian public sector as we seek to take full advantage of the Commonwealth’s naval shipbuilding program and other defence contracts based in South Australia.

Recently Mr McDowell has served as Chancellor of South Australia’s largest university, the University of South Australia, and as a board member of several major Australian businesses and community organisations, including the Adelaide Football Club, RAA, Codan and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

I am also pleased to announce that Ms Erma Ranieri’s role as Commissioner for Public Sector Employment will be expanded.

Ms Ranieri has served as the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment since 2014 and recently served as the Acting Chief Executive of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

I would like to thank Ms Ranieri for serving as Acting Chief Executive for the past four months.

Ms Ranieri’s leadership and experience has been invaluable to the new State Government during significant machinery of government changes.

Prior to the 2018 State Election I made a commitment that a Liberal state government would value and utilise the public sector as an asset.

Ms Ranieri’s expanded role will include responsibility for strategic workforce and leadership development in the public sector, which will assist with the delivery of that commitment.

I look forward to working closely with Mr McDowell and Ms Ranieri to advance the State Government’s reform agenda to create a bright future for our state.

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