Deputy Secretary Governance

John Reid PSM

John Reid was appointed Deputy Secretary Governance on 8 January 2024. Prior to this, he was First Assistant Secretary, Enterprise Transformation and Governance.

Before moving to Defence, John was First Assistant Secretary, Government Division, in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. In this role he was responsible for legal policy advice to the Prime Minister and the administration of the Executive Branch of Government, which included Ministerial arrangements and administration, parliamentary operations, and policy on Australia’s national symbols and honours.

Previously, John led the Office of International Law in the Attorney-General’s Department. He was responsible for providing legal advice to Government on all areas of international law, including international humanitarian law, air law, international environment law, human rights, and the law of the sea. In 2009, John was a Principal Legal Officer for the Commonwealth in Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan).

In 2016, John was appointed Agent for Australia before the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, appearing before both tribunals in legal disputes with Timor L’este. John received the Public Service Medal (PSM) in 2018, for the provision of legal advice to Government.