Respected open data and government expert Pia Andrews (nee Waugh) has left one of the New Zealand government’s top innovation gigs to return to Australia to take one of the NSW government’s most senior roles.
Ms Andrews has been appointed as the state’s Executive Director of Digital Government, reporting to NSW Chief Information and Digital Officer Greg Wells and starting late this month. She leaves an influential digital role as Service Integration Lead within the New Zealand’s Internal Affairs department.
As a vocal advocate for the role of technology in policy development and citizen engagement functions, Ms Andrews has carved out a successful career overseeing and championing a broad range of open government and open data initiatives.
Her fingerprints can be found on such high profile digital projects as director of the federal government’s Gov 2.0 initiative within the Department of Finance under former Australian Chief Technology Officer, John Sheridan.
Ms Andrews has a reputation as a true believer in the digital government movement with strong credentials in the open source software community. She has held stints as president of both Linux Australia and Software Freedom International.
The secretary to the NSW Department of Finance Secretary Martin Hoffman said winning Ms Andrews back from across the Tasman was a coup for the state.
“Pia is well respected worldwide and brings decades of experience in open data, open government, digital transformation and government as an API. She brings a unique and effective blend of systems thinking, technical creativity and vision,” Mr Hoffman said.
“Her experience, passion and drive are a perfect fit for the role of Executive Director for Digital Government and I look forward to seeing Pia and her team support greater collaboration, innovation and digital transformation across the NSW Government for the benefit of our communities and economy.”
Ms Andrews’ said her appointment would also see NSW’ Government Digital NSW Acceleration Lab increase cooperation with its counterpart across the Tasman, New Zealand’s Service innovation Lab.
“I learned much from my short time in New Zealand and found there a way of connecting and being open that will always keep my family anchored there, so I’m particularly delighted that we will be forging a partnership between the New Zealand Service Innovation Lab and the NSW Government Digital NSW Acceleration (DNA) Lab to collaborate on this important work,” Ms Andrews said.
Ms Andrews appointment attracted applause from some of Australia’s leading technology luminaries, including former Telstra CEO and current Chairman of CSIRO and Jobs NSW, David Thodey, and Kaaren Koomen, IBM Australia’s regulatory affairs director and the NSW Telco Authority’s Deputy Chair.
“Welcome to NSW and this exciting opportunity – looking forward to working with you,” Mr Thodey said.