25 Jun 2019

Dr Caralee McLiesh appointed new head of Treasury

12:03 pm on 25 June 2019

The State Services Commissioner has announced the new secretary and chief executive of the Treasury.

Dr Caralee McLiesh

Dr Caralee McLiesh Photo: Supplied / NSW Treasury

Dr Caralee McLiesh, managing director at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) New South Wales, will take up the role in September.

Dr McLiesh was previously employed at the NSW Treasury in several Deputy Secretary roles from 2008-2018.

"Dr McLiesh has more than 20 years' experience in the government, international, not-for-profit, and commercial sectors and has led large, complex reforms with multiple stakeholders to improve citizen outcomes," State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes said.

She replaces Gabriel Makhlouf, who is currently under investigation for his handling of the breach of Budget information.

Mr Makhlouf officially finishes at the end of this week before heading off to take up the job as the head of Ireland's central bank.

A State Services Commission inquiry is under way into his handling of the release of Budget information.

The National Party used a search function to access, then release, Budget information days before it was officially due - Mr Makhlouf issued a statement claiming a hack and called in the police and Finance Minister Grant Robertson echoed that statement a short time after.

Mr Hughes said Dr McLiesh was a "highly respected, world-class economist with very strong fiscal, economic policy and financial management credentials".

"One of her most notable achievements was the development of Australia's first Social Impact Bond, to deliver better services and results for families at risk. This work earned Dr McLiesh the Public Service Medal of Australia (2017) for outstanding public service to social impact investment policy and reform in NSW," the State Services Commission statement said.

Dr McLiesh has been appointed for five years from 16 September. Until then, the current Deputy Secretary, Budget and Public Services at the Treasury, Struan Little, will be the acting secretary to the Treasury.

Previous roles:

  • Present: Managing Director of TAFE NSW.
  • 2008-2018: NSW Treasury in Australia as Deputy Secretary, Fiscal and Economic; Deputy Secretary, Agency Budget and Policy; Deputy Secretary Human and Social Services, and; Executive Director, Human and Social Services.
  • 2000-2007: worked in a number of roles for the World Bank in Washington D.C. including Programme Manager and Senior Economist.
  • 1994-97: worked at the International Red Cross in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Botswana as a Development Delegate.
  • 1994-97: Associate and Senior Associate at The Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne.

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