Director, National AI Centre - CSIRO - Data61 - ExecutiveCareer

First listed on: 16 November 2021

Director, National AI Centre


The Opportunity

  • National AI Centre – Lifting Australian businesses' AI capability
  • Innovative and collaborative workplace with fantastic flexibility
  • Join CSIRO's Data61 and make a difference!

As part of the Commonwealth Government’s AI Action Plan, funding has been identified to support the establishment of a National Artificial Intelligence Centre (NAIC) in Australia, to be established and operated by CSIRO, through its Data61 business unit, for four years from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2025.

CSIRO’s Data61 aims to be an enabler, bringing together the nation’s strong AI capabilities and avoiding siloing and fragmentation to facilitate Australia taking a leading role on the world stage.

Establishing the National AI Centre alongside four Digital Capability Centres will lay the foundations for an Australian AI and digital ecosystem. These Centres will help drive business adoption and the use of transformative AI technologies to improve productivity and lift competitiveness.

The National AI Centre (within CSIRO’s Data61) will coordinate Australia's AI expertise and capabilities, and address barriers that small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face in adopting and developing AI and emerging technology. 

Your duties will include:

The Centre Director will be a thought leader in AI, an expert communicator able to bring together an ecosystem of stakeholders including universities, SMEs, large corporates, state and federal government. The Centre Director will also lead fund-raising efforts for the Centre and will be expected to bring in investment from industry and other sources.

The Director is responsible for establishing and fostering a national connected AI ecosystem. Commercial nous, the ability to quickly to form strategic relationships and build a sustainable business model are fundamental capability requirements of the position.

The Director will define a vision for the new Centre, lead the development and implementation of a strategy to implement this vision, and will also put in place a long term financially sustainable business model. As the Centre is primarily concerned with business adoption and commercialisation of AI, the Director will need to be experienced in working with business.

Your key result areas will include:

  • Impact Leadership
  • Capability Leadership
  • Engagement and Partnerships
  • Resource Leadership

Location: Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane. Other domestic CSIRO locations by negotiation
Tenure: Specified term of 4 years
Reference: 78802

To be considered you will need:

  • Recognised leader in AI, with extensive experience driving horizontal business growth through application and adoption of emerging technologies.
  • Ability to interact effectively with all levels of the organisation.
  • Deep experience of collaborating with and managing senior stakeholders to build lasting relationships and deliver mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Significant experience in leadership roles and previous accountability for developing, influencing and executing strategic plans and/or project portfolios or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • A sought after expert by industry, and policy councils for being able to understand complex missions and problems and architect emerging technology and capability solutions.
  • Be recognised as an international authority in their area of AI and typically possess knowledge across a range of disciplines.

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


You will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent, or to obtain and maintain a National Security Clearance at the baseline level.

You will hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or other related field and/or extensive relevant industry experience.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. Talk to us about how this role could be flexible for you. Balance

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit diverse people and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people.


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please send your application directly to Heidrick & Struggles at:

In your application you will need provide your CV and a cover letter outlining your motivation and relevant capabilities and experience you could bring to this role.

Applications Close

30th November 2021, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT