First listed on: 25 May 2023
Director General – Australian Submarine Agency (ASA) 

Canberra - ACT

Please note: This is a civilian/military contestable position and applications from civilians and current serving ADF members will be considered. 

Australia’s acquisition of conventionally-armed, nuclear-powered submarines is historic and transformational. The Optimal Pathway announced on 14 March 2023 will deliver Australia a world-class capability that will see our nation become one of only seven countries that operate nuclear-powered submarines. This capability will enhance Australia’s capacity to deter conflict and help ensure stability and strategic balance are maintained in the Indo-Pacific.

The Australian Government has determined that the Nuclear Powered Submarine Taskforce will transition to a new entity, the Australian Submarine Agency (ASA), with responsibility and accountability for the safe and secure delivery of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines. The ASA will be an Executive Agency that reports directly to the Minister for Defence while remaining in the Defence Portfolio to ensure the integrated delivery of military capability. The ASA will work in concert with AUKUS partners, across Australian Government departments and agencies, and with States and Territories to deliver this whole-of-nation program.

The magnitude of the work presents an exciting opportunity for a dedicated leader to shape the safe and secure delivery of this new technology. Given the significant scope and responsibility of the role, the successful candidate must have extensive and demonstrated experience in strategic planning and delivery of major programs, international engagement, and implementation of policy frameworks. A demonstrated track record in organisational leadership and ability to interact effectively across Government, international partners and industry at senior levels is mandatory. 

The ideal candidate will be a collaborative leader who has a nuclear mindset, exemplifies the Defence Values and Behaviours and engenders a culture of innovation and agility. They will be self-aware, and positive in considering and respecting diversity of ideas and the perspectives of others.

Your Role
The Director General Australian Submarine Agency will be the face of the ASA. It is critical that the Office Holder engenders the confidence of our trilateral security partnership stakeholders (AUKUS) and is considered to be highly respected and knowledgeable. Acknowledging the high level engagement required with the UK and the US and the strategic importance of Australia’s intended acquisition of this sovereign capability, proven experience in managing international relations at the most senior levels is required. 

Noting there are only six countries in the world with a nuclear-powered submarine capability, with Australia to become the seventh, there are few people globally who can demonstrate experience in delivering an equivalent program. Acknowledging this is the first time in seventy years that this technology has been shared with another country, it is preferred that the DG ASA possess complex cross-nation stakeholder relationship skills, exceptional strategic judgement or experience in delivering a program of this stature.

The DG ASA will be responsible for the delivery of a first-of-its-kind project. The scale of the endeavor means the DG ASA will be subject to the highest levels of scrutiny. It is critical that the DG ASA can demonstrate skills of program management of this size, scale and complexity and be a highly effective communicator. The role requires the DG ASA to possess a unique blend of acumen, strategic leadership, stakeholder engagement, technical expertise and a sound understanding of the machinery of the Australian Government.

The successful candidate requires extensive and demonstrated experience in managing complex project management focussed organisations and large commercial supply chains at a senior level. A strong track record in leading large teams, a commitment to building productive strategic relationships with Defence and core industry stakeholders, and experience working proactively with all levels of Government will be necessary to be competitive.

Experience working with or in defence industry, expertise in naval construction and sustainment, experience in public policy and/or working with the United States and United Kingdom Governments and industrial bases is desirable.

You must be able to promote a culture of innovation, collaboration and agility. You must also be able to effectively manage complex legislative and ethical frameworks to achieve capability outcomes for the ASA and the Australian Government. Experience in leading and supporting staff through a significant period of change will be viewed favourably. 

Additional Information 
Engagement may be negotiated on an ongoing or non-ongoing basis. This is a security-designated position and the successful applicant will be required to hold or obtain a Positive Vetting security clearance.

To discuss the requirements of this position, after first reviewing the selection documentation, please contact: 
•    Justine Greig – Deputy Secretary Defence People 
T: 02 5108 5943, E:, or

•    David Nockels - First Assistant Secretary People Policy and Culture 
T: 02 5131 4141, E:

For Senior Executive Service administrative recruitment enquiries please contact the Directorate of Senior Officer Management at

Application Closing Date: Monday 05 June 2023

For further information please review the job information pack, reference NPST/04869/23 on


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