Jessie Borthwick

Jessie Borthwick


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Jessie brings extensive senior leadership experience in higher education, skills, international education, and science and innovation policy. She has worked in federal and state government departments and agencies, including as acting deputy secretary in the Australian Department of Education; as well as in research agencies and a university. Jessie has in-depth knowledge of tertiary education and innovation across federal and state responsibilities, institutional governance and management, and regulation. She is a passionate leader who engages quickly on complex policy issues.

Influential work

    • Developed funding and legislative approaches to higher education, vocational education and training (VET) and student income support in successive Australian budgets
    • Established national regulatory platforms in higher education and VET, including quality standards; and revised organisational and operational delivery
    • Led development of the National Strategy for International Education 2025, and engaged with Asian governments on inward and outward student mobility
    • Established the Australian National Institute for public policy at The Australian National University (ANU)
    • Led development of national key performance measures and standards in VET, and new data collection and reporting mechanisms.

Outside of Nous

Jessie has been influential in key reforms to tertiary education and innovation; including major program reviews, extensive stakeholder consultations and negotiations, as well as development of strategic policy and funding arrangements. She has led numerous operational reviews of people and development, risk, audit and governance in various university departments.

Jessie holds a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies) from ANU. She was previously a director on the Fulbright Commission, as well as senior official committees in higher education and skills. She was also deputy chair of the Audit Committee in the Department of Industry and Innovation and the Australian Department of Education.

In her spare time...

Jessie can be found in the garden, in the kitchen or on the sofa with a good detective novel or political biography.