ANZSOG recruits public administration and policy specialist Sally Washington to boost its presence in Aotearoa-New Zealand

Sally Washington banner image
  • Published Date: 08 April 2021

ANZSOG will boost its presence in Aotearoa-New Zealand with the appointment of public administration and policy specialist Sally Washington to head its New Zealand operations based in Wellington.

Ms Washington most recently worked as an independent consultant specialising in public policy quality and capability, and broader public administration reform – including providing strategic advice to the UK Cabinet Office and the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

She was the architect and inaugural Director of New Zealand’s Policy Project while based in New Zealand’s Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2014-17. The internationally recognised Policy Project aims to improve the quality of policy advice across government.

Ms Washington has previously held senior roles at the OECD working on public management reform, including managing a research programme and network of the heads of Prime Ministers/Presidents offices. She initiated the OECD’s work on government ethics and integrity. She has also consulted to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Office on fisheries sustainability and governance. She has held various roles for the New Zealand Government, mainly in central agencies, where she has been involved in the design and delivery of several state sector reform programs.

While at the Public Service Commission (previously State Services Commission) she led the ‘Seismic Shifts’ program which showcased and disseminated lessons from the public sector innovations occurring in response to the Canterbury earthquakes. Earlier in her career Sally served as a ministerial advisor and speechwriter to the Minister of Women’s Affairs.

In 2015, Sally was awarded a New Zealand government leadership fellowship to study ‘leadership for innovation’ including at the prestigious Darden Business School in the United States. She has published on a wide range of topics from women’s employment, government ethics, policy quality and capability, public sector innovation and fisheries sustainability.

ANZSOG Dean and CEO Ken Smith said that Ms Washington would bring a strong public policy focus and intimate understanding of the New Zealand government to ANZSOG.

“New Zealand is a major founding member of the ANZSOG network and I am excited to have Ms Washington on board to expand our offerings in our core areas of education, thought leadership and research and advice. She has a history of contributing to ANZSOG - as a guest presenter, panellist, and facilitator of roundtables between senior NZ officials and visiting ANZSOG scholars,” he said.

“Sally will support the recruitment of New Zealand candidates into ANZSOG’s foundation programs – the Executive Master of Public Administration, Executive Fellows Program and Towards Strategic Leadership – and help identify new custom education offerings for New Zealand and into Australia.”

“Her strong experience in governance and policy areas nationally and internationally will help us to develop a framework for the policy profession taking account of recent NZ and Australian developments including those affected by the Review of the State Services Act and the Thodey review into the APS.

“She will also strengthen and support ANZSOG’s engagement with university partners, in particular Victoria University of Wellington and government owners on our new demand-based Research and Advisory model.”

Ms Washington said:” I often think of public management as like housework: you only notice it when it’s not done. Aotearoa has a fairly tidy house but there is plenty of room for innovation and improvement. ANZSOG brings a powerful blend of academic inquiry and practitioner expertise to the big policy and public management challenges facing governments. We can learn from both the successes and the failures to improve the lives of the people we serve. I feel privileged to be able to support collaboration between Aotearoa and our counterparts in Australia and beyond.”