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About the Ministry

Senior leaders

The Senior Leaders Team (SLT) is led by Brook Barrington, who is the Ministry's Chief Executive and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade. SLT includes the Ministry’s six Deputy Secretaries and the Director Human Resources Division. The Ministry’s Principal Capability Adviser attends SLT meetings.

Brook Barrington

Chief Executive

Brook Barrington. CEO and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Brook Barrington is Chief Executive and Secretary. Brook joined MFAT in 1990 and held a variety of roles both within New Zealand and offshore.  He left MFAT in 2009 to take leadership positions in the wider public sector.

The first part of Brook's career in MFAT was spent advancing New Zealand's trade policy interests.  He worked across government and the private sector, and had postings to Canberra and Brussels.  The later part of his time in MFAT was more focused on political and security issues, including as Foreign Policy Advisor in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and as Ambassador to Thailand for three years.

From 2009 until 2012 he was Deputy Secretary, Policy and Planning in the Ministry of Defence, where he led the development of the 2010 Defence White Paper.

Brook has recently held two Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) roles at the Ministry of Justice.

He was initially the DCE Sector (2012-2014) with a particular focus on improving alignment and governance across the justice sector (Ministry of Justice, NZ Police and Department of Corrections).

During 2014 he moved to the DCE role responsible for the overall management of the day-to-day operations of the Ministry of Justice, ensuring the Ministry has the strategy, governance, engagement and capability to deliver its core services effectively and efficiently.

Brook holds a PhD in history from the University of Auckland.

Lucy Duncan

Group Manager Strategy and Governance

Lucy Duncan - Group Manager Strategy and Governance

Lucy Duncan is  Group Manager Strategy and Governance.  She is leading the establishment of a new Group in the Ministry responsible for our  strategic framework, development of strategic policy -  including the whole-of-government NZ Inc country and regional strategy programme - as well as the domestic governance and compliance functions of the Ministry.  The Group includes a new Strategic Policy Division,  Planning, Project and Programme Management, Audit and Risk, Office Solicitors, the Maori Policy Unit while a Māori Dimension Strategy  is in development as well as Protocol Division with a new Visits and Events Logistics Unit.  It is anticipated that Communications Division will join the Group towards the end of the year.

Lucy’s career in the Ministry began in 1984 with assignments in the Middle East and Africa and South-east Asia  divisions before being posted to Singapore as First Secretary and Deputy High Commissioner.  She then worked on a range of human rights, indigenous rights and humanitarian questions in Wellington before being posted to Geneva and then Vienna, as Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN and various disarmament and arms control organisations.  More recently Lucy was Director of the Environment Division, Organisational Planning and Performance Unit and, from 2006-09, Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.  Since returning to Wellington in 2010 she has led the Offshore Organisational Design Project and the NZ Inc Secretariat.

Jonathan Kings

Deputy Secretary International Development

Jonathan Kings Deputy Secretary International Development Group

Jonathan Kings is the Acting Deputy Secretary of the International Development Group.  He is also the Administrator of Tokelau.

Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2010, Jonathan was a senior manager with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Industry New Zealand for nine years. He had a range of responsibilities, including leading the investment attraction programme, and managing New Zealand’s trade promotion offices in Europe, and the Middle East, and in the Americas. He also spent two years at the OECD in Paris working on regional development issues. Prior to entering the public sector, Jonathan was chief executive of an Australasian energy sector consulting firm, and before that he was a senior manager with a multinational in the energy sector.

Stephen Henry

Group Manager Services

Stephen Henry - Group Services Manager

Stephen brings extensive experience in Banking, Postal and Telecommunications sectors to his role of Group Manager Services.

He has managed many large technology and business projects over his career - ranging from implementing SAP into the Australian Defence Force to reworking how the New Zealand Post Group goes to market. Stephen believes in a value centric approach to ensure the best outcome for external and internal customers.

He is excited about joining a Ministry with a long history of excellence. Stephen has two grown up children, is passionate about sport and plays bridge competitively.



John McArthur

Principal Capability Adviser

John McArthur - Principal Capability Adviser.

John McArthur was appointed Principal Capability Adviser to the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in July 2010.

A Wellingtonian, educated at Victoria University and with a PhD from the University of Toulouse Le Mirail in France, Dr McArthur is a career diplomat with a long association with Asia. His career includes serving as New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, New Zealand Consul-General in Shanghai and a secondment to the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei. His first posting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was to Beijing (1986). At the Ministry's head office in Wellington, Dr McArthur served from 2007 as Deputy Secretary in charge of Asia, the Americas and APEC then Deputy Secretary in charge of North Asia. Earlier on he headed the Security Policy Division (1998-2003). He is a fluent speaker of French, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish and Italian.



Bede Corry

Deputy Secretary Australia, Pacific, and Europe Group

Chris Seed - Deputy Secretary Australia, Pacific, and Europe Group

Bede Corry has been a Deputy Secretary at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade since April 2014.  He leads the Ministry’s Australia, Pacific, Europe, and Middle East and Africa Group.

He joined the Ministry from the Ministry of Defence where he was Deputy Secretary of Defence (Policy and Planning) from 2012-2014.

Prior to that he held a number of senior positions at MFAT, including as Ambassador to Thailand, Director of the Australia Division, Director of the Chief Executive’s Office, Counsellor at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, and Private Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree from the Victoria University of Wellington. 

Andrea Smith

Deputy Secretary Americas and Asia

Andrea Smith -  Deputy Secretary Americas and Asia

Andrea Smith was appointed as Deputy Secretary Americas and Asia  Group in July 2012.

Prior to taking up her appointment, Andrea was the Director of the Pacific Division in the Ministry.  She has also served as Ambassador to Turkey, Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (2009-2010), Head of the Trade and Economic Section of the New Zealand Embassy in Washington (2004-2005) and as Deputy Head of Mission in Jakarta (2001-2003), as well as serving in our Mission to the European Union earlier in her career.  Andrea was seconded to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as the Foreign Policy Advisor in the period 2006-2008.  In the Ministry in Wellington, her areas of work have included multilateral trade policy, Southeast Asia and Australia.



Julie Townley

Group Manager Human Resources

Julie Townley Director Human Resources

Julie Townley is Group Manager, Human Resources.  Julie leads a group of HR professionals focusing on specialist areas such as organisational development including organisational capability (e.g., remuneration and employment relations), and people capabilities (e.g., talent management, succession planning, employee engagement, and learning and development) as well as generalist HR support to the organisation which includes staff in New Zealand and at more than 55 posts overseas, all with different employment legislation. 

Following a substantial restructure at the Ministry, Julie is leading a critical work programme which will enable the Ministry’s managers to more effectively manage and lead their teams, growing and developing our capabilities.  

Prior to her appointment as Group Manager, Human Resources, Julie has worked in the private sector and held strategic and change management roles in the health sector as well as leading HR policy and organisational development for NZ Aid.



Gerard van Bohemen

Deputy Secretary Multilateral and Legal Affairs Group

Gerard van Bohemen - Deputy Secretary Multilateral and Legal Affairs Group

Gerard van Bohemen is Deputy Secretary for the Multilateral and Legal Group. He had previously been International Legal Adviser and Director of the Ministry’s Legal Division (since 2005).

Gerard began his career with the Ministry in December 1982 working initially in the Legal Division and then at the New Zealand Mission to the United Nations in New York. After a period spent in private legal practice at Russell McVeagh, he returned to the Ministry as Deputy Permanent Representative at the New Zealand Mission in New York during New Zealand’s membership of the UN Security Council in 1993/94. 

On his return, Gerard resumed his career in private practice, joining Buddle Findlay in Auckland where he was a partner from 1996 to 2003. In 2004, he was a partner in Chen Palmer & Partners in Wellington. 

In his role as International Legal Advisor, Gerard was responsible for advising the Government on international legal issues. He also represented New Zealand at a variety of international negotiations, specialising in fisheries and oceans, whaling, and biosafety issues.


David Walker

Deputy Secretary Trade and Economic Group

David Walker - Deputy Secretary Trade and Economic Group

David Walker returned to the Ministry in June 2011 from being New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), based in Geneva. During his time with the WTO, David represented New Zealand at the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, and in April 2009 was appointed Chair of the Doha Round negotiations on agriculture.

Prior to his WTO role, David was Principal Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has twice served as New Zealand’s APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Senior Official – in 2004 and 1999. From August 2000 through April 2004 he was Deputy Chief of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy to the United States in Washington DC.

Prior to 1999, David spent a period as Strategic Issues Manager in Telecom’s New Zealand’s corporate strategy group. He has also served as head of the Ministry’s Trade and Economic Analysis Division and has had previous postings in London and Geneva.

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Page last updated: Monday, 23 March 2015 10:35 NZDT