Bernadette Cavanagh

Deputy Secretary Multilateral and Legal Affairs Group


Bernadette Cavanagh has been working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) since 2000, initially holding roles in the Regional Security Unit, Security Policy Division, and Europe Division.  Prior to joining the Ministry, Bernadette worked for the New Zealand Defence Force and Ministry of Defence in a number of roles.

Bernadette was Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Moscow followed by a return to Wellington to head the South East Asia Unit. In 2010 Bernadette took up the position of Deputy Permanent Representative at the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. In 2013, Bernadette was appointed as the New Zealand High Commissioner to Singapore, with cross accreditation to the Maldives.

In 2015 Bernadette returned to Wellington to take up the position of Divisional Manager of the United Nations, Human Rights and Commonwealth Division. Her areas of responsibility included oversight of New Zealand’s term on the United Nations Security Council, and Helen Clark’s campaign for the position of United Nations Secretary-General.

Bernadette was appointed Deputy Secretary to Multilateral and Legal Affairs Group in January 2017.