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Susan Bodell

First Assistant Secretary, Defence

Susan Bodell is the First Assistant Secretary Pacific Division. Her Division is responsible for providing strategic and policy direction for Defence’s relationships and engagement in the Pacific and Timor Leste and delivery of the Infrastructure, Pacific Maritime Security and Defence Cooperation Programs in the region. Ms Bodell commenced in this role in July 2023. Prior to taking up her current position she was Assistant Secretary Indo-Pacific Enhanced Engagement in International Policy Division and Assistant Secretary South-East Asia and the Pacific in the Defence Intelligence Organisation.

Ms Bodell has worked in the Department of Defence since 2010. She entered the Department as Director North and South Asia in the International Policy Division where she managed Australia’s defence relations with China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka. 

Before commencing with Defence, Ms Bodell was Director International Strategy at the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Ms Bodell also served for a number of years at the Australian Attorney-General’s Department in various roles including Director Pacific Section, Director International Legal Cooperation, Director APEC Taskforce and Assistant Director Counter-terrorism Strategic Policy Unit. She has also worked in border control and compliance at the then Department of Immigration and Citizenship. 

Overseas, Ms Bodell served as the Head of Secretariat to the Pacific Immigration Directors Conference Secretariat (2002-04) in Suva, Fiji. Prior to working in the Pacific, she held various roles in the New Zealand Immigration Service.

Susan Bodell