by Jennifer O'Brien

Rachel Noble becomes first woman to lead ACSC

Jun 20, 2019
Business ContinuityCareersCIO

Former CIO and long-standing public servant, Rachel Noble has been named the new head of the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), cementing her role in history as the first woman to lead the organisation.

The Australian Signals Directorate’s ACSC provides advice to federal and state governments and the private sector.

Noble – who’s currently the deputy secretary of the executive group at the Department of Home Affairs – replaces Alastair MacGibbon, who left the role in May. The executive group is responsible for enterprise strategy, risk, assurance, security and ministerial, media and intelligence services.

Noble is a long-standing public servant with a background in cyber, science, technology, national security and defence.

“I’m delighted that Rachel’s agreed to return to ASD to take this important and challenging role,” said ASD director Mike Burgess, in announcing the appointment. “The cyber threat is real and Rachel is ideally qualified to confront it.”

Burgess said Noble possesses a formidable skill set and the new role brings together her experience in cyber, science and security.

“I’m particularly impressed by Rachel’s leadership qualities, which were so well displayed when she and I worked together previously to improve cyber policy across government.”

Noble has held a series of leadership positions in Home Affairs, Defence (including ASD) and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC).

As PMC’s national security chief information officer and cyber policy coordinator, Noble coordinated whole-of-government policy on cyber issues and improved information sharing among the national security community. She received a Public Service Medal for her work.

“I am really looking forward to returning to ASD to work with Mike and his team,” Noble said. “I have always enjoyed the work of ASD and this will be the third time in my career that I have worked there. I’m delighted to be reconnecting with some of my old colleagues and making new ones too.”

Prior to her group executive role at the Department of Home Affairs, Noble led the Portfolio’s Home Affairs Implementation Team to stand up the Home Affairs Portfolio.

In 2014, she was promoted to deputy secretary Policy Group in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection which included responsibility for trade, customs, immigration and international policy.

She joined the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) in May 2013 as the national director intelligence and chief information officer.

Her previous role was as First Assistant Secretary Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication, at the Department of Defence, where she was responsible for providing advice on Parliamentary, media, information management, records management policy, FOI and executive coordination issues.

Prior to rejoining Defence, she was the National Security Chief Information Officer and Cyber Policy Coordinator in Prime Minister and Cabinet, responsible for improving information sharing among the national security community and coordinating whole of government policy on cyber issues.

She has held several SES positions in the Department of Defence including Assistant Secretary Governance, responsible for the overall governance and assurance framework for Defence; Assistant Secretary Americas, North and South Asia, Europe in the International Policy Division, and Deputy Chief of Facility at the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap.

She has also worked for the Bureau of Meteorology on international policies to address global climate change and started her career in private industry working for Optus.