Mathias cormann
Top right photo by Adrian Petty, European Central Bank

Mathias Cormann was until recently Australia’s longest-serving Finance Minister and Leader of the Government in the Australian Senate. An experienced political leader with strong economic credentials, Mathias has delivered Australia’s annual Federal Budgets since 2013. In this role, he has led complex negotiations with a broad spectrum of political parties.

Born in Belgium, Mathias Cormann migrated to Australia in 1996. Mathias would bring a distinctive perspective to the Secretary-General role, having spent half of his life in Europe and half in the Asia-Pacific. His experience gives him rare insights into the cultures, economic strengths and political dynamics of both regions.

Mathias is a strong advocate for the positive power of open markets and free trade and the importance of rules based global economic governance. He has represented Australia in the OECD, G20, APEC, ASEAN and the World Economic Forum. In 2018, Mathias was awarded the Grand Cross with Star and Sash of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, for his work in advancing German-Australian relations.

From August 2018 to May 2019, Mathias served as Minister for the Public Service. In this role, he led initiatives to modernise and reform Australia’s public sector, with a focus on achieving higher levels of transparency, efficiency and good governance.

Mathias is married to Hayley and they have two young daughters, Isabelle and Charlotte.

Recent roles

  • Minister for Finance - 2013-2020
  • Leader of the Australian Government in the Senate – 2017-2020
  • Chair of the National Security Investment Committee
  • Member of the Expenditure Review Committee and the National Security Committee of Cabinet
  • Vice-President of the Federal Executive Council of Australia – 2017-2020
  • Senator for Western Australia – 2007-2020

Previous professional experience

  • 2018-2019 Australian Minister for the Public Service
  • 2010-2011 Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Scrutiny of New Taxes
  • 2008-2010 Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Fuel and Energy
  • 2006-2007 Acting General Manager, HBF Health Insurance
  • 2004-2006 General Manager, HealthGuard
  • 2003-2004 Health Services Manager, HBF Health Insurance
  • 2001-2003 Senior Adviser to the Australian Minister for Justice and Customs
  • 1999-2001 Senior Adviser to the Premier of Western Australia
  • 1996-1999 Chief of Staff to the Minister for Family and Children’s Services, Seniors and Women’s Interests


  • LLC, Notre Dame University of Namur, Belgium
  • LLL, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
  • Mathias grew up speaking German and graduated in law after studies in French, Flemish & English.