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Ian Irving AAA Ltd. Appointment as CEO



SYDNEY AUSTRALIA, 26 MARCH 2024: American Australian Association Ltd in Sydney is delighted to announce the appointment of Australian Defence & National Security executive, Ian Irving, as Chief Executive Officer.

Irving’s appointment as CEO follows the appointment of Leila Smith as Chair of the Association in 2023. Under new leadership the non-profit organisation in Australia prepares to reinvigorate their activities in 2024, including the return of the Australia Benefit Dinner in Sydney this August.

“With more than 35 years experience at senior executive levels within the Australian defence and aerospace industry, Ian is the obvious choice to lead the Association in Australia,” commented Chair, Leila Smith. “Under AUKUS, defence is a key focus of the American Australian relationship today, and Ian’s wealth and depth of industry knowledge is invaluable to the Association and our members.”

Establishing ALTILUS Pty Limited, a top tier management and professional services agency serving the government and the defence sector, Ian now holds responsibilities an External Board Member for the conduct of life-cycle Independent Assurance Reviews for Australia’s Department of Defence and major defence acquisition and sustainment programmes. Previously, Ian was Chief Executive of the Naval Shipbuilding Institute responsible for the delivery of Australia’s Naval Shipbuilding College. He was also Chief executive at Northrop Grumman Australia taking the Australian arm of the company from inception to a major contributor to Australia’s national security capabilities. Prior to this Ian was VP, Land Systems and Chief Executive Officer at Thales Australia over a 12-year period.

President of the Association in the United States, Amb. John Berry (Ret.) remarked, “All of us at the American Australian Association are very honoured and excited to have Ian’s strong leadership and integrity to help us broaden and deepen the relationship between our great countries.  It is a critical time for all free nations to call upon their best and Ian clearly rises to the occasion.  Together with Leila, the Board and our Team the future is certain to be brighter!”

Over the last three decades Ian has held senior positions across many of Australia’s major land, sea, air and space defence procurements and sustainment programmes. Ian is an Honours graduate in Electrical Engineering from Sydney University and has held prior responsibility as the Chair of the peak Australian defence industry body, the Australian Industry Group (AiG) – Defence National Executive Council. Ian has also served as a South Australian Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, a non-executive director of the Williams Foundation, and is a current board member of the Pecan Growers’ Co-Operative of Australia.

Ian stated, “I’m honoured to be given the opportunity of leading the Association in Australia. I’m very much looking forward to the opportunity of working with both John and Leila, to advance our mission of enhancing the relationship between our two nations, and I’m particularly excited about developing a vibrant and rewarding program of engagement in Australia, that will connect and benefit our many stakeholders in new ways.”

Established by Sir Keith Murdoch in New York City in 1948, the American Australian Association is the leading privately funded non-profit organisation dedicated to broadening, strengthening and developing ties across the Pacific. For 75 years, their programs have connected our two cultures, guided our people and provided new opportunities for a diverse network of trail blazers.

The scholarships & exchanges champion progress, creativity and expression, providing opportunities to young American and Australian leaders to undertake transformational study, research and professional or artistic development in each other’s country. To date, the Association has awarded more than US$16million to over 1000+ graduates, veterans and artists.

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