Secretary of Defence
Helene Quilter, a career public servant, has been Secretary of Defence and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Defence since assuming this role in December 2012. During her time as the Secretary of Defence, she has led a programme of change across all aspects of the organisation and the way it partners with other defence and security agencies. She is currently leading an ambitious transformation programme of military capability management.
Ms Quilter has over 38 years’ experience in the Public Service. Immediately prior to her appointment as Secretary of Defence, she was a Deputy Commissioner at the State Services Commission where she provided leadership to chief executives to improve agency performance. Ms Quilter was responsible for managing the performance of chief executives in the justice, defence, intelligence and foreign affairs agencies on behalf of the State Services Commissioner and was part of the central agency team responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Defence White Paper 2010.
She was previously a Deputy Chief Executive with the Ministry of Social Development.
Ms Quilter has a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from Victoria University and as part of her research spent time as an intern for the then United Kingdom Prime Minister, Tony Blair’s Strategy Unit in London to learn about strategy formation at the heart of Government.
Ms Quilter serves as Public Sector Trustee on the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Trust.
Outside of work Helene enjoys collecting 17th and 18th century art, reading, and cooking for friends and family.