Executive Biography of Maria Fernandez

Maria Fernandez

Maria Fernandez
Boeing Australia, New Zealand
and South Pacific

Maria Fernandez is the president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. She is the senior company leader in the Oceania region and is chair of the board for Boeing Australia Holdings. In this role, Ms Fernandez coordinates Boeing Australia activities, leads government relations and directs the implementation of Boeing’s strategy to expand its local presence and grow the business. She was appointed in December 2022 and is based in Sydney.

Ms Fernandez has a distinguished career with over 20 years of leadership experience in the National Security sector and was the first woman to lead an Australian intelligence agency.

Prior to joining Boeing, Ms Fernandez ran her own consultancy providing strategic advisory and independent assurance services to Australian government agencies.

From 2015 to 2019, she served as a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Home Affairs, overseeing five major divisions.

In 2012, she was appointed Director of the Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation responsible for providing geospatial intelligence for the defence of Australia and its national interests. During her time as Director, she led the agency through a series of significant national events.

Ms Fernandez also held a number of other senior executive positions in the Department of Defence including the Head of Capability, Investment and Resources, Deputy Director of the Australian Signals Directorate and Head of Defence White Paper Reviews for the 2009 Defence White Paper.

In 2005, Ms Fernandez was appointed Chief of Staff to the Minister for Education during a time of major reform in the higher education and schools sectors. She became Chief of Staff to the Minister of Defence in 2006, a time of high operational tempo when troops were deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands.

Ms Fernandez also held a series of positions at the Department of Education, Science and Training between 1996 and 2005. Between 1994 and 1996, she was a systems consultant at two different companies, one of which saw her working in the UK for a number of years.

Ms Fernandez was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in 2017 for her outstanding contribution in advancing Australia’s interests. She is a graduate of the University of Canberra with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Ms Fernandez is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.