The ATO Executive Committee sets our overall strategic direction and monitors delivery of our commitments to government and the community. Its focus is on the strategic matters that relate to the direction and positioning of the organisation.
Our Commissioner and Second Commissioners are statutory appointments. The ATO Executive Committee consists of the Commissioner, three Second Commissioners and the leads from the Operations, Information, Corporate and Finance sections of the ATO.
Commissioner of Taxation and Registrar of the Australian Business Register
Chris Jordan AO
Chris Jordan AO was appointed as the 12th Commissioner of Taxation on 1 January 2013.
Chris has broad and lengthy experience in tax policy and law development and implementation, having held influential roles in the private sector and as a government advisor to both Labor and Coalition governments.
He was the Chair of the Board of Taxation from June 2011 to December 2012 and a member of the Board since its inception in 2000. He also served as Chair of the Business Tax Working Group in 2011–2012 and as Chair of the New Tax System Advisory Board (1999-2001). He was a member of the group that consulted with the mining industry about the resource rent tax (2011–12).
Chris has more than 35 years of experience in the tax profession; starting his accounting career with the firm Arthur Andersen in 1979, with a few years as a senior lecturer in taxation at Sydney’s University of Technology and then working at KPMG for more than two decades. From 1995 to 2000, he was Partner in Charge of the NSW Tax and Legal Division of KPMG and from 2001 to 2012 was Chairman of Partners for KPMG NSW.
Chris has a Master of Laws (Sydney University) and Bachelor of Commerce and Law (University of NSW). He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Chartered Tax Adviser with The Tax Institute.
Chris’s term as Commissioner of Taxation and Registrar of the Australian Business Register runs until 31 December 2019.
Second Commissioner – Client Engagement
Neil Olesen was appointed Second Commissioner on 1 July 2013.
Neil has overall responsibility for the ATO’s Client Engagement Group. He also chairs the ATO’s Audit and Risk Committee. Previously as Second Commissioner, Neil had overall responsibility for the ATO’s law practice.
Neil has more than 30 years of experience in tax and superannuation administration, including designing and implementing new tax laws, helping to ensure compliance with existing laws and leading major change initiatives.
Neil commenced his career as a graduate in the ATO’s Adelaide office before moving to Canberra. His early roles focused on matters arising from the tax avoidance era of the 1970s and 80s, including developing processes and structures to help with early identification of new schemes, before working on changes associated with the introduction of a system of self-assessment for income tax.
A two-year stint working in a Minister’s office in the 1990s was followed by roles designing new tax and super laws to give effect to government policy such as the Medicare levy surcharge, the private health insurance rebate, the gun levy, family tax benefits and the superannuation ‘choice of fund’ proposal. Subsequent work was focused on improving the integration of the policy, legislative and administrative elements of the tax design process, following on from recommendations made by the Ralph Business Tax Review.
Over the past decade, Neil’s roles have focused on corporate governance, stakeholder relations, and compliance. For the five years prior to being appointed Second Commissioner, Neil was Deputy Commissioner Superannuation.
Neil holds a Bachelor in Accounting and a Graduate Diploma in Taxation Law.
Neil’s term as Second Commissioner runs until 30 June 2020.
Second Commissioner – Law Design and Practice
Andrew Mills was appointed Second Commissioner on 12 December 2013.
Andrew has overall responsibility for the ATO’s law practice, including law interpretation, dispute resolution and the ATO’s role in policy and law design.
Andrew has more than 30 years of experience in taxation, including periods in the ATO, commerce and the tax profession.
Andrew was a Director of the specialist national tax firm Greenwoods & Freehills for more than 20 years and managing director of the firm from 2006-2011. He has advised clients from large multinational businesses, small and medium enterprises, as well as superannuation funds, charities and individuals.
Andrew was President of the Tax Institute in 2006–2007, is a former Governor of the Taxation Research Foundation and also represented industry bodies across a number of sectors. He was closely involved in the Business Tax Reform process and was a representative on a number of ATO groups including the National Tax Liaison Group. Andrew was a member of the Board of Taxation Advisory Panel from 2009 and acted as an expert panel member and consultant to a number of reviews.
Andrew lectured in taxation in the Masters of Law course at the University of Sydney and has been a regular speaker at seminars on domestic and international tax issues. He has published papers and articles in various national and international tax journals.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Business, a Master of Laws and a Graduate Diploma in Tax Law. He is a Certified Taxation Adviser (Life) of the Tax Institute, a member of the International Fiscal Association and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Andrew’s term as Second Commissioner runs until 11 December 2020.
Acting Second Commissioner – Risk and Assurance
Frances Cawthra joined the ATO in August 2005 and is currently acting in the role of Second Commissioner, Risk and Assurance. Frances has responsibility for the risk management approach across the ATO and the integration of risk into strategic planning. She has a lead role in building the risk centre of excellence and in working with the Commissioners and senior leaders to strengthen our risk awareness culture.
Frances was previously the ATO’s Chief Finance Officer for a period of four years, and her portfolio included the ATO’s management and financial accounting functions, procurement and contract management as well as property and facilities management services.
Frances has been a key change agent, introducing the organisation to dialler technology and the use of outsourced providers. She also successfully led the ATO to achieving awards for excellence in the supplier diversity sector, and received a Prime Minister's Award for her work around establishing the ATO’s community programs.
Prior to joining the ATO, Frances held senior roles in the private sector in a range of industries, including retail, energy and financial services.
Chief Information Officer
Ramez Katf was appointed Chief Information Officer of the ATO in November 2015. As CIO, he has responsibility for the ATO’s Enterprise Solutions and Technology Group.
Ramez provides leadership and strategic direction on technology in the ATO and ensures the delivery of technology services to support our staff. He also ensures we are taking advantage of the most innovative trends in technology to improve the experience of our staff and clients.
Before joining the ATO, Ramez was a managing director at Accenture for more than 29 years, working with government and non-government clients to deliver large-scale transformational change, in particular with innovative, technological business solutions.
His leadership of transformation programs spans Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and China. Previously, Ramez led the transformation programs for the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department, New Zealand Customs and the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.
Ramez’s areas of specialisation include management and leadership, strategy, program delivery and technology.
Chief Operating Officer
Jacqui Curtis joined the ATO in September 2013. As Chief Operating Officer, Jacqui leads the ATO’s Corporate and Enabling Services functions.
Her role gives greater strength and integration to our corporate positioning, and ensures we are well positioned for Australian Public Service (APS)-wide reforms of corporate and shared services, and that our planning, governance and risk management are strategic and sensible.
Jacqui brings together an integrated picture of our people and resource management and ensures we have the right capability and culture to deliver on our strategic intent.
She plays a lead role in managing our relationship with key stakeholders like our scrutineers.
All of these underpin our ability to deliver a better client and staff experience.
Prior to her current role, Jacqui was Deputy Commissioner ATO People with responsibility to deliver an enterprise-wide human resource management service which supports ATO employees in providing a sustainable, open and accountable workplace. Jacqui was also responsible for leading the Reinvention Program Management Office and the change management driving this key reform.
Before joining the ATO, Jacqui held senior positions in the Department of Human Services and the Australian Public Service Commission following extensive private sector experience in Australia and internationally.
Jacqui holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration from the Australian National University and is a Fellow of the Australian Human Resource Institute. She is a Disability Champion and a qualified workplace coach.
Chief Service Delivery Officer
Melinda Smith was appointed Chief Service Delivery Officer in October 2016.
In this role, Melinda leads the Service Delivery Group which is responsible for a broad range of the ATO's foundation services for all segments of the community. These include processing all payments, activity statements, income tax returns, superannuation lodgments and other forms, as well as administering the Tax File Number register, Australian Business Register and registers held on behalf of the superannuation industry.
Melinda is a marketing and retail leader who brings extensive executive experience in driving customer service and product transformation programs in large-scale environments. She previously worked in senior roles at Woolworths group for more than 20 years, where she led successful organisational change programs.
She has extensive experience managing large and diverse workforces in fields such as information technology, procurement, supply chain, shop‑floor and online retail, and human resources. She is renowned for understanding the needs and behaviour of customers and being able to deliver products and services they want.
Melinda has a very strong service ethic and client focus - both internally and externally. She is passionate about effective teamwork and relationship management, and believes that high levels of staff engagement are critical to business success.
Melinda holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management and Bachelors degrees in Business and Economics from Monash University. She is a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Melinda supports the development of young executives and is a mentor with Pottinger's Glass Elevator initiative and the National Association of Women in Operations (NAWO).
Deputy Commissioner – ATO Corporate
Sue Sinclair joined the ATO in July 2006. She was appointed First Assistant Commissioner ATO Corporate in July 2013, following positions as First Assistant Commissioner Law and Practice and First Assistant Commissioner in Compliance.
As Deputy Commissioner ATO Corporate since July 2015, Sue plays a leadership role in the governance and stewardship of the ATO and works with the Commissioners and senior leaders to build a values-based culture of transparency and accountability.
ATO Corporate is responsible for internal governance, external relations and conformance, general counsel, communications, public affairs, publishing, information management, digital information and records, internal audit and fraud prevention and internal investigation.
Before joining the ATO, Sue worked in senior positions in the New South Wales public sector. She was appointed to the senior executive service in New South Wales in 1988 and held several senior positions during that time, including roles in corporate services, law, policy development and operations.
Sue holds a Diploma of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney. She also has a Master of Management from Macquarie Graduate School of Management.
Acting Chief Finance Officer – ATO Finance
Justin Untersteiner joined the ATO in October 2006. Justin is the acting Chief Finance Officer and his portfolio includes the ATO’s management and financial accounting functions, procurement and contract management as well as property and facilities management services.
Justin plays a key advisory role to the Commissioner and ATO Executive, ensuring that organisational strategy is informed by a financial perspective. ATO Finance ensures the ATO is provided with robust reporting and insightful business intelligence, understands its obligations, and is supported in complying with Commonwealth requirements.
Justin is also committed to building strong, effective relationships and confidence among indigenous communities by actively engaging with indigenous staff through initiatives such as our Evergreen Advancement Program, Indigenous Mentoring Program, Reconciliation week events and site and state-based indigenous employee networks.
Justin strongly advocates helping indigenous businesses by partnering with them on some of our major projects in ATO Property to create a better financial future for indigenous communities now and into the future.
Prior to joining the ATO, Justin held senior leadership roles in the private sector.
Acting Deputy Commissioner – ATO People
Brad Chapman joined the ATO in February 2000. As Deputy Commissioner ATO People, Brad has responsibility for delivering an enterprise-wide human resource management service which supports ATO employees by providing a sustainable, open and accountable workplace that balances the need to deliver on today’s priorities while preparing for the future.
Brad previously led the Program Management Office for the ATO’s transformation program – Reinventing the ATO. Brad was responsible for the governance and assurance of the Reinventing the ATO program and was part of the leadership team for the development of the blueprint for the ATO’s future, which was launched in March 2015.
Brad has worked across government agencies to deliver key government priorities designed to reduce red tape, realise efficiencies and improve identity security. He has previously held positions in human resources, governance and finance in the public and private sector and led large operational workforces covering a variety of functions.
Brad holds a Bachelor of Business from the Queensland University of Technology and is a member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI).
The ATO Executive Committee is responsible for our strategic direction and commitments to government and the community.