David Gainer, US Consul General, US Embassy
David J. Gainer is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. He arrived in Perth in August 2019 after serving as Mission Spokesperson and Acting Public Affairs Officer in Ankara, Turkey. In Washington, David worked as Deputy and Acting Director of the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2014-16). Overseas, David has served as Public Affairs Officer in Chennai, India (2012-14); Cultural Affairs Officer in Prague, the Czech Republic (2008-12); Vice Consul in Melbourne, Australia (2005-7); and Acting Public Affairs Officer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (2003-5). Prior to joining the Foreign Service, David taught budget and appropriation law classes for the U.S. Department of Treasury. He earned Masters degrees in American history, African history, and Liberal Studies from the University of Maryland, University of Cape Town, and Georgetown University, respectively, and holds a BA in history from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He taught secondary school as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi. David has also worked as a disc jockey, hosting weekly music shows on a variety of radio stations, and he speaks Turkish, Czech, Khmer, Chichewa and Xhosa. David is married to Jessica, an art historian, and they have two daughters.
Bill Townsend, Vice President, INPEX Operations Australia
Bill Townsend is Vice President Corporate at INPEX. In this role, Bill oversees the Corporate Affairs, Human Resources, Industrial Relations and Business Services functions in Australia as well as INPEX’s corporate interests in the Northern Territory. Bill joined INPEX in 2006.Beginning his career as a US Navy submarine officer, Bill entered the oil and gas industry in 1994 as a Business Advisor to BP Russia based in Moscow. Further commercial and external affairs assignments followed with BP in Azerbaijan and Georgia.Bill arrived in Australia in 2004 to take up the role of Joint Venture Coordination Manager for the North West Shelf Ventures at Woodside Energy. Bill earned a BA (Political Science) from Northwestern University and an MBA from Dartmouth College. He holds dual American-Australian citizenship. Bill is a Director of AmCham and the Energy Policy Institute of Australia
Kristie Young, General Manager, American Chamber of Commerce in Australia
Kristie Young joined AmCham in 2021. With over 20 years experience in industry, she is based in Perth.
Kristie is a respected member of the mining and business community with strong connections across industry, academia, government not-for-profits and service providers. Her unique background across technical engineering, business development, marketing, strategy, growth, commercial, consultancy, account management, diversity & inclusion, advisory, governance, education and HR provides a unique mix of skills that sees her well placed to effect real change in the Australian business landscape.
Kristie is currently non-executive director with ASX listed companies Lithium Australia and Primero Group. She sits on the Wesley College Council/Board, the Board of the Petroleum Club of WA, is a Perth UQ EAIT Alumni Ambassador, and a member of the CMEWA Diversity & Inclusion Reference Group.
Kristie holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) Hons from the University of Queensland, a Post Graduate Diploma of Education (Mathematics & IT) from the University of Western Australia, a CertIV HR from the Australian HR Institute and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Byron McDonald, Managing Director and Owner, Quest East Perth
Byron McDonald is currently the owner of Quest East Perth where is responsible for the overall operational efficiencies of the business.
Prior to this, he has 10 years of working as a leader within the Royal Australian Defence Force with demonstrated strengths:
- working as an innovative and strategic thinker within high risk and complex work environments;
- as a mentor and coach actively engaged in the development and training of professionals locally and internationally;
- identifying key skill requirements and aligning these to professional and personal development strategies;
- as a highly effective negotiator directly resolving complex situations with insurgents and local community leaders where safety and long term success remained fundamentally important; and
- driving outcomes, establishing boundaries and articulating strategy.
Byron graduated from the Royal Military College.