Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is key to the dynamic culture that drives AmCham, and they reflect the forward-thinking ethos that drives us and our members onward. They are responsible for the policy, direction and governance of the organisational activities in all states.

Brendan Nelson AO

President, Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific
Boeing Australia Holdings Pty Ltd

Dr Brendan Nelson AO was appointed President of Boeing in Australia, New Zealand, and South Pacific in February 2020. Dr Nelson is chairman of the board for Boeing Australia Holdings and the company’s senior leader for its 3,800 employees working across commercial airplane manufacturing, defence systems, services, research & development, and autonomous systems. Prior to Boeing, Dr Nelson served as director of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. He began his career in 1985 as a medical practitioner before going on to lead the Australian Medical Association. In 1996, he was elected to the Federal Parliament of Australia serving as Minister for Education, Science and Training and then as Minister for Defence. He was elected leader of Australia’s Liberal Party in 2007 and led the Opposition until 2008. He later served as Australia’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO until 2012. In 2016, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to the community and the parliament of Australia, his diplomacy, and his cultural leadership.

Deborah Chew

Partner - Corporate and Commercial
Hall & Wilcox Lawyers

Deborah has over 25 years of corporate and commercial experience across a broad range of commercial transactions, and has advised on substantial mergers and acquisitions and private equity and capital raising transactions. Deborah’s practice includes company and business acquisitions and sales, public and private issuances of equity and debt securities, shareholders agreements and joint ventures, management equity arrangements, commercial structuring and corporate organisational restructuring and corporate governance and ASX Listing Rule advice. Deborah has led and worked on a large number of major transactions, both at Hall & Wilcox and previous top tier firms (in Australia and the United States). Before joining Hall & Wilcox, Deborah was a partner at Allens Arthur Robinson and prior to that worked for almost ten years at a leading New York firm, Debevoise & Plimpton.

Martin Creighan

Managing Director and Vice President, Australia and New Zealand

Martin is Managing Director and Vice President for AT&T’s business in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ). With a career at AT&T that began in 2004, Martin leads AT&T’s local business with a focus on business and technology Leadership, development of regional sales and marketing strategy, management of financial and operations support teams and a passion for people, culture and skills development. In Martin’s previous role as Director of Sales he was responsible for leading a team on revenue growth, growing market share and the development of customer proposals and contracting offers for AT&T’s multi-national customers. Prior to AT&T, Martin started his career in the US Navy where he spent over 9 years as an Operations Specialist and was responsible for building and project managing simulated warfare environments. Since then he has held Sales, Marketing and Business Management roles with Radware, SecureNet, Baltimore Technologies and Viasoft.

Nick McKenna

Chief Executive Officer
Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd

Nick McKenna is Chief Executive Officer of Australia Pacific LNG, a joint venture between Origin Energy, ConocoPhillips and Sinopec based in Brisbane. Nick commenced his role with APLNG in September 2020 and is on secondment from ConocoPhillips where he was most recently President of the Australia business unit. In 2010 he was seconded to Australia Pacific LNG as the General Manager Projects. In 2013 Nick relocated to Calgary, spending two years as Vice President, Oil Sands Development before his appointment to Vice President, Oil Sands Development and Subsurface in 2015. In 2017 Nick transitioned to the Houston based role of Asset Manager, Central Rockies and Anadarko. Prior to ConocoPhillips, Nick held a number of supervisory and engineering roles with both McKinsey & Company and Technip in Houston, Halliburton Subsea in Singapore, and Brown & Root Energy Services in Australia. Nick has served on the Boards of the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada and Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance. Nick has also served on the Board of APPEA.

Chris Morris

Head of Tax, Australia

Chris is a Partner at PwC Australia and leads the Deals (Mergers & Acquisitions) Tax group. Chris also leads the Financial Assurance USA inbound practice. Chris was appointed Partner in 2006 and soon after was seconded to PwC USA for two years to establish the Australian tax desk to advise USA based clients on their Australian tax requirements. On returning from the USA, Chris focussed on USA inbound investment into Australia and has advised on a number of listed company takeovers both by USA corporations and USA based Private Equity Funds. Chris has been an active member of Amcham as Chairperson of Amcham's Tax Committee since its inception.

April Palmerlee

Chief Executive Officer
American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

April Palmerlee is the CEO of AmCham. Previously, she worked at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Potomac Partners, and the Centre for Independent Studies. Before moving from the US to Australia in 2003, she was the State Department’s Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues. Previously, she held leadership roles at the Council on Foreign Relations, Oscar de la Renta, The Bank Credit Analyst, and The Spanish Institute. She serves on the boards of the Centre for Independent Studies and the Georgetown University Australian and New Zealand Studies Center. She is on the Australian Fulbright Commission. Ms Palmerlee is a dual citizen. She received a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of Chief Executive Women.

Vice Chair
William Ruh

CEO, Digital
Lendlease Corporation

Mr. William Ruh is the Chief Executive Officer for LendLease Digital. In this role, he is focused on building out advanced automation and analytics capabilities, as well as driving the global strategy, operations and portfolio of digital services across all of LendLease businesses. His portfolio includes the Innovation Group, Living Utilities, Technology in Property, DesignMake and the IT organization.Prior to joining LendLease, Mr. Ruh was the CEO of GE Digital and the Chief Digital Officer for GE. He grew the overall GE digital sales 2.5x and established the GE Digital business unit. During his tenure, Mr. Ruh led the charge to develop the first cloud-based platform for the industrial world. A recognized expert in the emerging Industrial Internet of Things he helped establish the Industrial Internet Consortium, was a member of the US Dept of Commerce Digital Economy Board of Advisors, Executive Board member of the Bay Area Council as well as the Co-Chair of the Bay Area Council India Initiative and is a member of the board of the Magna Corporation.

Bill Townsend

Vice President Corporate
INPEX Operations Australia Pty Ltd

Bill Townsend is Vice President Corporate, INPEX. In this role, Bill manages External Affairs, Human Resources, Industrial Relations, Business Services, Integrated Services and 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 is also a Director of the Energy Policy Institute of Australia. Bill earned a BA (Political Science) from Northwestern University and an MBA from Dartmouth College.

Jim Whalley

Chair, An Executive Director, Former CEO and Co-Founder
Nova Group

Jim Whalley is the Chair, an Executive Director, former CEO and Co-Founder of the Nova Group ( ), an engineering and project management professional services firm spanning defence, transport, utilities, energy and communications. Jim is a former RAAF fighter pilot and test pilot and among other qualifications holds a BSc, an MBA and is a Graduate of the Harvard Business School OPM Executive Education Program and the UK Empire Test Pilots’ School. Jim currently serves on several defence, industry and university boards and advisory committees. Jim is also the Chief Entrepreneur for South Australia and Chairs the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. The Nova Group itself employs over 850 people throughout Australia and in the UK, NZ, Norway, Ireland and Singapore with skills in areas ranging from flight testing and electronic warfare to system safety and satellite communications. Nova has been listed as an SA Top 100 company, a BRW fast 100 company, an SA Fast Movers Company and one of the BRW 50 best places to work in Australia.