First Assistant Secretary Contestability, Department of Defence
Teresa Blair is First Assistant Secretary Contestability Division at the Department of Defence, a role she was appointed to in 2022.
In this role, she is responsible for providing decision makers with analysis of Defence’s capability investment proposals as they move through the approval pipeline to Government consideration and beyond, as well as in ensuring the integrity and health of the overall capability system. She is also the Functional lead for the Capability Analyst Job family in Defence.
Teresa is a former Navy officer and ADFA graduate who has also worked as a project and program manager in industry for a number of years, before re-joining the Department in 2008 as a public servant. Key roles include working as a project manager in the Space Systems Program Office and as the Director of Major Program Control in the Defence Materiel Organisation. In 2015, Teresa joined the Capability Life Cycle design team, which had been formed in response to the 2015 First Principles Review.
In 2018, Teresa completed a Master’s degree in Politics and Policy, specialising in public policy development in a Defence context, and was promoted to the SES, where she took up the role of Assistant Secretary Maritime Analysis in Contestability Division. In this role she was responsible for the independent assurance and analysis of the Department’s maritime capability projects and programs, strategic cost assurance within Defence, and for the contesting of Force Design activities overall.
In 2020, Teresa was asked to lead the development and launch of the Defence Transformation Strategy, and led the team that developed and launched the first Defence Data Strategy 2021-23. Teresa also led the creation of the new Defence Data Division in its initial stages, including acting in the inaugural Chief Data Integration Officer role.
Teresa is married to James, who works in IT, and they have an eight year old daughter named Eleanor.