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Penny Williams

Australia’s Global Ambassador for Women and Girls with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the Australian Government
Penny Williams

The Global Ambassador for Women and Girls is responsible for high‐level advocacy to promote Australian Government policies and activity regarding gender equality and the social, political and economic empowerment of women and girls, particularly in the Asia‐Pacific region. The Ambassador works closely with foreign governments and international organisations to support measures that: eradicate violence against, and trafficking of, women and girls; promote better educational and health outcomes; protect women and girls in conflict and promote the role of women in peace‐building; eliminate discrimination; and enhance the participation of women in decision‐making and leadership.

Ms Williams was appointed Australia's first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls on 13 September 2011. Ms Williams has most recently served as Australia's High Commissioner to Malaysia (2007‐10). Prior to that, she held a number of senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, as well as diplomatic appointments in Chile and Syria.

Ms Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies (Hons) from the Australian National University. She speaks Spanish, Indonesian and has studied Arabic. She is married and has four children.