Our executive leadership
Director-General and Coordinator-General
Mike Kaiser is Director-General of the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning. He leads the department which oversees the Queensland Government’s agenda to drive responsible economic growth and enhance the state’s lifestyle through good industry development, infrastructure and planning outcomes.
He brings more than 30 years’ experience to the role, having built a successful career in private and public sector leadership and consultancy.
Most recently, Mike was Director-General of the Department of Resources. Other public sector experiences include working as chief of staff to premiers in both Queensland and New South Wales.
In the private sector, Mike was a partner at KPMG and led the business change and improvement function at NBNCo.
Mike completed his academic qualifications at the University of Queensland, earning bachelor degrees in electrical engineering and economics as well as a Graduate Certificate in Management. He is also a member of a number of boards including the board of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
Deputy Director-General, Strategy Insights and Advisory
Natalie Wilde is Deputy Director-General of Strategy, Insights and Advisory, coordinating key matters across the Deputy Premier’s portfolio responsibilities. She supports all touch points between the Deputy Premier’s Office and the department. Natalie is responsible for leading the portfolio work of the Director-General’s Office, South Bank, cabinet and parliamentary services, economic policy, and strategic communications, investment transactions, performance and delivery.
Natalie has more than 20 years’ experience in the public service at both state and local government levels. During this time, Natalie has specialised in leading policy and legislation in the areas of local government, planning, building, infrastructure and property.
As the previous Deputy Director-General, Local Government, Natalie led the government’s commitment to deliver positive and sustainable outcomes for local governments and their communities.
Natalie has qualifications in public health and business and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.
Deputy Director-General, Corporate
Michael has more than 15 years' experience working in senior roles within the public sector. His strengths and interests include organisational development, corporate governance, strategy, operations and business partnering.
Michael’s career spans statutory bodies, commercialised business units, councils, and various government agencies. He has also worked in the private sector with a large chartered accounting firm.
Michael believes in the importance of developing strong client services. He leads the department with an emphasis on engagement.
General Manager, Economic Development Queensland
Debbie McNamara, General Manager of Economic Development Queensland is a specialist executive leader across the public and private sector within an infrastructure environment including development of large-scale retail, commercial, education and health facilities.
An Adjunct Professor, Debbie recently led the development and opening of the Surgical, Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) for Metro North Hospital and Health Service, from inception to being an operational, specialist public health facility.
Having held Chief Executive and non-Executive Director roles in public private organisations in Glasgow, Debbie brings international experience in building lasting partnerships with statutory authorities, tenants, investors and key business and community organisations.
Deputy Director-General, Local Government
Josh has more than 20 years’ experience in the Queensland public sector and is especially passionate about delivering for regional communities.
Josh has a comprehensive and contemporary understanding of the strategic issues facing governments and has expertise in areas of infrastructure planning and delivery, local government relations and strategic policy.
As General Manager, Transport Strategy and Planning at Transport and Main Roads, Josh forged strong relationships with local governments across Queensland.
Josh’s experience engaging with the local government sector through the Roads Alliance provides him with a deep appreciation of the challenges faced by councils, particularly with sustainability, which is the department’s Local Government Division’s key priority.
Josh leads the division, working hard to find meaningful solutions to the complex problem and make a real difference to long-term sustainability.
Deputy Director-General, State Development
Michele is a senior executive with extensive experience in economic development portfolios with a focus on industry development, investment attraction and regional infrastructure programs. She has a background in the Office of the Coordinator-General leading complex environmental impact assessments, land acquisitions and negotiating agreements with major infrastructure providers and private sector investors.
Michele's career has included whole-of-government infrastructure planning for mineral processing and industrial development in North-West and North Queensland. Within her industry development roles, Michele has also led international trade and investment activities for state and commonwealth initiatives. Michele is experienced in policy development to support government priorities, including priority industries such as hydrogen, Biofutures, resource recovery, biomedical, defence and aerospace, METS, beef processing as well as advanced manufacturing.
Throughout her various roles Michele promotes stakeholder relationships and has extensive networks across regional Queensland and within government agencies. Michele is energetic and values-led, delivering outcomes through high levels of engagement and collaboration.
Deputy Director-General of Planning
Tess Pickering is the Deputy Director-General of Planning.
Tess is a proud planner having worked on projects like the Queensland Planning Act 2016, the South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017 and Victoria’s new Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines 2021.
In Victoria, Tess has been responsible for maintaining a pipeline of 15 years supply of zoned land for new communities across Melbourne.
Tess also led the introduction of new standards for greenfields planning that focus on creating walkable 20-minute neighborhoods with greener and cooler streets and more diverse housing – which we want to see more and more here in Queensland.
Deputy Director-General of Infrastructure and Regional Strategy
Leah leads the Infrastructure and Regional Strategy (IRS) group which plays an integral role in leading infrastructure planning and policy to inform government’s investment and delivery of coordinated and resilient infrastructure that supports the department’s outcomes of securing economic prosperity and liveable communities across the State. IRS also leads the State’s planning and delivery of the Brisbane 2032 Infrastructure program and the Queens Wharf Brisbane development.
Throughout her career, Leah has held various leadership roles in the infrastructure industry developing a broad set of skills in areas such as transactions, commercial advisory, infrastructure procurement and delivery, and business case delivery.
She has held senior executive roles in Queensland Treasury, Building Queensland, Aurecon and The University of Queensland, bringing a wealth of public and private sector experience.
As Assistant Under Treasurer at Queensland Treasury Leah led the final Build to Rent Pilot Project and played a key role in various Steering Committees including the Brisbane 2032.
Leah has a Bachelor of Economics, Bachelor of Business Management and Graduate Diploma in Business (Accounting).
Last updated: 08 Sep 2023