Australia’s Candidate Secretary-General Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) 2021-26

The OECD is one of the most consequential international bodies in the world today – an essential pillar of our economic governance architecture.
Australia has benefited greatly from 50 years of OECD membership. The Organisation’s work has contributed to our 28 years of uninterrupted economic growth and helped lift living standards in Australia, in our region and around the world. Australia’s nomination of Mathias Cormann is underpinned by our commitment to the rules-based order, open markets, governance and inclusive economic growth – values shared by all members.
“In these challenging times, the OECD has never been more important. It would be a great honour to lead the OECD on behalf of its members and support efforts to generate sustainable growth in living standards”

Vision for the OECD

As Secretary-General, Mathias Cormann would ensure the OECD is member-centric, transparent, accountable, relevant and impactful.
His vision is for an OECD that is: the world’s centre of excellence for credible, evidence-based economic analysis, advice and policy guidance;

focussed on members’ needs and true to members’ shared democratic values of opportunity, prosperity and stability for all;

a strong advocate of economic openness, transparency and international rules and standards; and engaged with all the world’s regions, including the Asia-Pacific. The OECD’s agenda would focus on challenges such as:
strengthening economic resilience;
achieving sustainable growth in living standards;
expanding global trade and investment;
standard setting for the digital economy, facilitating innovation; and
designing more effective, efficient and equitable taxation systems.

About Mathias Cormann

Mathias Cormann is Australia’s longest-serving Finance Minister and the Leader of the Australian Government in the Senate. An experienced political leader with strong economic credentials, Mathias has delivered Australia’s annual Federal Budgets since 2013. In this role, he has led complex negotiations with a broad spectrum of political parties.
Born in Belgium, Mathias Cormann migrated to Australia in 1996. Mathias would bring a distinctive perspective to the Secretary-General role, having spent half of his life in Europe and half in the Asia-Pacific. His experience gives him rare insights into the cultures, economic strengths and political dynamics of both regions. Mathias is a strong advocate of global economic governance. He has represented Australia in the OECD, G20, APEC, ASEAN and the World Economic Forum. In 2018, Mathias was awarded the Grand Cross with Star and Sash of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, for his work in advancing German-Australian relations.
From August 2018 to May 2019, Mathias served as Minister for the Public Service. In this role, he led initiatives to modernise and reform Australia’s public sector, with a focus on achieving higher levels of transparency, efficiency and good governance. Mathias is married to Hayley and they have two young daughters, Isabelle and Charlotte.

Current roles

Australian Minister for Finance since 2013
Leader of the Australian Government in the Senate since 2017
Chair of the National Security Investment Committee
Member of the Expenditure Review Committee and the National Security Committee of Cabinet
Vice-President of the Federal Executive Council of Australia since 2017
Senator for Western Australia since 2007