Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Mathias Cormann is the 6th Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

His five-year term commenced on 1 June 2021. 

Working with OECD members, his priorities as Secretary-General are: 

  • Optimising the strength and the quality of the post COVID recovery while responding to the economic and social impacts of the war in Ukraine. 
  • Leadership on climate action to help secure global net-zero by 2050 in a way that is effective and fair. 
  • Seizing the opportunities of the digital transformation while better managing some of the associated risks, challenges and disruptions. 
  • Helping to ensure well-functioning global markets and a global level playing field with a rules-based trading system in good working order. 
  • Global engagement: advancing OECD standards, through membership and partnerships and a sound approach to development. 

Prior to his appointment to the OECD, Mathias served as the Australian Minister for Finance, the Leader of the Government in the Australian Senate and as Federal Senator representing the State of Western Australia. 

In these roles, he has been a strong advocate for the positive power of open markets, free trade and the importance of a rules-based international trading system. 

Mathias was born and raised in the German-speaking part of Belgium. 

He migrated to Australia in 1996, attracted by the great lifestyle and opportunities on offer in Western Australia. 

Before migrating to Perth, Mathias had graduated in law at the Flemish Catholic University of Louvain (Leuven), following studies at the University of Namur and, as part of the European Erasmus Student Exchange Program, at the University of East Anglia. 

Between 1997 and 2003, he worked as Chief of Staff as well as Senior Adviser to various State and Federal Ministers in Australia and for the Premier of Western Australia 

Between 2003 and 2007, Mathias worked for major Western Australian health insurer HBF in a range of senior management roles.