Michele Bullock to become RBA’s first female governor

Leadership

RBA deputy governor, Michele Bullock, has been named as the first female Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, replacing Philip Lowe.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this morning announced that for the first time in in its history, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will be headed by a woman. Deputy governor, Michele Bullock, will take over from outgoing governor, Phillip Lowe.

The PM said Bullock’s experience working for the official bank for almost four decades stands her in good stead to lead it through particularly difficult economic period. He said the decision was made following a “rigorous process”, including consultation with the opposition.

“Michele will be the first female Governor since the independent RBA was founded in 1959,” PM Albanese said in a press conference this morning. “After close to four decades of service to the RBA, most recently as the deputy governor, Ms Bullock is eminently qualified to lead this national institution.”

He said Bullock’s role will be a crucial one at “an important time with the challenges that we face globally, challenges which I have course, have been discussing at the NATO summit over recent days”.

Bullock said in statement that she is honored to take on the role, albeit at a difficult time for the country economically.

“It is a challenging time to be coming into this role, but I will be supported by a strong executive team and boards. I am committed to ensuring that the Reserve Bank delivers on its policy and operational objectives for the benefit of the Australian people.”

Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, will be replaced by Bullock on September 18 | Source: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Bullock has worked at the RBA for almost four decades and took on the role of Deputy Chair in April 2022. She is deputy chair of the Payment System Board and a member of the bank for international settlements committee on payment and market infrastructures. She is a member of the organisation, Chief Executive Women.

Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy and Finance secretary Jenny Wilkinson were among the other top contenders. The RBA has four women on its board – including Bullock, Carol Scwartz, Carolyn Hewson and Alison Watkins.

Outgoing Govenor, Lowe, who will finish in the role on September 17, described Bullock as a “first-rate appointment”.

“The Reserve Bank is in very good hands as it deals with the current inflation challenge and implementing the recommendations of the Review of the RBA. I wish Michele all the best.”

This is a developing story. More to come.