Dr Conall O'Connell was appointed Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in 2007. Prior to his appointment, he was Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Water Resources (DEWR). His responsibilities in that Department included overseeing policies and programmes relating to natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, the marine environment and protected areas. From 1991 until he joined DEWR in 1997, he held various positions in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet where he handled Australian Federal-State relations, primary industries and environment policy. He has a PhD and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1) from the Queen's University of Belfast.