Mr Thanh Le PSM
Thanh is currently the Director of the India Outreach Section for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT); where he supports the Australia-India Council, businesses, educational and other entities to expand bilateral relations, as outlined in the India Economic Strategy)
Thanh has served in a variety of roles in the Australian Public Service including; as a director in DFAT’s Security Policy Branch, and a director in DFAT’s International Security Division, where he worked on Counter-Terrorism. Thanh was the Director for the Ebola Response Taskforce in 2014-15, which involved deployment to and establishing an Ebola treatment hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Thanh served as liaison office to the Australian Defence Force’s Join Operations Command. As the Director for Humanitarian Response at DFAT, Thanh led the Australian Government responses to major disasters such as typhoon Haiyan Philippines, cyclone Nargis in Burma, six simultaneous disasters in the Asia-Pacific in 2009 (Tonga & Samoa Tsunami, Padang Earthquake, Philippine, Lao and Vietnam Tropical Storm Ketsana), Fiji cyclone, Haiti earthquake, and Typhoon Haiyan. In 2010, Thanh was co-leader of the Australian Medical Task Force in Pakistan Ops Assist II, in the Punjab province of Pakistan, for which he was awarded with the ADF’s Chief Joint Operations Command’s Gold Commendation. Thanh has also been deployed as United Nations Disasters Assessment and Coordination Teams’ officer working on the Nepal earthquake in 2015 and Cyclone Winston in 2016.
Prior to working for the Commonwealth, Thanh has over 15 years of experience working for the International Red Cross, UN and NGOs in a variety of roles. He has managed and conducted a variety of humanitarian assistance programmes, emergency responses, reconstructions and training throughout the Asia-Pacific. Some of the interesting places that Thanh has lived and worked include North Korea, Bougainville, Myanmar and Timor Leste. One of the countries in the Asia-Pacific he has yet to visit is Bhutan.
Thanh has also received the Australian Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal for the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Pakistan Response. Thanh is the recipient of the Queen’s Birthday honour list Public Service Medal 2017.
Formally a boat refugee from Viet Nam, Thanh calls Australia home (when he is here!). Thanh graduated with a Masters of Public Health (International Health) from Monash University in 2007. Thanh is a happy husband and is a proud father of two girls.