Leadership team

Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade | Brook Barrington

Brook Barrington is Chief Executive and Secretary. Brook joined MFAT in 1990 and held a variety of roles both within New Zealand and offshore.  He left MFAT in 2009 to take leadership positions in the wider public sector.

The first part of Brook's career in MFAT was spent advancing New Zealand's trade policy interests.  He worked across government and the private sector, and had postings to Canberra and Brussels.  The later part of his time in MFAT was more focused on political and security issues, including as Foreign Policy Advisor in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) and as Ambassador to Thailand for three years.

From 2009 until 2012 he was Deputy Secretary, Policy and Planning in the Ministry of Defence, where he led the development of the 2010 Defence White Paper.

Brook has recently held two Deputy Chief Executive (DCE) roles at the Ministry of Justice.

He was initially the DCE Sector (2012-2014) with a particular focus on improving alignment and governance across the justice sector (Ministry of Justice, NZ Police and Department of Corrections).

During 2014 he moved to the DCE role responsible for the overall management of the day-to-day operations of the Ministry of Justice, ensuring the Ministry has the strategy, governance, engagement and capability to deliver its core services effectively and efficiently.

Brook holds a PhD in history from the University of Auckland.


Deputy Secretary International Development | Jonathan Kings

Jonathan Kings is the Acting Deputy Secretary of the International Development Group.  He is also the Administrator of Tokelau.

Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2010, Jonathan was a senior manager with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Industry New Zealand for nine years. He had a range of responsibilities, including leading the investment attraction programme, and managing New Zealand’s trade promotion offices in Europe, and the Middle East, and in the Americas. He also spent two years at the OECD in Paris working on regional development issues. Prior to entering the public sector, Jonathan was chief executive of an Australasian energy sector consulting firm, and before that he was a senior manager with a multinational in the energy sector.


Director - Development Strategy and Effectiveness Division | Rachel Fry

Rachel Fry leads the division responsible for strategic advice, international development policy, ensuring the New Zealand Aid Programme meets development effectiveness commitments, results measurement and reporting, strategic evaluation and research, cross-cutting issues, policy coherence and procurement.

Rachel’s career in MFAT has encompassed international development, trade negotiation, foreign policy and organisational responsibilities.  She brings to her role a commitment to development effectiveness and building strong connections across all pillars of New Zealand’s international engagement.  Rachel’s recent roles have included Director of the Australia Division, Ambassador to the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Finland, and Lead Negotiator for the New Zealand-Thailand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement.  Her earlier experience in development was as Deputy Director for bilateral programmes in Polynesia from 2000 to 2002, as well as leading work on the re-integration of the international development function into the wider Ministry in 2009.  Rachel’s other offshore experience was as Deputy Head of Mission at the New Zealand Embassy in Paris and a posting in Canberra which focused on CER.  


Director - Global Bilateral Division | Cecile Hillyer

As Director of Global Bilateral Division, Cecile is responsible for targeted programmes in the priority regions and countries of ASEAN, Timor–Leste, Afghanistan, Africa, and Latin America.

Cecile comes to the position after a career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Her focus as a linguist has meant that three of her four postings offshore have utilised her proficiency in foreign languages: Moscow, Noumea, and Mexico City (London being the fourth). The Noumea and Mexico City appointments were as Consul-General and Ambassador respectively and also covered French Polynesia (from Noumea), Cuba, Venezuela, El Salvador, and Guatemala (from Mexico).

Cecile's Wellington-based experience has included work on the Pacific, economic issues, Australia, the United Nations, and internal audit.


Director - Sustainable Economic Development | Mike Burrell

Mike Burrell is responsible for managing the sector development division of the New Zealand Aid Programme. His division focuses on sustainable economic development (agriculture, fisheries and tourism) and human development (education and health), underpinned by investments in energy, infrastructure and governance. 

Mike is an economic development specialist. Prior to joining MFAT he was Chief Executive of Aquaculture New Zealand. He was previously with consulting firm LECG, where he advised industry, government, and international agencies on economic development, strategy, and public policy.

Mike’s development career spans work with the ADB, AusAID, NZAID, Oxfam and VSO, with a focus on the Pacific. He was a VSO volunteer in Vanuatu and has a Master’s Degree in development management from the London School of Economics. 


Director - Partnerships, Humanitarian and Multilateral Division | Deb Collins

The Division covers New Zealand Aid Programme engagement:

  • with Multilateral and Pacific Regional Organisations
  • with New Zealand state, private and NGO sector partners
  • on humanitarian and disaster risk management issues
  • on coordination with other donors
  • on human rights issues

In previous roles in the Ministry Deb has been Deputy Director of Humanitarian and Pacific Regional programmes, and Development Manager, Latin America.  Prior to joining the Ministry in 2003, Deb was a manager at the Office of Treaty Settlements with responsibility for leading policy and negotiations on the settlement of historical claims under the Treaty of Waitangi, and a policy officer with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations in the United Kingdom.