The Department of the Premier and Cabinet has a diverse range of business units that directly service the government and the community.

Our business units are led by dedicated professionals, who are committed to delivering the best value for the state. Meet our most senior executives.

Dr Don Russell
Chief Executive

Dr Don Russell

As leader of the Public Sector, the Chief Executive supports the Premier and Ministers to deliver the Government’s vision for South Australia as a place where people and business thrive.

Dr Russell was appointed as Chief Executive of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet on 6 February 2017.

Dr Tahnya Donaghy
Deputy Chief Executive

Dr Tahnya Donaghy

As Deputy Chief Executive, Dr Donaghy leads a group of divisions which cover responsibilities for Cabinet and policy advice, intergovernmental relations, and ICT and digital transformation, as well as the Office for Data Analytics, the Early Intervention Research Directorate and Service SA.

The two main functions of the group encompass whole of government policy advice and coordination, and across government reforms. Policy advice encompasses a broad range of social, economic, domestic and national affairs. Key reform areas are being led in data and its role in evidenced-based decision making, and in the areas covered by the Office for Customer, Digital and ICT Transformation.

Dr Paul Heithersay
Deputy Chief Executive

Dr Paul Heithersay

As Deputy Chief Executive, Dr Heithersay leads a group of divisions which cover responsibilities for managing the state's mineral, gas, petroleum, energy, and investment sectors on behalf of the people of South Australia.

Dr Heithersay also heads the Resources Infrastructure and Investment Task Force, a specialist team that works to secure investment in state significant projects involving mineral resources and downstream processing.

Jason Schell
Chief Operating Officer 

Jason Schell

As Chief Operating Officer, Jason Schell is responsible for supporting an efficient operating model for the department, to ensure targets can be met and organisational change is appropriately resourced and monitored. Areas of responsibility include Corporate Finance, People and Culture, Risk and Audit and Shared Services SA, along with driving transformative change across the department through the Modern Workplace and Project Management offices.

Mr Schell is additionally the department’s Chief Procurement Officer and has responsibility for whole of government procurement.

Rik Morris
Executive Director
Government Communications, Engagement and International Relations

Rik Morris

As the Executive Director of Government Communications, Engagement and International Relations, Rik Morris leads a division that covers responsibilities for marketing and communications advice and campaigns, citizen engagement, co-ordinating the Premier’s interaction with key international markets, protocol functions, event planning and implementation and monitoring of key Government initiatives and commitments.

Communications is acknowledged as one of the four main levers of government which contributes to the successful development and delivery of policy and initiatives. In his role, Mr Morris is also the Head of Profession for Communications across the State Government and is responsible for the implementation of the Whole of Government Communications Plan, which sets out to deliver world class communications in support of the Government’s priorities.