1980 Harvard Menzies Scholar
Scholarship biography (at time of award)
Helen Nugent was awarded the scholarship to complete a Masters of Business Administration at Harvard University.
Studied at: Harvard University
Helen is currently Chairman of the Australian Rail Track Corporation, and Chairman of the National Portrait Gallery and the National Opera Review.
She has significant experience in the financial services sector. She has been Chairman of Funds SA and Veda Group Limited (resigned following takeover in February 2016), as well as Swiss Re Life and Health (Australia) and Swiss Re (Australia). She has also been a Non-executive Director of Macquarie Group (1999-2014), Mercantile Mutual and the State Bank of NSW. As an executive, she was Director of Strategy at Westpac Banking Corporation, reporting to the CEO, and as a Partner at McKinsey & Company, worked extensively in the financial services sector.
Helen’s other major clients while she was at McKinsey were in the resources sector, including working for eight years for CRA (Rio Tinto). Subsequently, she has served on the Boards of United Energy and Carter Holt Harvey.
Helen gives back to society in the arts, education and the health sector, and is a Non-executive Director of the Garvan Institute. Currently, she is Chairman of the National Portrait Gallery and the National Opera Review. In education, she has recently retired as Chancellor of Bond University and as President of Cranbrook School. She is also a Non-executive Director of the Garvan Institute.
Dr Nugent holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), a Doctorate of Philosophy in Indian History and an Honorary Doctorate in Business from the University of Queensland. She also holds a Master of Business Administration (with Distinction) from the Harvard Business School. In 2004, she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia.