Our executive leadership team

Andrew Hunter

Chief Executive Officer

Andrew was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in April 2018 and has domestic and international experience in senior executive roles.

Prior to joining CPA Australia, he was Managing Director and CEO of Australia’s export credit agency, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic), for four years. Andrew developed and implemented a new strategy for the organisation that refocused it on its core purpose and dramatically improved relationships with all stakeholders.

Andrew has previously held senior positions with Macquarie Group including Head of Macquarie Capital’s Advisory business Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

He has a Bachelor of Economics from Monash University and completed the Securities Institute of Australia course in 1991. Andrew is also an Associate member of CPA Australia.

Marissa Alley

Executive General Manager People and Culture

Marissa has more than twenty years’ experience across all aspects of people and culture. She has worked internationally, cross culturally and across a range of industries including financial services, mining, property, FMCG, not-for-profit, technology, education and retail.

In her role as Executive General Manager People and Culture, she is accountable for the people systems and processes, partnering with business units and teams to develop capability and strengthen CPA Australia’s culture and employee engagement while building and maintaining a talented workforce.

Marissa has a Bachelor of Arts degree with the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Visual and Performing Arts with RMIT, and has completed an Executive Development Program at the London Business School. She has multiple accreditations in organisational culture, leadership and team based tools.

Rowena Buddee

Executive General Manager Member Experience

Rowena has more than 15 years’ experience creating and delivering business development and marketing strategies, partnerships and programs across various industries, with significant experience in international markets including Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Rowena joined CPA Australia in 2009 and has worked in senior roles across public practice, member education, business development and commercial portfolios.

In her previous role as Executive General Manager Public Practice & Professional Standards, Rowena led a series of member-focussed initiatives to assist public practitioners to better service clients and maintain a sustainable practice.

She brings an equally sharp member focus to her role as Executive General Manager Member Experience in which she is responsible for delivering personalised and engaging experiences that add value to CPA Australia membership.

Rowena holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology Sydney and a Bachelor of Science from Sydney University. She has also completed an executive education program at the London Business School and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Nicholas Diss FCPA

Chief Financial Officer

Nicholas has more than 20 years’ experience in finance and business, working in both Australia and the United Kingdom.

He is responsible for the finance, administration, planning and risk, procurement and property, external reporting, and partnering and insights functions for CPA Australia.

Nicholas has a background in strategic and operational planning, delivering large complex IT system implementations, integrated reporting and leadership of multinational finance functions.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from Charles Sturt University and a Bachelor of Commerce Economics from Victoria University. Nicholas is also a FCPA. 

Karen Hellwig

Executive General Manager Member Education

Karen Hellwig has extensive experience in strategic management, including 15 years in executive positions at member-based organisations.

She has worked in complex stakeholder environments across multiple industries including education, agribusiness and professional services.

In her previous role as Executive General Manager Member Experience, Karen was instrumental in driving CPA Australia’s focus on improving member value through the delivery of high-quality services and initiatives. Karen brings her strong member experience lens to the education portfolio to ensure the ongoing relevance of our learning and development offering, from the CPA Program through to our suite of continuing professional development options.

Prior to joining CPA Australia, Karen was General Manager of Communication and Stakeholder Engagement at Meat and Livestock Australia.

Karen has a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) from RMIT University and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Farid Jarrar

Chief Information and Digital Officer

Farid has more than 25 years’ experience in senior technology roles across a variety of global organisations, including as Global CIO for Stellar BPO.

He has considerable experience in digital transformation, customer-led innovation, change management, large scale systems integrations and program delivery, ecommerce, customer experience and digital transformation. He specialises in transforming organisational capabilities to better engage with digital consumers.

Farid holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Master of Technology Management from Swinburne University, and a number of credentials in innovation and digital transformation.

Deborah Leung FCPA

Executive General Manager International

Deborah has more than 30 years’ experience in finance, management and consulting, and membership organisations within international markets.

Deborah is accountable for CPA Australia’s international divisional offices across Asia and the UK. This includes developing and executing strategies for local markets to deliver exceptional member services.

Prior to being appointed as EGM International, Deborah was the Country Head, Greater China for CPA Australia.

Before joining CPA Australia, Deborah worked for international management and consulting firm, CCA International Ltd in Hong Kong where she held various roles across finance and audit, before being appointed as Director for Corporate Accounting. She also has extensive audit experience gained from roles within Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong and Wolridge, Mahon & Co in Vancouver, Canada.

Deborah is a fellow member of CPA Australia, and a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada and the Taxation Institute of Hong Kong.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

Dr Gary Pflugrath FCPA

Executive General Manager Policy and Advocacy

Gary has more than 35 years’ experience in senior public policy, advocacy, academic research, internal audit, financial reporting and administration.

Prior to joining CPA Australia, Gary was the Senior Director, Public Policy and Governance at the International Federation of Accountants, in New York. He has also previously worked at the University of New South Wales and the Reserve Bank of Australia.

In his role as Executive General Manager Policy and Advocacy, Gary is responsible for the representation and advocacy work on behalf of the accountancy profession in Australia and international markets. This includes areas such as auditing and assurance, financial reporting, ethics, professional standards, taxation, retirement savings, sustainability and corporate governance.

Gary holds a PhD from the University of New South Wales and has been published in several refereed accounting and ethics academic journals, including Auditing: A journal of practice and theory, The journal of business ethics, and International journal of auditing.

Gary is a fellow of CPA Australia and has been a member for 30 years.

Meg Yeates

Executive General Manager Marketing

Meg has more than 25 years’ experience as an international brand, marketing and communications professional, with significant experience in competitive service markets across Australia, Asia, the UK, Europe and the US.

Meg has held roles for organisations such as Tourism Australia, Tourism New South Wales, the Sydney Convention and Visitor Bureau (Business Events Sydney) and the Victorian Government.

She is accountable for CPA Australia’s global brand and marketing strategies, aligned to our member-centric vision and corporate strategy.

Meg has a Bachelor of Arts (Politics) from the University of Melbourne and has also completed the Senior Management Development Program at the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales. She has also completed a course at Harvard Business School in Boston, focused on driving digital strategies.

Rebecca Keppel-Jones FCPA

Executive General Manager Professional Standards and Business Support 

Rebecca has more than 15 years’ experience leading strategic projects and helping businesses improve their performance through effective business operations and transformation strategies in both the public and private sector.

Rebecca joined CPA Australia in October 2019 to lead the development and implementation of key strategic projects for public practitioners, including the new public practice program, CPA Australia’s Best Practice Program and the My Firm. My Future. suite of resources.

In her role as Executive General Manager Professional Standards and Business Support, Rebecca is responsible for adding value and advancing the interests of CPA Australia members working in public practice and small to medium enterprises. 

She also has a focus on ensuring the reputation and standard of the CPA designation is upheld through the regulation of professional standards throughout the member lifecycle.

Rebecca is a Fellow of CPA Australia and has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Law (with Honours) from Monash University.