Susan Harris Rimmer

Diplomacy Expert, Analyst, Gender Advocate, International Human Rights Law

About Me

Susan Harris Rimmer is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow appointed as Associate Professor to Griffith University Law School, 2015. She remains an Adjunct Reader at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the Australian National University. She is also a Research Associate at the Development Policy Centre in the Crawford School. Sue was appointed an Associate Fellow, International Economics at UK think-tank Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) in December 2015. Susan has been a Visiting Fellow with the Gender Program at the Graduate Institute Geneva, and was a Visiting Fellow at the International Gender Studies Centre at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University for Michaelmas term 2016.

Susan is an expert in women’s rights and international law, and has a track record in influencing government to adopt progressive policy ideas, including the creation of the position of the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, support for the W20 in Turkey, and the C20 in Australia (civil society grouping giving policy advice to the G20). She was part of the Think20 process for Australia’s host year of the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane 2014, Turkey 2015 and China 2016 and is Australia’s representative to the W20 in Germany 2017, with Anne Fulwood.

In 2014, she was named one of the Westpac and Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in the Global category. In 2016, she was a finalist for the Agenda Setter award in the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards. In 2014 Susan was awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellow for her project Are We Trading Women’s Rights in Transitions? to examine the role of gender in diplomatic negotiations for the next four years. She is the author of Gender and Transitional Justice: The Women of East Timor (Routledge 2010) and over 50 academic works.

She has given invited papers at Harvard, Oxford, SOAS, Trinity College Dublin, Georgetown, National University of Singapore, Lingnan University Hong Kong, University of Yangon Myanmar, Graduate Institute Geneva, Renmin University of China, Beijing and Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.

Susan was selected as an expert for the official Australian delegation to the 58th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2014, with the delegation headed by Minister Michaelia Cash and Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja. She was a keynote speaker and author of the policy brief for the inaugural Indian Ocean Rim Association Dialogue Event on Paths to Women’s Economic Empowerment in Malaysia, August 2014. She is often called upon to give executive education and policy advice to the Australian Public Service, and provides women’s leadership training internationally.

Sue was awarded the Vincent Fairfax Ethics in Leadership Award in 2002, selected as participant in the 2020 Summit 2008 by Prime Minister Rudd, and awarded the Future Summit Leadership Award, 2008, by the Australian Davos Connection. Sue was previously the Manager of Advocacy and Development Practice at the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak body for Australian development non-governmental organisations. She has also worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the National Council of Churches and the Parliamentary Library.

She has been a board member of UN Women National Committee Australia and has previously been president of the voluntary non-governmental organisation Australian Lawyers for Human Rights. She currently serves on the national board of the Refugee Council of Australia and is an Ambassador for the Australian Refugee Trust. She is a policy adviser to the digital activism site for gender equality in Australia Fair Agenda. She is a National Board member of the International Women’s Development Agency.

Sue is from Coonabarabran, NSW. She is married to Professor Matthew Rimmer at QUT and mum to Marina, Joshua, and a failed guide dog, May the labrador pup.


BA (Hons)/LLB(Hons) UQ, University Medal, SJD ANU
Admitted to Supreme Court of Queensland as a solicitor, 2000

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