Investment specialists, The Americas


Tony Davis - General Manager, The Americas

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Tony is our senior executive leader for The Americas and is based in New York. He joined Austrade in October 2020 as our leadership executive and principal representative for the Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce, prior to taking up his post in September 2021.

Tony is a highly experienced businessman whose career has spanned three decades leading highly complex Industrial, Energy, Aerospace and Defence domestic and international organisations.

Prior to joining Austrade he held a variety of global executive business leadership roles, which included as CEO of a prominent North American Oil & Gas and Industrial manufacturing and customer service focused enterprise at Stewart & Stevenson LLC based in Houston Texas, the global executive leading the international distribution, operations, marketing, sales and services of the major German equipment manufacturer Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG (MTU brand) and successive roles as the global leader for Rolls-Royce plc Marine Division’s Commercial and Business Development & Strategy functions, headquartered in Singapore. Tony was also the Regional Director and CEO for Rolls-Royce plc in Australia and New Zealand with regional corporate leadership of Civil Aerospace, Defence, Marine and Energy business units.

Tony’s career in private industry was built initially in the Defence sector with Saab AB in successive business development, operational and corporate roles focused on Australia & New Zealand but with international reach and offshore experience in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and South America. His Defence industry expertise was founded on a front-line operational combat systems officer and major capital project management career in the Royal Australian Navy, which culminated as a Commander with responsibility for one of Australia’s most complex and nationally significant shipbuilding combat and communication system development programs, the ANZAC Ship Project.

Tony holds a Master of Science (Computer Science) degree from the United States Navy Postgraduate School Monterey, California and a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) degree from the University of NSW, Sydney.

Nick Nichles - Consul General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, San Francisco

Nick joined Austrade in 2012 as General Manager – Marketing, Online and Business Practice. Prior to joining Austrade, he was the CEO of NSW Lotteries Corporation and led the state-owned corporation through privatisation and its eventual sale to Tatts Group. Nick has also held C-level commercial and marketing roles at McDonalds Australia and Foxtel.

Nick is a committee member of The Buttery Foundation, which raises funds for the renowned The Buttery, a not-for-profit rehabilitation clinic.

Nick holds a Bachelor of Business from QUT, a Graduate Diploma of Marketing from UTS, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and lectured at UTS’ Graduate School of Business in its MBA program.

Odette Hampton - Deputy Consul General and Trade and Investment Commissioner, San Francisco

Tel: +1 415 644 3627

Odette Hampton is the Australian Trade and Investment Commission’s (Austrade) Trade and Investment Commissioner, San Francisco. Odette supports Austrade's work in the West Coast of the United States and co-leads the teams responsible for investment attraction and trade support in digital technologies across the Americas.

Prior to Austrade, Odette was the Head of Financial Services (ANZ) for the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) in Sydney, focused on attracting British investment into Australia and New Zealand across financial and professional services. Odette developed DIT’s fintech campaign in Australia and led the creation and implementation of the Australia-UK Fintech Bridge. Odette has led numerous trade and investment missions, advised hundreds of companies on their global expansion and has expertise in fintech. Following the Brexit referendum Odette advised British companies on their Australian opportunities, supported Ministerial visits, contributed to trade policy and the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement working group discussions. Odette practiced as a lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin Perth, in the corporate advisory team, preparing advice and conducting due diligence, primarily for tech and mining companies undertaking capital raising’s and IPO’s.

Odette holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame Australia and studied abroad at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC. Odette has a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the College of Law and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Benson Saulo – Consul General and Trade & Investment Commissioner, Houston

Tel: +1 832 962 8432

Benson Saulo is a descendant of the Wemba Wemba and Gunditjmara Indigenous nations of Western Victoria, and New Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea. Mr Saulo is the first Indigenous person to be appointed an Australian Consul-General.

Mr Saulo has a background in banking, investments and social impact. As Consul-General and Trade and Investment Commissioner, Mr Saulo is the Americas industry lead for Health, and leads the health team across the US, Mexico and Canada.

Prior to his appointment, Mr Saulo was the Head of Partnerships - Investments at Australian Unity a Wealth and Capital Markets business. Mr Saulo’s focus was exploring private investing into Indigenous businesses to scale their impact through employment, financial empowerment and governance.

In 2011, Benson was appointed the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations in which he undertook a national engagement tour to gain a deeper understanding of issues impacting Australian youth. Benson then represented Australian youth at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly as an accredited member of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Rachel Howard - Trade and Investment Commissioner, New York


Rachel Howard is Austrade’s Trade and Investment Commissioner based in New York in the United States of America.

Since joining Austrade in 2016, Rachel has worked in a variety of roles across the agency including as an export adviser for agribusiness and food clients, in corporate strategy and investment promotion. Most recently, Rachel was the Operations Lead for the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) at Austrade. The $1 billion IFAM program helped Australian agricultural exporters who were disproportionately affected by COVID-19 to keep their airfreight supply chains open, while also facilitating the importation of critical health goods in response to the pandemic.

Rachel was previously a non-executive director on the board of Beyond Empathy, a not-for-profit organisation that runs arts programs in regional communities in Australia. She has also worked for Policy Cures Research, a not-for-profit think tank that advises governments and philanthropic groups on neglected disease research and development investment.


Paul Burfield currently co-leads Austrade’s Defence, Space & Infrastructure sectors across North America, working closely with Austrade’s trade & investment specialists to create opportunities for Australian companies to win business across the region in addition to driving productive foreign direct investment into Australia from North American Investors. Paul also serves as Trade Practices Leader for The Americas taking overall responsibility for expanding Austrade’s development & delivery of Trade Services to Australian companies across the region.

Paul recently joined Austrade after concluding a 19-year career with Enterprise Ireland, the Venture Capital arm of the Government of Ireland.

Over this time, Paul has led numerous senior executive teams across multiple geographies including the UK, Australia/New Zealand and the United States, supporting Irish technology companies to start, commercialize & globalize, in addition to managing relationships with critical stakeholders at the most senior levels of Government & industry.

In his most recent role in San Francisco, Paul and his team were responsible for providing strategic direction & business development connections for a $1.69bn portfolio of 300+ Irish technology companies crossing multiple sectors including Cybersecurity, IoT, Telecommunications, Travel, Media & Content and Enterprise SaaS.

Prior to joining Enterprise Ireland, Paul worked in senior marketing roles with Fortune 500 company, Avery Dennison, across Europe in addition to being part of the founding team of a consumer product start-up company in Australia.

A native of Adelaide, Paul holds degree qualifications in Marketing and Accounting from the University of South Australia & University of Tasmania.

Along with his wife Caroline, Paul is a keen golfer, avid snowboarder and has a passion for travel and all the cuisines that come with it.

Josh Riley - Consul General and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Toronto

Josh Riley is Australia’s Consul General & Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner in Canada. In this capacity he leads Australia’s trade promotion and investment attraction priorities in Canada, while overseeing the Australian Consulate-General in Toronto and Consulate in Vancouver. He is also the sector lead for Resources and New Energy for the United States of America and Canada. 

Josh is a proud descendant of the Wiradjuri people with family ties to the Negros Island in the Philippines. He is the first Indigenous Australian appointed as Consul General to a Commonwealth country and brings a depth of corporate, not-for-profit and policy experience gained across Australia and Canada. 

In 2021, Josh joined Austrade’s strategy team as Director, Trade Expansion. Prior to this he was Director, Corporate Citizenship at the Business Council of Australia. In this capacity he led the launch of Raising the Bar in collaboration with Supply Nation, through which 17 of Australia’s largest companies committed to spend over $3 billion with Indigenous suppliers. 

From 2015 to 2018, Josh lived in Toronto, Canada where he was Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, where he was instrumental in the Canadian Government’s commitment to implement a target to award five percent of federal contracts to Indigenous businesses. Before this he spent over ten years in the banking industry across ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank. 

Josh drove the creation of the Australia-Canada Indigenous Economic Partnership which launched in 2020. He previously chaired the Indigenous Technology, Trade, and Investment Workstream of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum, and was Deputy Chair of NAISDA, Australia’s premier Indigenous dance training institute.

Dr Nicholas Baker - Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, Chile and Andean Region

Dr Nicholas Baker is the Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner to Chile and the Andean Region. Prior to taking up this role he was the Trade Commissioner to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. He also co-leads the Resources and Energy Team for the Americas. Nicholas has held numerous local and international positions throughout his career with Austrade. This includes Acting Head of International Education in Austrade’s Sydney office, Manager of the Client Engagement and Insights Group, and Trade Manager for the national Resources and Energy team.

Prior to this, as Paris-based Senior Trade and investment Commissioner, Nicholas was responsible for Austrade’s operations in France and Spain working across sectors as diverse as infrastructure, resources and energy, and international health.

From 2005-2009, Nicholas was Trade Commissioner and Consul General at the Australian Consulate General in Lima Peru, responsible for the Peruvian, Colombian and Ecuadorian markets with a focus on the resources and education sectors.

Before joining Austrade Nicholas was Director of Studies & Program Manager at the University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching.

Nicholas holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of Technology, Sydney, a Master’s in Sociology from the University of Sydney, and a Bachelor of Arts in French and Latin American Studies from the University of NSW. Nicholas is a fluent French and Spanish speaker. He is also Austrade’s Co-Champion for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity (CALD).

John Prowse - Senior Trade Commissioner and Consul General, Sao Paolo Brazil


John is Austrade’s Senior Trade Commissioner and Consul-General, based in São Paulo. He manages Australia’s trade, education and investment links with Brazil and leads Austrade’s team in Argentina. As Consul-General, John also has consular responsibility for the welfare of Australians in the state of São Paulo.

This is John’s second diplomatic posting to Brazil, having served as Second Secretary and Vice Consul at the Australian Embassy in Brasilia from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, John was deployed to Cairo, Egypt, with political and economic reporting responsibilities across the Middle-East and North Africa.

Prior to joining Austrade in 2021, John worked for Woodside Energy for nine years. Roles at Woodside included Country Manager Timor-Leste and Government Relations Canberra.

John holds a Bachelor of Arts (Indonesian), a Bachelor of Economics and an MBA from the University of Western Australia, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Education (languages) from Edith Cowan University. He speaks Portuguese and Indonesian well.

Drawing on his government and private sector experience, John is a strong advocate for Australian business in Brazil and Argentina.

Craig Ford - Trade and Investment Commissioner, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean

Craig Ford is the Trade & Investment Commissioner to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Region. He also co-leads the Education Team for Latin America, with a team of Business Development Directors in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Prior to taking up this role he was Austrade’s Tradestart Adviser for the Gold Coast and led the City of Gold Coast’s export programs and export trade missions for the region.

Prior to joining Austrade Craig had more than a decade of experience in management and operations in export, international trade and marketing in the software, communications and mining technology sectors.

A graduate of the University of Queensland’s i-Lab technology accelerator program, Craig has worked extensively with start-ups and developed a technology start-up for importing and launching products across regions.

Craig is a strong advocate for Australian manufacturing and the knowledge economy and works to develop sustainable market development networks for Australian exporters.

Craig has an International Business degree from Griffith University and post graduate studies in Information Systems from QUT.

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