Biography Jim McDowell has been Chief Executive of BAE Systems Australia since March 2001. Under his leadership, the company has expanded to become Australia’s largest defence firm, with more than 6,000 employees and annual sales of approximately AUD $1.5 billion.
Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Jim completed a law degree with honours at the University of Warwick (England) in 1977. He worked in legal, commercial and marketing roles with aerospace company Bombardier Shorts for the next 18 years.
Jim joined British Aerospace in Singapore in August 1996. In 1999, he was appointed Regional Managing Director of BAE Systems for Asia, following the merger of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems and based in Hong Kong. Upon taking over at BAE Systems Australia, Jim established the company’s headquarters in Adelaide, South Australia where he lives.
Following the integration with Tenix Defence in 2008, BAE Systems Australia now has capability across the land, aerospace, maritime and joint (electronic systems) environments. The company has offices in every state and territory and is committed to being a leading partner to the Australian Defence Force.
Jim is a passionate supporter of continuing education. He is a member of the Council of the University of South Australia, a member of the Defence Reserves Support Committee SA and a member of the Northern Economic Leaders Champions Group. Jim is also Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Defence Systems Innovation Centre (a joint venture between the University of South Australia and University of Adelaide).
Married to Mi Jung, Jim has two daughters and a son. His interests include literature, political history and fine arts.