The Team
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The Team

Frances M. Cassidy

Frances Cassidy is the President of the American Australian Association. Frances has been CEO of Meat and Livestock Australia, Ltd., previously the Australian Meat and Livestock Corporation, since 1990 and a Director of the Association since 1997. Frances is an Australian and has had a distinguished career in business and government which has focused on the development of American – Australian trade and business relationships. She was the First Assistant Secretary with the Department of Primary Industry in Canberra. She has spent the last 18 years in the United States, first as Minister-Counselor for Agriculture at the Australian Embassy in Washington, and then, as CEO with Meat and Livestock Australia. Frances received a BA from the Australian National University in Economics and Political Science. Ms. Cassidy joined the Association as President in 2002.

Diane Sinclair
Vice President

Diane is a Business Development, Corporate Fundraising and Communications Executive with an international law background. She leads the Association’s Education, Fundraising and Communications initiatives - building audiences and profitability through branded marketing and data management strategies. Since 2008, the Association has achieved over $11 million through its annual Benefit Dinner and bought in new Corporate Fellowship commitments of over $2,800,000.

Diane enjoys leveraging new technologies and platforms to run programs without the need for custom software.

Past initiatives include establishment of the Association’s corporate presence in Australia and proposal and RFP for United States Studies Centre (awarded $25 million by Australian government).

Early experience in the US focused on marketing, communications and strategic business development.Diane also developed intranet communications for Philip Morris undertaking strategic development of five websites advising on information technologies and marketing and communications strategies. Diane has an Arts/Law degree from Australia and a Masters of Law in the US from Georgetown University and practiced commercial and corporate law specializing in international trade contracts.

Debbie Chappel

Director, Corporate, Government, Social & Cultural Programs

Debbie joined the Associationin March 2008, after moving to New York with her husband in November 2007. Prior to arriving in New York, Debbie lived and worked in Australia and the Russian Federation. Debbie has held positions in the offices of senior Australian Cabinet Ministers, including the former Federal Treasurer, the Hon Peter Costello and former Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Alexander Downer.
Most recently Debbie worked on strategy development and policy formulation for a national liaison network within the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Debbie holds a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Political Science from the Australian National University and a Bachelors degree in Arts (Government and Public Policy) from the University of Queensland.
Sherita Rankins
Director, Finance and Operations

Sherita joined the Association in February 2008. Prior to becoming the Finance Manager, she was a Finance Associate and Accounts Payable Specialist at The Telx Group, Inc. in New York and also worked in Human Resources Abercrombie and Fitch. Before moving to New York in 2006, Sherita studied Finance and International Business at Loyola University Chicago.

Jhelum Bagchi
Jhelum Bagchi
Manager, Education

Jhelum has a background in Sustainable Development with a Master of Science in Global Affairs from New York University. Previously, Jhelum was with the United Nations Development Program in New York. As the Education Associate, Jhelum manages and administers the Association’s Education Fund programs.
Sylvia Royall
Director, Education & Development

Sylvia possesses over a decade of experience in increasingly responsible roles within project management, marketing, analytics, and operational efficiency within several companies including UnitedHealth Group, Chase Credit Card Services, and ING Capital. Most recently, Sylvia worked as an independent consultant, applying her organizing techniques and expertise to help clients achieve greater productivity, efficiency, and success. She is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a self-taught SAS and SQL computer programmer.

As Director of Education & Development, Sylvia coordinates and synthesizesthe efforts for the Benefit Dinner and Fellowship program.

Louisa Teo
Regional Director, New England
Born and raised in Sydney, Louisa has previously held marketing and communications positions at Sherman Galleries, Sydney Symphony, Biennale of Sydney, Macquarie Bank and MLC, the wealth management division of the National Australia Bank. Since graduating from the MS-MBA program at Boston University in Fall 2006, she founded Hire Purpose LLC, providing client companies, including Akamai Technologies, AT&T, BearingPoint, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble, with tools to recruit and engage leadership talent. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Commerce from Sydney University and a Graduate Diploma in Art History from Melbourne University.
Lucy Harel
Regional Manager, California

Amalia Ridwan
Events and Membership Manager
Rollette Lusanta
Technology Associate
For employment opportunities at the Association, please visit our Careers webpage or contact us at
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