Mel Dunn

Leadership, Development, Innovation, International Trade and Development

I continue to enjoy an international career that focuses on leading businesses to create sustainable outcomes and importantly doing so where a difference can be made in the world - Mel Dunn

Mel Dunn's Bio:

Mel Dunn brings nearly two decades of consistent achievement and a successful track record in strategic leadership and change, creating more sustainable business outcomes. He is an accomplished leader, innovator, influencer, negotiator and communicator who has effectively led a number of strategic organisational change efforts. He has also successfully demonstrated these critical core competencies in a range of international markets. Mel offers a demonstrably successful track record in senior and executive leadership and management roles, including with full P&L accountability.

Mel Dunn has over 20 years' experience in education, training, development and foreign aid sectors, which has included teaching, curriculum development, technical assistance and project management in Australia and overseas; these experiences have taken Mel to Botswana, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Fiji, Ghana, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Taiwan, USA and Vietnam.

Mel Dunn holds the MicroMasters in Corporate Innovation, a Master of Social Change and Development, Graduate Certificate in Gender Mainstreaming Policy and Analysis, and Bachelor of Teaching. Mel is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

From 2009-18 Mel Dunn was a White Ribbon Ambassador, taking a stand for the elimination of violence against women, and has received numerous other awards, including the 2010 Godfrey Tanner Medal (Queensland Alumni Medal) and a Finalist for the 2012 Alumni Award for International Leadership, both from The University of Newcastle, and a Finalist and Highly Commended for the Outstanding Professional Alumnus category in the 2014 University of Southern Queensland Alumnus of the Year Awards.

Mel Dunn also holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position in the Institute of Social Science Research at The University of Queensland.  Mel's research and project interests include gender, and specifically the role of men in the pursuit of equality, development innovation and entrepreneurship, and the integration of theory and practice to address complex development challenges.


Mel Dunn's Experience:

  • Vice President Strategy & Innovation at DT Global

    Built on more than 50 years of combined experience, DT Global works with partners, clients and donors around the world to transform lives by applying ingenuity, data-driven research, and passion to our 180+ global projects. Our work is supported by corporate offices in the USA, Spain, and Australia, and our portfolio spans more than 90 countries, with dedicated project offices in 31 countries and over 700 talented technical experts in every region of the world. We bring to the table the benefits of both a scrappy start-up, ready to quickly adapt programs and pivot on a dime, and an experienced government contractor with the team and technical expertise in place to usher our programs to success and make significant impact around the world. DT Global is ready and excited to provide a continuum of support to communities along the development spectrum in five principal development areas: Economic Growth, Environment & Infrastructure, Human Development, Governance, and Stabilization & Transition.

  • Vice President International Development at AECOM

    As part of the leadership team, Mel Dunn helps shape business solutions, specificall leading the growth and innovation priorities for the International Development business for AECOM in Asia-Pacific, which includes core Practice Areas of: Governance; Private Sector Development; Natural Resources; Infrastructure; Human Development; and Development Innovation. The core objective of this role is to deliver high quality project management services to AECOM official development assistance (ODA) and clients. Mel Dunn's major responsibilities are to lead International Development and ensure consistently high standards of business development, contract management, project management and financial administration of international projects to deliver on schedule within budget to the satisfaction of the client. Mel Dunn is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Political Science & International Studies at The University of Queensland.

  • General Manager International Development at UniQuest

    Mel Dunn led UniQuest International Development, which works with international aid agencies and other development partners to support developing nations improve their infrastructure, economies and communities. During this period, Mel was also a Conjoint Associate Professor within the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at The University of Queensland. As General Manager, Mel was responsible for financial management, strategy and business growth, and personnel management. Mel directed the activities and inputs of various multidisciplinary teams for the provision of technical leadership, program management and research into developing country environments. Significant accomplishments during Mel's role as General Manager include: market-leading portfolio expansion into Africa; and, turning around a number of years declining business performance to achieve the Company's most successful result for the Division since it commenced operations in 1994.

  • GM Development (International Development APAC) at Coffey International

    In this role, Mel Dunn led business development operations with specific accountability for the success in developing solutions to client needs in addressing defined development challenges across the Asia-Pacific region. Mr Dunn was a member of Coffey International Development's Leadership Team, which is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the company and its performance in activity delivery in the field. During this tenure, Mr Dunn led one of the 12 key priority practise areas for Coffey as Practice Leader Education. The purpose of this role was to both support practise area expansion and to ensure quality and market leading delivery of education development solutions. Between April 2008 and March 2010 he performed the function of Company Representative on the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) project. From November 2008 - March 2010 performed the role of APY Partnership Director where the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands Executive Board sought involvement from Coffey to support the social and economic development challenges on the Lands. Mr Dunn led this relationship on the Lands and led all strategic discussions with the APY Executive and community representatives, including being an invited participant at a General Meeting and the Annual General Meeting on the Lands. His role was to ensure that everything that is undertaken on the Lands was done so with an overarching commitment to ensure Anangu-led development.

  • Managing Director at Global Business and Development Solutions

    During this period, Mel Dunn established his own company, which worked with organisations and individuals to provide solutions to development activities. Specific activities included supporting universities in Australia in developing strategies and systems for improved involvement in development activities and providing consultancy solutions to support internationalisation of organisations.

  • GM Global Development Services Group (last position) at IDP Education Australia

    During this period Mel Dunn commenced as Director, Education then Head, Business Development, culminating in GM.

  • Director - International Programs at TAFE Queensland

    Mel Dunn was tasked with leading strategic development of TAFE Queensland's international business with an aim to increase market share to approximately 19% of the Australian international VET student market, which represented at least doubling past performance. During this period, Mr Dunn provided advice to the Minister and Senior Officers and represented TAFE Queensland on the VET Steering Committee, Queensland Education and Training Export Board.

  • Project Director China at TAFE Queensland

    In this role, Mel Dunn led TAFE Queensland activities in China, including establishing partner school programs in China. Mr Dunn developed and implemented enterprise solutions into international 5-star hotels that support their human resource development initiatives.

  • Various positions at TAFE Queensland

    During this ten year period with TAFE Queensland, Mel Dunn held a range of positions commencing as a teacher at Hervey Bay Senior College before moving to Brisbane into internationally focused roles. Mr Dunn took a year's return to industry in 1995/96 where he held the role of Assistant Manager at The Heritage Hotel (now known as the Stamford Plaza). Additional details about the internationally focused roles are presented as separate roles.

  • Senior Manager - International Business Development at TAFE Queensland

    TAFE Queensland International was the coordinating Division for the policy and practice of recruiting and managing inbound international students to be placed within various TAFE Queensland institutes. Mel Dunn led the Division's approach to business growth, including a specific focus on professional inbound groups and aid/development activities.

  • Project Manager - China (TQI/ITT Sheraton Asia Pacific Project) at TAFE Queensland

    Mel Dunn managed the pre-opening training requirements for all new Sheraton hotels in China, which involved supporting the opening of three hotels in Beijing, Nanjing and Wuxi by leading a team of approximately 30 personnel on assignment in China for periods of between 6 - 20 weeks. Mr Dunn developed, and subsequently led the implementation, of a training framework within each property that aligned to enterprise operations. Each assignment had an evaluation process, which was analysed and reported on to guide ongoing training and development options.

  • Various Positions, including Assistant Manager at Hyatt Hotels Corporation

    Recruited as part of the Pre-Opening team for the Park Hyatt Hotel Canberra, commencing initially in F&B before being placed through a management training, cross-exposure program to gain experience across a range of hotel operations including housekeeping, front office and stewarding. Mel Dunn spent nearly three years of his tenure as an Assistant Manager in Front Office/Rooms Division. In 1990, Mr Dunn was seconded to be part of the Pre-Opening team for the Grand Hyatt Taipei, responsible for training support and Standards and Procedures development and subsequent training of front office personnel in readiness for the hotel's opening.

  • Contractor Representative - Innovation Resource Facility (DFAT as client) at AECOM

    Oversee and established AECOM's approach and solution to the management of the Innovation Resource Facility (IRF) for DFAT's innovationXchange (iXc)

Mel Dunn's Education:

  • The University of Queensland

    Concentration: Corporate Innovation
    Activities: Design thinking and creativity. Idea generation. Innovation, plan to product. Creating and sustaining innovation culture.
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors

    International Company Directors Course Diploma
    Concentration: Corporate Governance
  • Flinders University

    Graduate Certificate
    Concentration: Gender Mainstreaming Policy & Analysis
  • University of Newcastle

    Concentration: Social Change and Development
  • University of Southern Queensland

    Bachelor of Teaching
    Concentration: Further Education and Training

Mel Dunn's Interests & Activities:

Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Political Science & International Studies, UQ (2013 - present); Chair, IDC Australia (2012 - 14); Conjoint Associate Professor, Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences, UQ (2010-2013); Member of Executive IDC Australia (2010 - 14); White Ribbon Ambassador (2009 - 18); Volunteer Firefighter Eudlo Rural Fire Brigade (2015 - current) Brigade Training Officer (2017 - current); Golf; Running.