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The Team

John Berry I President


The President of the American Australian Association comes to the job well prepared after serving as the 25th US Ambassador and President Obama’s personal representative to Australia. Prior to that, John served in multiple senior government positions, earning three unanimous Senate confirmations, including: the head of “HR” for the Federal government as Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the “COO” of the Department of Interior as Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget; the head of 40% of Federal law enforcement as Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement at the Treasury Department; and Legislative Director for Rep. Steny Hoyer. John has also been a leader in the non-profit sector, serving as the Director of the Smithsonian National Zoo; The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Government Relations for the Smithsonian Institution. John has accomplished many firsts, most notably, the first openly LGBT US Ambassador to a G20 country and while at OPM, he was the highest ranking LGBT executive official in US history. He has stood atop both poles – north and south, visited all of the world’s continents, as well as all of the states of both the USA and Australia. His most favorite recognitions of the many received have been Department of the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, a lion named “John” in his honor and a mountain in Antarctica called the “Berry Bastion.” He is married to his partner of over 20 years, Curtis Yee.

Debbie Chappel I Chief Operating Officer


Debbie, as COO of the American Australian Association, oversees fundraising and development for the Association’s Education and Veterans’ Funds and management of the annual Benefit Dinner and the ANZAC Day and Veterans’ Lunch; with additional management responsibility for regional office and operations. In her current role she successfully managed and executed the largest and most profitable event in the Association’s distinguished 70-year history, hosting the President of the United States and Prime Minister of Australia and generating a record breaking $3.3 million in fundraising revenue.


Debbie joined the Association in 2008, and prior to assuming her current COO role in early 2017, served as Director of Corporate and Government Affairs.  In her previous role, Debbie had primary responsibility for corporate membership and business program development, as well as fundraising for the annual Australia Day Black Tie Gala.


Prior to joining the Association in New York, Debbie lived and worked in Australia and the Russian Federation, holding positions in the offices of senior Australian Cabinet Ministers, including the Federal Treasurer and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.  She also worked as a consultant with Austrade in Moscow.

Georgina Duckworth I Director of Business and the Arts
    For the past decade, Georgina Duckworth has followed an international career path in the non-profit sector.  After successfully executing London’s largest outdoor art exhibition and raising over £5M for Elephant Family, a non-profit focused on the conservation of the Asian elephant, she then moved to New York and in a short time achieved a new fundraising benchmark, raising the profile of Friends of Australian Wildlife Conservancy, a US-based, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Australia’s threatened wildlife. In 2016 Georgina joined the American Australian Association and has recently promoted to the position, Director of Business and Arts.  Georgina is a strong leader with outstanding interpersonal skills to secure committed corporate support and the loyalty of stakeholders. Her strengths lie in her ability to strategize and problem solve, working with her team and external agencies. She is well qualified for her work having completed a Bachelor of International Business from Flinders University in South Australia with Distinctions in Commerce and International Marketing.
Rory Linehan I Director of Policy and Outreach
    Rory Linehan is the Director of Policy and Outreach at the American Australian Association. In this position, he directs the AAA Business Council’s activities outside New York, including across the United States and in Australia. 

Rory has a rich experience in both the private and public sectors. He possesses over half a decade’s experience at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This includes his most recent role as Manager of the Australian Government’s United States Infrastructure Unit, where he coordinated Australia’s infrastructure relations with the United States. 

Rory has over 10 year’s combined experience working in both North America and Australia, including managing a $2 million portfolio for Canada’s largest market firm, Cossette Communications. 

He holds a Bachelor of International Business from the Australian National University and is studying his Masters of International Affairs at Macquarie University. He lives in Washington DC with his husband Johnny and two dogs.
Rollette Lusanta I Director of Operations and Technology 
    Rollette joined the Association in July of 2010. His responsibility includes managing the office vendors, company and staff insurance and benefits as well as the office technology infrastructure. Rollette is also responsible for managing the Association’s Student Exchange Visitors Program of the Department of State. He has held multiple backup roles inside the Association, such as Events, Finance, and Education and has been very flexible in helping out the Team. Before joining the Association, he worked as a Systems Manager, managing the IT system of the company's multiple sites in the US and in the Philippines. Rollette has a Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.
Melanie Chiew I Events and Communications Manager
    Melanie joined the American Australian Association in June 2014 and is currently the Events & Communications Manager.  Her responsibilities include managing the social and cultural events calendar and individual membership program, assisting with the Association's major fundraising events, web and graphic design, social media and email marketing.  She is also the treasurer for the Australian Women in New York (AWNY), a committee of the Association.  Melanie holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing from RMIT University in Melbourne.  She is based at the Association's headquarters in New York City.
Nancy Chapman Finance Manager
    Nancy Chapman is a NY based Accounting and Finance Professional that is a dual citizen of Australia and America. After earning a Degree in Finance and a Degree in Accounting from Tulane University, Nancy started her career in NYC in 2005 at KPMG. While travelling, Nancy fell in love with the country of Australia and ended up living there for 10 years building her Career and her family. She has been working at the American Australian Association since she returned to New York in 2017.
Katie Rotherham I Education and Communications Manager 
    Katie joined the American Australian Association in October 2018 as Education & Communications Manager. In this role, Katie manages and facilitates the Graduate Education Scholarships, Veteran Scholarships and Arts Scholarships and Grants. She predominantly focusses on scholarship outreach and working one-on-one with applicants and the AAA Scholars and Alumni throughout their year of support and beyond. Prior to joining the AAA team, Katie has worked in-house on marketing and communications teams across diverse industries including manufacturing, healthcare and publishing. Katie earned a Bachelor of Communications majoring in public relations and journalism from Bond University. She works out of the AAA headquarters based in New York City.
Libbi Swan Events and Communications Associate 
    Libbi joined the American Australian Association in October 2018 as Events & Communications Associate of the Business Council. In this role Libbi has helped to grow the membership of the business council and produce a variety of events including business roundtables, networking receptions and the annual Business Council CEO Summit in Washington DC. Her work experience spans a variety of sectors including government, legal, communications and the arts. Libbi holds a Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Media & Communication from the Queensland University of Technology and a Bachelor of Musical Theatre from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Libbi is based at the AAA headquarters in New York City.
Louisa Teo I Regional Director, New England
    Based in Cambridge, MA, Louisa Teo oversees the American Australian Association's programs in New England, including the ANZAC Day commemorative service and reception and the Association's annual Boston dinner. She is a graduate of the Boston University Questrom School of Business and Sydney University. She joined the American Australian Association in 2008 and since 2015 has also served as Secretary of the Australian Independent Schools USA Foundation.
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