Non-Executive Director; Member of the Partnerships Committee
Adam Lees was appointed as Rio Tinto’s Chief Indigenous Affairs Advisor in May 2021. He has over twenty years of experience in the mining and energy sector working in senior leadership roles.
Adam commenced his career as a graduate with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade in 1994; he represented Australia on a diplomatic assignment to the Australian High Commission in Samoa from 1996–1999.
As a former Community & Environment Specialist (Africa), Adam spent over four years supporting BHP Minerals Exploration projects in Angola, Zambia, Gabon and Ethiopia, and project work in Guinea and Liberia. He was formerly Vice President – Sustainability (Tanzania) for a South African headquartered global gold producer AngloGold Ashanti and, until recently, was General Manager – Indigenous Affairs with Woodside Energy in Perth.
Raised in the remote mining town of Mount Isa in Queensland, Adam holds tertiary qualifications from Monash University (Melbourne), the Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University (Brisbane).
An Australian of Irish, English and Filipino heritage, Adam is also a descendent of the Meriam people of Murray Island (Mer) in the Torres Strait and the Yadhaigana people of Cape York. A published author and a storyteller, Adam’s co-authored book, A Question of Colour – My Journey to Belonging (Magabala Books), was shortlisted in the NSW, WA and QLD Premiers Literary Awards.
Adam has been both a mentor and a visible leader to many emerging LGBTIQ+ professionals and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees in the resources sector throughout his career. He currently lives in Brisbane.