Professor Fred Hilmer is an Australian academic and business figure. He was the President and eighth Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales (UNSW)—an appointment he held from 2006 to 2015. Prior to taking up this position, he was Chief Executive Officer of John Fairfax Holdings Limited from 1998 to 2005. Before joining Fairfax, he was the Dean and Director of UNSW’s Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) and a Director of Port Jackson Partners Limited. Prior to Joining the AGSM, Professor Hilmer was a Director of McKinsey & Company—responsible for managing the Australian practice
Professor Hilmer holds a degree in law from the University of Sydney, an LLM from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of Finance where he was appointed a Joseph Wharton Fellow. Professor Hilmer was awarded an honorary degree (DSc) in 2014 from UNSW, prior to his retirement. In 1991 the Australian Institute of Management awarded him a special John Storey medal for distinguished contribution to the advancement of management thinking in Australia. Professor Hilmer was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1998 for his services to management education, competition policy and workplace reform.
Earlier in his career, Professor Hilmer was a member of the Faculty of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and he also practised law in Australia. He served on the Committee of Inquiry into Management Education from 1981 to 1982. He was a member of the Commonwealth Higher Education Council and Chairman of the Business Council of Australia’s Employee Relations Study Group. In 1992 and 1993 he chaired the National Competition Policy Review Committee.
Professor Hilmer has served as a Director on many Australian company boards. He previously served as Chairman of Pacific Power, Deputy Chairman of Foster’s Brewing Group Limited, and was a long-standing Director of Westfield Holdings Limited. In 2010 Professor Hilmer was made an Honorary Fellow of CPA Australia. Professor Hilmer served as Convenor of the New South Wales Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (NSWVCC) from 2009 to 2011. He also served as Chair of the Group of Eight (Go8) from 2012 to 2013, and Chair of Universitas 21 (U21) from May 2013 to May 2014.
Professor Hilmer has written extensively on strategy, organisation and economic reform, and is the author of a number of books, including When Luck Runs Out, New Games/New Rules, co-authored Strictly Boardroom, Working Relations and Management Redeemed and, most recently, The Fairfax Experience — What The Management Texts Didn’t Teach Me.