Major General (MAJGEN) Michelle McGuinness arrives to DIA as the third Deputy Director for Commonwealth Integration (DDCI), previously serving as the Director General, Counterproliferation and Terrorism at the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO). In that role, MAJGEN McGuinness led interagency intelligence efforts supporting whole-of-government counterproliferation missions.
As a career intelligence officer, she has served in a range of tactical, operational, and strategic assignments. Commissioned into the Australian Intelligence Corps in 1997, she spent her formative years at the tactical level leading and managing intelligence operations in human intelligence, interrogation, and exploitation disciplines. With experience in junior officer education and training, in 2014-15 MAJGEN McGuinness was assigned as the commanding officer for undergraduates at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
Beginning in 2005, MAJGEN McGuinness served in several intelligence roles focusing on partner engagement and interoperability, including within the U.S., as an intelligence capability liaison officer for DIO in Washington, DC, and as an integrated intelligence officer within the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization. She went on to serve in the Australian Army Headquarters in support of service-level engagement programs for several nations including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, France, and Japan. Her overseas tours culminated in her 2016 appointment as Assistant Military Attaché at the Embassy of Australia in Washington, DC.
MAJGEN McGuinness’ deployments include Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands. She earned a Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Bahasa Indonesian) and a Master of Arts (Strategy and Policy) from the University of New South Wales and her overseas education includes a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
Her awards and decorations include the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal with one oakleaf cluster and the Australian Conspicuous Service Cross.
MAJGEN McGuinness is married with two children and enjoys the outdoors and being active in her local community.