Jennifer Wittwer, CSM, FAHRI Technical Expert, Women, Peace and Security Women, Peace and Security Section (Arab States) UN Women, New York
Jennifer is a senior officer in the Royal Australian Navy. She joined the Navy in 1981 and is a Maritime Logistics officer and a strategic human resources specialist. She has served in a variety of junior maritime logistics and administration appointments at HMA Ships Creswell, Albatross and Nirimba until 1993.
Following completion of Navy Staff Course in 1993, for which she was awarded the Lonsdale Medallion, Jennifer served as the senior maritime logistics officer of HMAS Swan in 1995-96. This was followed by a posting to the Australian Defence Force Academy as Officer Commanding Supply Squadron in 1996 and then as lead Navy investigator for Redresses of Grievance (ROG) in Complaints Resolution Agency (CRA) in 1999. Jennifer was promoted to Commander in 2001 and served in Navy Headquarters in a financial management position and then as inaugural Director Navy Organisational Culture (DNOC) in 2002. In 2004 she transferred to the Navy Reserve and undertook duties as a Case Manager in CRA.
In 2008, Jennifer transferred back to the Permanent Navy and was appointed as DNOC for the second time. During 2009-2010, she served as the Cultural Project Coordinator for New Generation Navy, a five-year program addressing leadership and values, and cultural and structural reform. In 2010, she designed and implemented Navigating the Change, a workplace behaviour education program for Navy people. In 2011, Jennifer was appointed the inaugural Navy Women’s Strategic Advisor and a member of the Chief of the Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board. In this role she developed and implemented a Navy women’s leadership, mentoring and networking program, and the Navy Women’s Leadership Strategy 2012-2015 to further drive gender initiatives.
In 2013, Jennifer deployed as a Gender Advisor to International Security Assistance Force Joint Command in Afghanistan, responsible for implementing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) policies on women, peace and security (WPS) into military operations. On her return to Australia in August 2013, Jennifer was appointed the inaugural Director National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security. Jennifer also contributed to NATO efforts to implement WPS through her participation in the annual NATO Committee on Gender Perspective conference from 2012 - 2015. Jennifer has now been seconded for three years to UN Women in New York as a Technical Adviser, WPS (Arab States team).
Jennifer is a Fellow of the Australian Human Resources Institute and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transport. In recognition of her expertise in gender diversity, Jennifer was appointed as a member of Women & Leadership Australia National Advisory Board in September 2011 and continues to remain involved in this capacity.
Jennifer has been recognised for her efforts towards the development and advancement of women nationally and globally. In 2010, she was the 3rd place Bronze winner of the Centre for Leadership for Women inaugural national Advancement of Women in the Workplace Award, and in 2011, a state finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in two categories. She was awarded a (military) Conspicuous Service Medal in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. On International Women’s Day, 2014, Jennifer was recognised as a Defence Woman of Influence, and in October, was selected in the 2014 national Australian Financial Review / WESTPAC 100 Women of Influence Awards. In 2015, Jennifer was appointed as a YWCA Respect Champion. Jennifer was also recognised in the 2016 Who’s Who of Australian Women.
Jennifer has been awarded a Flag Officer’s Bronze Commendation in 1991 for exceptional service to the military, the NATO Afghanistan Medal, Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp ICAT, Afghanistan Medal, Defence Long Service Medal with Third Clasp, Australian Defence Medal and Returned from Active Service Badge.