Businessman and former political press secretary Lachlan Harris has been appointed to the board of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC).
Harris, the co-founder and chief executive of energy price comparison site One Big Switch, was successful for the role following an extensive recruitment process.
His appointment completes the seven-member board, chaired by APC President Glenn Tasker.
Harris, who served as the principal press secretary of Kevin Rudd during his first tenure as Australian Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, was described as a coup by Tasker.
The APC President claimed the decision to select Harris came as the governing body continues to "grow its reputational, organisational and financial strength heading towards Pyeongchang 2018 and Tokyo 2020".
The move comes as part of a concerted effort from the APC to improve its governance.
"We were overwhelmed by the calibre of applicants for the new director position, in what was a ringing endorsement of what we have done in recent years and where we are heading,” Tasker said.
“But there is no doubt that Lachlan’s strategic expertise, experience and track record of success was the best fit for our organisation and we’re delighted to welcome him to the Paralympic family.
“Our board recently undertook a skills analysis to guide the ongoing development of our strategic plans to ensure we are best placed to meet the myriad of opportunities and challenges that face us in an increasingly changing world.
"These centre around engagement, technology and a globally increasing profile and competition for Paralympic Sport among many of our rivals.
“With Lachlan joining a Board of outstanding Directors who are all unbelievably committed to improving Para-sport in Australia, I’m excited to see what we can achieve together in close collaboration with the APC’s staff and the APC’s partners.”
Harris joins three-time Paralympic champion Kurt Fearnley, John Hartigan, Rosie King, Helen Nott and Jock O’Callaghan as APC board members.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the APC board and working with the staff to ensure we continue to provide the best possible environment for Australian Paralympic sport to flourish," said Harris.
"It’s a fascinating and challenging time for Australian sport and the non-for-profit sector in which the APC exists, but I’m excited to be joining this important and unique organisation which is well-positioned to achieve some incredible success in coming years."