Mercedes Page is the founder and former CEO of Young Australians in International Affairs (YAIA), a not-for-profit organisation committed to engaging the next generation of Australians in international affairs and building the high calibre leaders necessary to navigate Australia’s future in an increasingly complex and contested 21st century.
Mercedes previously worked for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was one of the lead authors of Australia’s 2021 International Cyber and Critical Tech Engagement Strategy, which sets out how the Australian government will protect and promote its interests and values in cyberspace and technology. At DFAT, she also led Australia’s cyber and technology cooperation in Southeast Asia. This included efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and human rights online, build resilience to disinformation and misinformation, and counter cyber and technology-enabled coercion across the Indo-Pacific region.
Before joining DFAT, Mercedes worked in the private sector and at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. She was previously a non-resident WSD-Handa Fellow and member of the Young Leaders Program at the Pacific Forum, and was recognised as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum.
Mercedes was awarded the 2021 Australian Leadership Award by the Australian Davos Connection; a leadership medal by Australia’s Governor-General in 2020; and was named by the Australian Financial Review as one of Australia’s 100 most influential women in 2018. In 2016 she was awarded the Foundation for Young Australians Unleashed Award for promoting Australia’s engagement with Asia, and in 2015 was named by FYA as one of Australia’s Top Young Social Pioneers.
She holds a Master of Arts (International Studies), Bachelor of Arts (Politics and Asian Studies) and Bachelor of International Studies from the University of Adelaide.