James McDowell has over 30 years' experience in defence and aerospace sectors. Mr McDowell was chief executive at BAE Systems Australia before becoming chief executive at its Saudi Arabia office. Mr McDowell began his career with BAE Systems Australia in 1996 and held senior management positions prior to becoming chief executive of its Saudi Arabia office. Mr McDowell also spent 18 years at aerospace company Bombardier Shorts in legal, commercial and marketing roles. In September 2018, Mr McDowell was appointed the chief executive of the Premier and Cabinet in the South Australian state government.