Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Jane Halton, has spoken about COVID-19, a life in the public service, Australia’s road to reopening and a prank in her university days that caused a diplomatic incident.

Often described as “not the normal public servant”, Ms Halton was appointed as a Commissioner of the National COVID-19 Commission Advisory Board in March 2020.

Sky News host Chris Smith said Ms Halton is someone who “cuts to the chase, gets things done, sums up things pretty quickly – all the things the public service is not very good at”.

“I’ve always found that people actually value you being able to talk to them directly, being able to be honest with people, and certainly in all the interactions I’ve had with politicians of both persuasions but also with the public – I think very often people would just really rather you level with them, and you tell them the truth,” Ms Halton said.

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