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Colin Adams

Managing Director, Cardno International Development, a DT Global Company


  • Australian National University, BA (Hons) Political Science
  • Deakin University, Master of Business Administration
  • University of Texas, Master of Arts in International Management

Languages: English, Spanish, French, German

Technical areas of expertise: International Management, Strategy and Leadership

Colin Adams is Managing Director in the Asia-Pacific for Cardno International Development, a DT Global Company. In this role, he leads over 1,400 corporate and project staff implementing projects across thirty countries. Cardno International Development is a top supplier to Australia’s DFAT and other donors in the region.

Colin has specialised in leading and managing in developing country contexts for over thirty years, first as a member of the Australian Diplomatic Service with multiple emerging market postings and subsequently leading his own management consultancy firm specialising in international management and strategy. Colin first worked in the development space as Program Director in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the law and justice sector, leading to a deep affection for PNG and its people. Following that Colin worked in a range of consulting roles for Cardno International Development before taking up the leadership of the Asia Pacific business in 2016. Working in development brings together Colin’s deep interest in complex systems thinking and his love of working in developing countries and has led naturally into areas such as adaptive management and “doing-development-differently” in the development context.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

Leading and working with practical skills in a genuinely complex environment. Being part of an awesome team of professionals seeking to make a difference in the world.

What's your favorite thing to do on weekends?

Riding a twisty mountain road on a motorcycle; pretending I know what I’m doing on my small farm. Failing all of that, reading history or philosophy with a nice glass of wine.