Dr Keliher was born in Queensland in 1950 and completed his senior years at the Sacred Heart Christian Brothers College, Gympie. He was awarded a Bachelor of Economics with First Class Honours in 1983 and a Master of Arts in 1985 at the University of Queensland. In 1987, Dr Keliher was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London).
Dr Keliher is the inaugural Chairman of the Service Delivery and Performance Commission with the commencement of the Service Delivery and Performance Act 2005 in November 2005.
Dr Keliher was previously the Director-General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet from November 2001 to November 2005.
Dr Keliher was also previously the Commissioner of the New South Wales Department of Corrective Services, a position he held from August 1996 to November 2001. As Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s largest corrective services agency, he was responsible for strategic leadership of a complex organisation with more than 5000 employees and a budget of $560 million.
Prior to going to Sydney, Dr Keliher had a distinguished career in the Queensland Public Service. Between 1970 and 1985 he was involved in computer technology in what is now known as the Centre for Information Technology and Communications (CITEC), progressing from Operations Manager/Supervisor to Systems Analyst Programmer then Information Technology Consultant.
Following his research in London as a full-time doctoral candidate at the London School of Economics he returned to Brisbane in 1988 to take up the role of Manager, Information Technology Policy Unit in CITEC.
Between May 1990 and May 1993 he was appointed to the Public Sector Management Commission (PSMC) first as Manager (Review) and, in February 1992, as Director (Review) where he led and managed multi-disciplinary review teams into a number of agencies and projects in the Queensland Public Sector. In September 1994 Dr Keliher was appointed Director-General of the Department of Queensland Emergency Services, a position he held until April 1996. In this role he was responsible for more than 6500 employees and more than 80,000 volunteers.
On the 26 January 2008 Dr Keliher was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia, for service to public administration in Queensland and New South Wales, particularly as a leader in the implementation of public sector reform initiatives.
- Chairman and CEO, MRT International Consultancy
- Chairman and CEO, Service Delivery and Performance Commission (SDPC), Queensland Government.
- Director-General, Department of Premier and Cabinet (QLD)
- Commissioner, Department of Corrective Services (NSW)
- Director-General, Department of Queensland Emergency Services
- Deputy Director-General, Department of Queensland Emergency Services