Ms O'Donnell is currently a postgraduate student at in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University, writing her doctorate on the policing of radical environmental protest in Australia and the United Kingdom,
Before commencing her PhD, Kate was a Director with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and was seconded to the Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS) during 2011 as a Practitioner-in-Residence. In this role, her focus included working to incorporate transport security as a part of the CEPS research agenda, building strong linkages with CEPS and the transport sector and undertaking specific research on the development of Australia's critical infrastructure protection policy and arrangements.
Kate O'Donnell's public service career has been diverse and spans more than 25 years. Commencing her career as a nurse, she has held a variety of senior policy, change management and advisory position in multiple Queensland government agencies. During the 2009 influenza pandemic she worked as the Chief of Staff to Queensland's Chief Health Officer and during 2010 as the Director of Transport Security.
Kate's interests lie in environmental activism, critical infrastructure protection and disaster and emergency management. Kate holds a Bachelor of Business (Health Administration) from QUT and a Master of Criminology and Criminal Justice (Hons) from Griffith University.