Steward is currently general manager of enterprise capability in Centrelink's business transformation group. She will start at the federal government on 11 July.
Special Minister of State, Senator Eric Abetz, said in a statement Steward was a strong appointment and would bring to the job an understanding of the opportunities that a strong dialogue between the ICT industry and the government could develop.
Steward is no stranger to the Australian Government Information Management Office. Previous to her April 2003 start at Centrelink, she was the office's principal e-strategy adviser.
"She successfully established and led the work program for the Information Management Strategy Committee and its supporting CIO Committee, that has representation from all major departments and agencies across government," a biography provided by AGIMO said.
Steward also has high-profile experience in a similar role in Britain, where she was seconded to the role of e-Government director in the country's Cabinet Office from July 1998 to September 2002.
That role gave Steward the opportunity to take responsibility for the Review of Major IT Projects report. "This review reported a comprehensive set of recommendations that are having a major impact on the way IT projects are planned, implemented and managed in the UK public sector," her biography said.
Before that secondment, Steward held "various senior executive positions in a number of Australian government agencies", and has continually been involved in the International Council for IT in Government Administration (ICA). As its name suggests, ICA focuses on strategic IT issues for government.
At Centrelink, Steward led the implementation of 'Refresh', a project her biography described as the organisation's "major new service capability initiative". She was in overall charge of Centrelink's enterprise architecture and strategic planning and technology strategies.
Steward holds a degree in Applied Science from the University of Canberra.
ZDNet Australia  understands Steward worked closely at Centrelink with the organisation's previous CIO Jane Treadwell, who in March this year took the CIO post in the Victorian government.