Attorney-General George Brandis QC and Minister for Women Michaelia Cash made the announcement last week.
The position has been vacant for five months since the former commissioner Elizabeth Broderick’s eight-year term came to an end on 4 September 2015.
Ms Jenkins (pictured) is the current Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner and a former partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, where she led an equal opportunity and diversity practice.
She established the Victorian Male Champions of Change strategy and contributed to advanced gender equality through the Fair Go Sport and Play By the Rule campaigns.
“We are deeply impressed by Ms Jenkins’ leadership on issues of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, and thank her for agreeing to bring her dedication and energy to the national stage,” the statement from Attorney-General Brandis and Minister Cash read.
“We look forward to Ms Jenkins’ contribution to the work of the Australian Human Rights Commission, where she will extend her productive relationships across the Australian Government and the broader Australian community, building on the outstanding work of her predecessor, Ms Elizabeth Broderick AO.”
Law Council of Australia president Stuart Clark AM said: “On behalf of the Australian legal profession, we welcome the appointment of Kate Jenkins as the new Sex Discrimination Commissioner.”
He continued: “Ms Jenkins’ experience as Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner, and previously as a partner in the equal opportunity and diversity practice of Herbert Smith Freehills, makes her an ideal candidate to fill the vacancy.”
Mr Clark said that the Law Council is looking forward to working with Ms Jenkins and the Australian Human Rights Commission.