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ESR welcomes new directors

04 February 2022

The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) has welcomed the appointment of three new directors to its board.

Experienced directors Dr Matt Glenn, Dr Melissa (Mel) McLeod and Justine Gilliland were appointed by Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods on behalf of Shareholding Ministers and will join current ESR board members Denise Church (Chair), Kate Thomson, Cristin Print, Dr Andy Shenk and Richard Gill. 

ESR Chair, Denise Church said the new board members bring a mixture of skills and experience which will be invaluable to the organisation. 

“As Chair, I am greatly looking forward to working closely with Matt, Mel and Justine. They come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and experiences and will each bring their own unique set of skills and strengths to the board.”

“ESR has long been respected for delivering research and science that makes a difference to the health, safety and wellbeing of New Zealanders. Our sector is now preparing for generational change in response to the Government’s Te Ara Paerangi – Future Pathways Green Paper. I am confident that the capability we have on the board will ensure we are well placed to position ESR as a leading force is achieving the Government’s ambition for the future of science in New Zealand.”

Dr Matt Glenn is Chief Executive for the Kiwifruit Breeding Centre (KBC), a Joint Venture between Zespri and the CRI, Plant and Food Research. He was previously CEO at Hill Laboratories, New Zealand’s largest private analytical testing laboratory; and CEO of Robotics Plus, an agricultural automation and robotics start up. An experienced executive in the technology industry, he holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Leeds and held the role of Head of Genomics at Genesis which included, what was at the time, the largest DNA sequencing facility in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Dr Melissa McLeod is a Public Health Physician and epidemiologist at the University of Otago in Wellington. She teaches postgraduate epidemiology and general public health and brings rich research expertise in Māori health, epidemiology (including quantitative aspects of Kaupapa Māori research) and the investigation and elimination of ethnic health inequities in New Zealand. Mel has recently been involved in the PHARMAC review and was an appointed member of the Ministry of Health National Public Health Service Establishment Advisory Group Review. She also sits on the Bowel Screening Advisory Group. 

Justine Gilliland is Chief Executive of Venture Taranaki (the regional development agency for Taranaki). An experienced director, she is on the boards of Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, the Agricultural Marketing, Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), Tui Ora (Māori health provider for Taranaki) and Economic Development New Zealand.