Science New Zealand Board

The Board members are the chief executives of the Crown Research Institutes. A Chair and Deputy Chair are elected at the Annual General Meeting in August for a two-year term. The Board meets every second month.

The Board:

  • Provides a forum for chief executives to discuss issues, share views and agree actions.
  • Sets the strategic direction and policies for Science New Zealand.
  • Gives direction to and receives reports from pan-member groups which have specific focus areas.
  • Meets with groups and individuals with interests in areas relevant to Science New Zealand's work.

 Board members:

  • Sue Bidrose

    Sue Bidrose

    Science New Zealand Chair


    Chief Executive since July 2020. Sue started her working life as a laboratory technician for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, working in metabolic diseases of dairy cattle. Sue has since worked in the community sector and in central government in research, policy and operational leadership roles.  Most recently, in local government, she was CEO of Dunedin City Council. Sue holds a PhD in Psychology (Otago).

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    John Morgan

    Science New Zealand Deputy Chair


    Chief Executive since April 2007.  Chair of Science New Zealand from February 2020. John has extensive executive and governance experience in public and private sector organisations across a range of markets and activities including business, science, education and sport.  John is a graduate of Macquarie University's Strategic Marketing Programme and the Executive Leadership Programme from INSEAD, France. 

  • Peter Lennox

    Peter Lennox


    Chief Executive since August 2020. Peter brings a blend of commercial and scientific disciplines gained from many years in the global biotechnology and meteorology sectors. This includes roles as director of biotechnology networks for Scotland’s national economic development agency; Director for Industry New Zealand’s biotechnology sector; and CEO of MetService and its international subsidiary Metraweather.  He has post-graduate degrees in biochemistry and biological sciences from Queen's University (Belfast) and Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh), as well as an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Glasgow University, and has studied at the London Business School.

  • Chelydra Percy

    Chelydra Percy

    GNS Science

    Chief Executive since May 2023. Prior to joining GNS, Chelydra spent nine years as Group Chief Executive of BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand). In that role, she oversaw both divisions of the organisation – BRANZ Inc and BRANZ Limited – as well as the subsidiary of BRANZ which operates out of Australia. She led a team of over 130 people.
    Chelydra’s career has seen her work with a range of technology, education, and research organisations over the last 25 years, nationally and internationally. She has significant experience in the CRI sector, having held senior roles at Callaghan Innovation, AgResearch, and Scion. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington.

  • julian elder

    Julian Elder


    Chief Executive since March 2017. Julian has held leadership roles in civil infrastructure including renewables, telecommunications, energy, and water. He was the WEL Networks CEO from 2007-2014. He holds a PhD in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Auckland University.

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    Mark Piper

    Plant & Food Research

    Chief Executive since 2023. Prior to joining PFR, Mark spent five years at Fonterra Cooperative Group as Director of Research & Development, leading a team of about 400 staff.
    His 30 years at Fonterra included three years in Japan in a technical role focused on growth and customer engagement and five years in the US where he was the Regional Director for Fonterra Americas based in Chicago.

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    James Stevenson-Wallace

    Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research

    James Stevenson-Wallace is Chief Executive of Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research. Prior to this he served as Chief Executive of the Electricity Authority, introducing a raft of improvements to electricity markets and the regulation of industry during a sustained period of volatility. He oversaw major investigations into competition and security and introduced various reforms to secure long-term benefits for consumers. James has held senior leadership roles regulating land-use, and the development of forestry, fisheries, petroleum, and minerals resources at MPI and MBIE. In these roles he led various research investment programmes supporting sustainable development and the protection of endangered species and marine areas.
    James has also worked as an economist at the NZ Institute of Economic Research. He holds a Master of Public Policy from Victoria University, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics also from Victoria, and a Bachelor of Business Studies in Management from Massey University.

  • Kate Muise 200 x 200

    Dr Kate Muise

    Science New Zealand Interim Chief Executive

    Dr Kate Muise has an extensive background of working at the nexus of science, innovation and technology and the public sector. Kate joins Science New Zealand from her role as Manager Specialised Investments in the Science System Investment and Performance branch at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The Team is responsible for managing critical science investments that underpin the capability of the sector.

    Over the past three years Kate has worked in several different teams at MBIE, including leading the initial development of the Aerospace Strategy and helping create a policy environment that encourages research and development. Prior to MBIE, Kate worked on building international science connections between the UK and Aotearoa New Zealand.

    She has a PhD in Ecology and Biodiversity from Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, in partnership with Plant & Food Research Ltd. Her research focused on the biosynthetic control of red, purple and yellow plant pigments.

    Kate is passionate about strengthening connectivity and impact of the Aotearoa New Zealand science system and looks forward to working with the Crown Research Institutes during this transition period.