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Dr Tom Richardson appointed AgResearch CEO

Dr Tom Richardson appointed AgResearch CEO

The current head of the Rotorua-based CRI, New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd, trading as Scion, Dr Tom Richardson, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of AgResearch Ltd, after the resignation of Dr Andrew West.

Dr Richardson will take up his new role from 15 September 2010. His appointment was announced today by AgResearch Chairman Sam Robinson, following an international search.

Mr Robinson said that Dr Richardson was a science innovation sector leader, and would bring to his new position the strategic and commercial qualities that had underpinned his success at Scion.

“Over recent years the role and position of AgResearch in the pastoral sector has been re-established, and the Board anticipates that as the new CEO, Dr Richardson will strengthen further this positioning for the benefit of New Zealand, the organisation itself and its key stakeholders.

“Our Board was genuinely thrilled at the quality and calibre of the applicants for the CEO position, which is a measure of the esteem in which AgResearch is held internationally.”

Originally from the United States, Dr Richardson has worked in New Zealand science for 20 years. He has spent 18 years with Scion, 13 as a practising scientist and science manager, and the past five as CEO. He has had frequent assignments on advisory boards, external review panels and international science and trade delegations.

His science background is in genetics, and he established the genomics research group at Scion and a spin-out company, SignaGen, which brought high-throughput DNA testing to the New Zealand ag-bio sector. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Bucknell University and a doctorate in Botany from Pennsylvania State University.

In addition to his role as Scion’s CEO, Dr Richardson holds a number of science-related directorships including the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Future Forests Research Limited and Science New Zealand of which he is also Deputy Chairman.

Aged 48, Dr Richardson is married with two sons, 10 and eight. Both he and his wife have previously enjoyed success in athletics at an international level. In his new role the family will relocate to Hamilton.


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