Royal Society announces new Chief Executive

The Royal Society Te Apārangi has announced the appointment of Paul Atkins as Chief Executive.

Paul has been Chief Executive of Zealandia for the past six years, leading the organisation through a period of transformational change, building its reputation, reach and impact, from local to global.

Royal Society President Dr Brent Clothier said Paul has extensive experience in senior leadership roles operating across the science, technology, education and research sector and is deeply committed to supporting research to make a meaningful difference to New Zealand.

At Zealandia, he launched the Zealandia Centre for People and Nature, which has dramatically increased the number of researchers working on Zealandia-centred projects and is producing leading-edge results.

Before working at Zealandia, Paul was Chief Executive of the National Energy Research Institute and he has held General Manager roles with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and with Creative New Zealand, the Arts Council of New Zealand.

He has chaired the Board of the MacDiarmid Institute over the past four years and is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Physicist, and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Paul has lived in New Zealand with his family for 22 years and is married with three adult sons.

He has had a long association with the Society dating back over 20 years when he was Director of the British Council, establishing strong and lasting ties with the leadership of the organisation since that time.

He is also a Professional Member and his wife, Faith Atkins, ran the Society’s public programmes for a decade until 2016.

Paul will take up the position on 29 November.

Dr Roger Ridley, Director – Expert Advice & Practice, will be the Acting Chief Executive in the meantime.

Professor Dame Cindy Kiro was appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Society in late 2020 and took up that job in March.  But she has been appointed Governor-General Designate and will finish in the Society role on Friday

The Royal Society Te Apārangi is an independent not-for-profit organisation that supports all New Zealanders to explore, discover and share knowledge.

Its programmes provide funding and learning opportunities for researchers, teachers and school students, together with those who are simply curious about the world.

It awards medals and elects Fellows, who are leaders in their fields.

These experts help the Society to provide independent advice to New Zealanders and the government on issues of public concern.

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Source:  Royal Society Te Apārangi

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog