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Executive

Ian Simpson

Chief Executive
Ian Simpson
Ian joined GNS Science in January 2017.  Prior to his appointment he spent seven years at the Earthquake Commission (EQC) where he led the response to the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence, one of the world’s largest natural disaster insurance events. Prior to his time at EQC Ian spent four years at the Accident Compensation Corporation where he was responsible for the management of financial resources and the returns of ACC’s NZ$11 billion global investment fund. ACC was Ian’s first job in New Zealand.  He was born and grew up in the north of England.  After graduating from Manchester University he worked for BP in London and Melbourne for eight years before joining Diageo PLC where he held a range of corporate finance roles in both the UK and Europe.  He completed an MBA at INSEAD in France between his positions at Diageo.

Peter Benfell

General Manager, Science
Peter Benfell
BE (Hons) (University of Auckland), DipBusAdmin (Victoria University of Wellington)
Peter began in his role of leading and managing staff within the Science Group in October 2018. He has additional responsibility for the strategic direction of the science programmes. Peter has worked at GNS Science before – from 1998 until 2001 he was GM, Environment and Natural Resources Group. He has had over 30 years’ experience in research, science and technology and its successful application, as well as in establishing several major R&D partnerships. Peter has held senior management roles at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, AgResearch, and Opus International and was the Chief Executive at Connexis. 

Gill Jolly

Acting General Manager, Strategy
Gill Jolly
As the Acting General Manager, Strategy, Gill is GNS Science’s Chief Scientist. Appointed to the role in September 2018, she provides advice and guidance on scientific strategies, including research and technology innovation. Gill comes from four years’ leadership of the Natural Hazards Division (earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunami, geological mapping, and social sciences). She is a volcanologist who joined the organisation in 2006 and has had a diverse career including mineral exploration, environmental geochemistry, and 3D geological modelling of ore deposits. 

Justine Daw

General Manager, Stakeholder Relations
Justine Daw
MA (University of Auckland)
Justine joined GNS Science in September 2018 after more than five years at Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research where she held roles as GM Partnerships and GM Science and Policy. Having previously worked at the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology and its successor organisations, she has a depth of knowledge of both the science system and the science funding environment.  Justine also brings a strong market-led perspective and client focus to her GNS Science role, having worked in senior roles at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the former NZ Climate Change Office, and the Ministry for the Environment.

Allan Frost

General Manager, Business Services 
Allan Frost
Allan is a Chartered and  Certified Public Accountant with over 20 year experience in  leading corporate teams in the private  (professional services firms) and government (Audit, Transport and primary industries) sectors. His expertise and experience ranges from finance, risk and assurance, information technology, asset management to strategic planning and people leadership. His teams have won numerous awards for digitalisation of services, modernisation of major systems, and commercial financial  and legal advice. Of Ngati Maniapoto descent, Allan cares about relationships, and always operates with a clear sense of purpose that “keeps him firmly focused even during distracting times”. 

Rose Macfarlane

General Manager, People and Culture
Rose Macfarlane
Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies, Waikato University
Dip. Business Studies, Massey University
Rose was appointed General Manager of the Human Resources, Communications, Health and Safety and Administration departments in August. She oversees the full range of functions of these departments. Prior to taking this role, she was GM, Human Resources at Dairy New Zealand. She has also held positions as Human Resources Manager at Hamilton City Council and the Waikato District Health Board. She is experienced in managing change, understanding the challenges of differing business environments and dealing with a broad range of organisational culture and people matters.