Dr Thompson is currently Science and Innovation Promoter with the British High Commission in Wellington, charged with building collaborations between New Zealand and the UK . He was born and educated in the UK. He has an academic background in agriculture, economics and business and extensive experience in science management. He has an Honours degree in Agricultural Science from the UK, a Masters in Economics from Canada and a PhD in Agriculture from the UK. He is also a graduate of Canada’s National Defence College and the Queen’s University Programme for Public Executives. He has experience in environmental and economic management, policy formulation, conflict resolution and scientific, economic and environmental analysis.
Living in Canada for a large part of his career, he held Director-General positions in research and biosecurity with the federal government. He was also Senior Fellow in Canada’s Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, and Professor of Sustainable Development at the University of New Brunswick. He chaired the International Board for Soil Research and Management, based in Thailand and was Canadian Academic Director for an international programme in sustainable development sponsored by Canada and the Rockefeller Foundation. In New Zealand since 1997, he has served as CEO of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He is Chair of Motu Economic Research and of AIESEC, an international young professionals organisation, and has served on the Board of CRL Energy.