Explore as a

Share our content

2024 Council Election - Councillor elected by individual members

Dr Libby Harrison has been elected onto the Royal Society Te Apārangi Council as Councillor elected by individual members.

Dr Libby Harrison

Libby Harrison web

Nominated by: Glenda Lewis CRSNZ & Rauru Kirikiri CRSNZ

Candidate Statement

Dr Libby Harrison is a staunch advocate of research, scholarship, and innovation. Currently the Director of the NZ Food Safety Science and Research Centre (NZFSSRC), she has worked in science leadership roles at the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and for several NZ research organisations.

The NZFSSRC, hosted by Massey University, is a collaboration of government, eight research organisations, and 30 industry members, Māori organisations and businesses. This has enabled Libby to build on her already extensive professional networks in NZ and abroad.

Libby is a NZ citizen, born in the UK. She arrived in 2002 from Paris, where she led the team at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) developing risk-assessment and risk-management tools for, and harmonising regulations for, pesticides and biocides. Before this, Libby worked in the chemicals industry in Europe and the USA on the environmental impacts and risk management of pesticides and genetically modified organisms. Consequently, she has an excellent understanding of risk-management methodologies.

Libby understands both governance and management and has well-recognised experience of developing organisational visions, values, and strategic plans. She has held positions on senior leadership teams for several organisations and was Deputy Chief Executive at MfE, where she led the establishment of the Environmental Protection Authority.

Libby has governance experience, including Chair and Deputy Chair of WWF-NZ, part of the WWF International Network, the world’s largest independent conservation organisation. She also served over 10 years as a Trustee and Board Member of WWF-NZ. Currently, she sits on the boards of: Grasslanz Technology Limited, a subsidiary of AgResearch that invests in the development of plant and microbial technologies; Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne, the world’s first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary and one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most successful and internationally renowned tourist attractions (she also sits on the Audit and Risk Committee); the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia-NZ; and the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge which ends in June 2024.

Libby’s professional experience has given her a deep appreciation of standards and ethics in research, governance and management, a sound understanding of compliance issues such as health-and-safety legislation, privacy and financial reporting, and the ability to hold and manage confidential information.

Libby has been a supporter and individual member of the Royal Society Te Apārangi for almost 20 years and is keen to serve the science community through a role on its Council. She knows many Companions personally and would be honoured to represent Individual members and Companions on Council. Her ability to mediate the interests of many individuals and organisations has been demonstrated in her leadership of the NZFSSRC, where she has successfully negotiated the common interests of different industry groups, government, and regulators. Her work with Māori on the East Coast has been outstanding; a model for other organisations to follow. Libby is trusted by people because she is both direct and tactful. She shows a genuine interest in people, and the history and culture of her adopted country.