Appointment of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor

  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister

Professor Juliet Gerrard FRSNZ has been appointed to be the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, starting from 1 July 2018, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.

Professor Gerrard will take over from Sir Peter Gluckman who has held the role since it was established in 2008.

Professor Gerrard is currently the Associate Dean (Research) at the School of Biological Sciences and School of Chemical Sciences, Auckland University.

“I am delighted that Professor Gerrard has agreed to take up this critical role.

“Professor Gerrard has had a distinguished career, specialising in a range of disciplines including biochemical engineering. She was also the past Chair, Royal Society Te Apārangi Marsden Council giving her wide exposure to other science disciplines.

“This role not only provides me, as Prime Minister, with high quality scientific advice to support good robust decision making, but plays a vital role in promoting science and technology, explaining its contribution to society and the economy, and promoting the sector to young people as a career opportunity.

“Given the low number of women in science, and the need to encourage the next generation to enter into this field of study, it is especially pleasing to be able to appoint our first woman as the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Jacinda Ardern acknowledges and thanks Sir Peter for his commitment and ongoing contribution to New Zealand science matters in this role over the past decade.

“Sir Peter has provided highly valuable advice and guidance on a range of matters to successive governments and Prime Ministers.

“He has also been a great advocate of science and technology – promoting it widely as a career opportunity to younger generations.

“After his reappointment in June 2015, Sir Peter indicated he did not wish to be considered for a further term,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Sir Peter continues in the role until 30 June 2018 and Professor Gerrard starts on 1 July 2018 for a three-year term.

Professor Gerrard will resign from her other directorship roles in order to take up this new position, but will retain a part-time role at Auckland University.