The role of the Gravida Board is to ensure the direction and performance of Gravida in the context of the Centre’s Annual Plans, which are developed in consultation with the Tertiary Education Commission.

  • Dame Alison Paterson

    Dame Alison Paterson



    Alison brings a wealth of experience in corporate governance and leadership in the service and health industries. Alison is currently Chair of BPAC NZ Ltd, FarmIQ Systems Ltd and the Oversight Committee (Ambulance NZ). She is a director of Vector Ltd, Metrowater Ltd, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, Abano Healthcare Ltd, and a Councillor at Massey University. She was previously Chair of Waitemata Health Ltd and DHBNZ Inc., and Deputy Chair of Health Waikato Ltd and the Reserve Bank of . Alison has the professional qualification of FCA.

  • Professor Richard Blaikie

    Professor Richard Blaikie

    University of Otago

    BSc(Hon), PhD

    Richard is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, and Professor in Physics, at the University of Otago. He received the BSc(Hons) degree from the University of Otago, , in 1988 and the PhD degree in physics from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1992. He returned to in 1993, taking up a position in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Canterbury prior to moving to his current role at Otago. Richard was the Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute between 2002 and 2008, and Director from 2008 until 2011.

    As Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago, Richard oversees all of research and commercialisation activities of the University.

  • Professor Wayne Cutfield

    Professor Wayne Cutfield

    Liggins Institute, The University of Auckland


    Wayne is a paediatric endocrinologist and an expert on insulin sensitivity and action in children. He is Director of the Liggins Institute and Director of the Maurice and Agnes Paykel Clinical Research Unit within the Liggins Institute where he leads clinical research investigating how environmental influences early in life affect childhood growth and development. Wayne has a Gravida-funded Major Project which focuses on the growth and metabolism of children born through assisted reproduction or to older mothers.

  • Dr Peter Fennessy

    Dr Peter Fennessy

    Following a highly successful career in scientific research and management, Peter has been in private business in the fields of technology strategy and evaluation, intellectual property development and project management since 1997. He is or has been a member of numerous task groups and specialist committees around R&D strategy and technology development in , Australia and Europe, an expert reviewer for scientific proposals, theses, scientific papers and technology development plans and supervisor of several postgraduate students. Peter is Managing Director of AbacusBio Ltd (Dunedin), a privately-held consultancy and new venture development business with a focus in the agricultural, agri-bio and biotechnology sectors. Peter is also Chair of Blis Technologies Limited and on the Advisory Board of the University of Otago Applied Science Programme. He is a director of a number of private companies, and was previously Chair of NZBIO.

  • Distinguished Professor Jane Harding

    Distinguished Professor Jane Harding

    The University of Auckland


    Jane is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) of the University of Auckland. She trained in fetal physiology, then specialised in paediatrics and neonatology. Jane was appointed to the faculty of the University of Auckland in 1989 after returning to . She was appointed Professor of Neonatology in 1997 and, until 2007, spent part of each year working at Auckland National Women's Hospital's newborn intensive care nursery. In addition to her DVC (Research) role, Jane continues her research and is a member of the LiFePATH (Liggins Fetal, Perinatal and Maternal Translational Research for Lifelong Health) group at the Liggins Institute. She conducts both clinical and experimental research on the management of small babies before and after birth, and its long term effects.

    Jane is an international authority on the regulation of fetal growth, placental function, and the treatment and consequences of undernutrition in the womb. Jane has served on a range of national and international bodies including those of the Health Research Council of , National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and the Council of the International Society for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.

  • Jim Peters

    Jim Peters

    The University of Auckland


    Jim (Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine, Ngā Puhi) is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Māori) at The University of Auckland. He has taught in a number of schools, was principal of Northland College (1987-2002), and has been involved in farming and forestry. He was a Member of Parliament (2002-2005), a long standing member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Community Advisory Group, a member of the Northland Regional Council from 1989 to 2007, and its Chair from 1995 to 2001. Jim currently sits on the board of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, another Centre of Research Excellence.

  • Dr Tom Richardson

    Dr Tom Richardson


    Tom is the Chief Executive of AgResearch and has worked in science for more than 20 years, both as a practising scientist and science manager. His science background is in genetics, he has doctorate in Botany from Pennsylvania State University. In addition to his role as AgResearch’s CEO, Tom holds a number of science-related directorships including SIDDC, DEEResearch Limited, Epigen, Farmax Limited, Grasslanz Technology Limited, Waiariki Institute of Technology and is the current Chairman of Science NZ. Tom is also on the committee of the Riddet Institute Governance Board.