Appointments to the Commission for International Agricultural Research
Craig Emerson, the Trade Minister and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, has today announced the appointment of a Chair and two members to the Commission for International Agricultural Research at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). The appointments were made by the Executive Council of the Australian Government on 7 April 2011.
The Chair and Commissioners of ACIAR provide advice to the Minister in relation to the formulation and funding of agricultural research and development programs. ACIAR is a statutory authority that encourages Australia's agricultural scientists to use their skills for the benefit of developing countries, and of Australia.
“I’m pleased to announce the appointment of three highly-qualified Commissioners, whom the Gillard Government believes will all make a major contribution to ACIAR and Australia’s overseas agricultural development program,” Dr Emerson said.
The new appointees are Ms Joanna Hewitt AO, Professor Kym Anderson, and Dr Conall O’Connell. They will join re-appointed Commissioner Mr David Crombie and current Commission members Mr Peter Baxter, Director-General of AusAID; Dr Joanne Daly, member of the CSIRO Executive Management Council; and Dr Nick Austin, Chief Executive Officer of ACIAR.
“The Chair of the Commission, Ms Joanna Hewitt AO, is ideally positioned to lead ACIAR,” Dr Emerson said.
“With her depth of experience in international agricultural research - most recently on consultancy projects with the International Food Policy Research Institute, which is part of the World Bank’s Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research network - Ms Hewitt brings a lot to the Commission,” he said.
Among her former appointments, Ms Hewitt was Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and has held several Deputy Secretary positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Holding her Masters in International Relations, she was a lead negotiator with the World Trade Organization. She is also a former member of the ACIAR Board of Management.
Prof Kym Anderson is Professor with the School of Economics at the University of Adelaide. He is also Foundation Executive Director with the University’s Wine Economics Research Centre, and formerly held the same position with their Centre for International Economics Studies. He is currently on the Board of Trustees with the International Food Policy Research Institute, and holds several other international board memberships in the field of rural development and commodity economics.
Dr Conall O’Connell is the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, and has held several positions with Government agencies. These include the Department of Environment, Environment Australia and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He is a Doctor of Philosophy and has completed a Post-doctoral Fellowship in the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University.
Reappointed as ACIAR Commissioner, Mr David Crombie has more than 30 years of commercial and representational experience in agriculture, including as Managing Director of major agricultural development and pastoral companies. He is Director of GRM International and a former President of the National Farmers Federation, as well as Chair of both the Meat and Livestock Australia and of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
In announcing the new appointments, Dr Emerson extended the Government’s thanks to retiring Commissioners, The Honorable Neil Andrew AO and Mr Barry Buffier.
“The Government would also particularly like to thank former Chair Dr Meryl Williams for her commitment to the Commission since her appointment in 2007, and in her previous role on the ACIAR Board of Management,” Dr Emerson said.
“ACIAR has certainly benefited from her involvement, and that of the previous Commissioners.”
The new Commission meets on Thursday 28 April.
Mark Mulligan, Minister Emerson's Office
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DFAT Media Release: http://trademinister.gov.au/releases/2011/ce_mr_110427.html