Professor John Dillon was one of Australia’s leading agricultural economists and was the Chair of the ACIAR Board of Management from 1985 to 1994. He played a key role in the review of ACIAR in 1991 that ensured the ongoing role of ACIAR in the Australian aid program.

Prof Dillon started his career as a farmer, and became an economics researcher at NSW Agriculture and CSIRO before joining Adelaide University as a lecturer. In 1965 he was appointed Professor of Rural Economics at the University of New England and at retirement in 1994 became Emeritus Professor. Prof Dillon served on the Boards of five CGIAR centres, was Chair of three, and twice served as the Chair of the committee of CGIAR Board Chairs. He was a strong advocate of international agricultural research, with research, advisory and research management experience in five continents. Prof Dillon was still active in this arena when he died on 5 June 2001.